This book may or may not have been inspired by an event in Anthony Burgess' life when his wife, Lynne, was robbed and assaulted by American G.I.s duriThis book may or may not have been inspired by an event in Anthony Burgess' life when his wife, Lynne, was robbed and assaulted by American G.I.s during the Second World War. In some tellings of this, Lynne was murdered. The fact is that she died years later from cirrhosis of the liver, so one has always got to be careful citing incidents in people's lives. Apparently she suffered a miscarriage as a result of this attack and there may have been a cathartic motivation for his writing the story. The paperback I first read contained a glossary prepared by Burgess so we might understand the speech of Alex and his droogies (this language, Nadsat, was created out of a combination Russian and Cockney Rhyming slangs); later, when Burgess put out a revised edition of the book, set to be the definitive version, there was no glossary. We were left once again in the dark! The only reason I could get through the book was because of Kubrick's film version, and the performance by Malcolm McDowell. I can well understand anyone who hates the book because of the difficulty figuring out what Alex is saying, but through the haze there is a valid and clear statement about the nature of man's innate evil. For a book that was (as the author said) "knocked out over a three week period for quick cash" it has certainly made an impact. But as careful as one must be to accept information about someone's life from others, one must be even more suspicious of that which one does tell about their own life. As Peter Cook (the actor, not Christy Brinkley's ex-husband-to-be -- although it probably applies to him as well) says to Stanley Moon in "Bedazzled": Everything I've ever told you, including this, is a lie. ...more
I read "Carrie" when it first came out in paperback. At that time there were so many cheap paperback novels of mystery, suspense and horror (not to meI read "Carrie" when it first came out in paperback. At that time there were so many cheap paperback novels of mystery, suspense and horror (not to mention science fiction), that I was compelled to read them all. Needless to say, almost all these books have vanished into the morgue of forgotten works along with their authors. Most deserved the unceremonious dismissal, that's for sure, and some did not. But this book (and author) were, I thought, the worst bits of crap I've ever seen. I hated the approach, the mean-spirited theme, and the brutality. Into my stack of paperbacks it went, never to be thought of again -- until the author's second book, "Salem's Lot". I swore I would not be tempted after the bitter carrie-flavor left in my mouth, but everyone in the world seemed to be reading "Salem’s Lot". You could not go anywhere in public without seeing numerous people with the book pressed to their faces, unable to put it down. So I was lulled and seduced into giving Stephen King another chance.
There will always be people who hate Stephen King's works, and the many more who have built him into a cult figure, and I'm happy to say that while I don't subscribe to fandom I do support his works and am happy not to have dismissed him. Some of what he's written strikes deep into the heart, but there is still the slight percentage of Carrieness he's brought with him through the years.
Read "Carrie" after you've read lots of other King works and I suppose it's more tolerable; just knowing what a career the man has had makes a difference. Coming into him cold, as I did, with absolutely nothing but the book itself on which to base an opinion was not a good thing. I did re-read "Carrie" several years ago and guess what? I still hated it! Brian DePalma's movie, however, was terrific. ...more
People have made a case over the prophetic aspects of this book, and it is true that there are some coincidences relating the fictional Titan to the rPeople have made a case over the prophetic aspects of this book, and it is true that there are some coincidences relating the fictional Titan to the real life Titanic. But a careful look at the time in which this was published originally in 1898 and reissued after the disaster in 1912 shows that Morgan Robertson's book was merely the result of well-researched fiction. Iceberg sinkings were not uncommon, and it was no stretch to envision the largest ship ever built and then add the plus value of dimensions, weight and propulsion. Fill the fictional ship with the rich and famous and - viola you have a book that mirrors an event that will happen based on the strides of technology and commerce. Robertson's fictional ship rode up over the iceberg and capsized, as opposed to the real ship, which was damaged in the collision sinking it.
There once was a television show called "One Step Beyond", an anthology of stories with an ironic supernatural bend and they presented one about an artist in Maine who is sketching the face of a beautiful woman amidst water and seaweed just as she drowns while the Titanic sinks! At the show's end the host, John Newland, presented this ultra spooky look into psychic phenomenon by relating the story of Morgan Robertson and his future-telling book. I could not wait to read it, and in those days before someone glommed upon the power of paperback reissues of public domain books, I had to try to locate an original through a book search service. It cost me $25.00!! But, oh, the thrill and salivation over having this marvel of proof of man's gift of ESP! And when I got too old to dream, I still maintained a certain admiration for a book's power to tickle the imagination ... thanks largely to Futility. ...more