Prolific author Stephen King (The Shining, Pet Sematary, The Green Mile, Salemís Lot, Christine, Cujo) got his long and illustrious career started with Carrie. It is a story about a teenaged girl with telekinetic powers who slowly but surely learns that she can move things with her mind. The only problem for Carrie White is her constant struggle to fit in; she doesnít quite fit in with the kids at school and is viciously bullied. Carrie also has major problems with her religious psycho of a mother. The tension builds all the way until the end when Carrie, tormented on all fronts, from inside and out, finally reaches her breaking point and snaps at the school prom.
The overall story line isnít far off from the film. The thing about reading the book, or in this case listening to the audio book, is the clever (some might not agree) use of articles, interviews, and newspaper clips to give the story a more authentic feel. But that is neither here nor there as the real meat of the story is about being ostracized and a teen in the 1970s. This is done particularly well: you canít help but root for Carrie with all the stuff she has to put up with.
Getting Sissy Spacek to do the reading of this might have been a good idea on paper, but it wasnít in execution. Spacekís Southern drawl (Carrie is from Maine, after all) took me right out of Carrie and put me right into Coal Minerís Daughter. There is the obvious connection of her portrayal as Carrie White in the film directed by Brian de Palma, but it really takes away more than it adds to the audio production. The story is still strong, and the performance is fine, but it is simply difficult to get past the accent.