cover image Carrie


Stephen King, read by Sissy Spacek. Random House Audio, unabridged, seven CDs, 7.5 hrs., $19.99 ISBN 978-0-385-39428-4

The original actress to play Carrie, Sissy Spacek, narrates this audio tie-in to the new film version of King’s classic novel. Her Academy Award-nominated performance in the 1976 motion picture made her the iconic image of the author’s young heroine whose terrifying telekinetic power is unleashed by the viciousness of ultra-mean teens and the insane demands of her fanatically religious mother. Here, while easily recreating the moods of that odd young girl, whose helpless confusion and despair eventually morph into childish delight in her talent for destruction, Spacek just as successfully takes on the personae of the small town’s other disparate residents. King’s fiction is constructed of dramatic sequences interspersed with documentary-like accounts of events leading up to Carrie’s horrific vengeance. The actress moves smoothly from the magazine, newspaper, and official reports to dramatic scenes. Teenagers (some down-to-earth, some unpleasantly arrogant) teachers, moms, matrons, cops, the town drunk—Spacek finds a voice for each of them. And those voices are so dramatically evoked that, if their speech carries a trace of her native Texas drawl in lieu of a Maine accent, no one, including the author, is likely to complain. King reads an introduction in which he describes the book’s origin, his concerns about writing his first novel, especially one told from a feminine perspective, and, finally, how it’s critical and popular success changed his life. (Sept.)