Books

9 things you (probably) didn’t know about Carrie

Even though she's technically still a high school student, Carrie turns 40 this week.

To celebrate the publishing of Stephen King's first novel, we have nine lesser known facts about his iconic thriller.

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1. Stephen King was an enviable 26 when Carrie was published. Although it almost never happened. He threw the first few pages away but his wife fished them out and encouraged him to continue writing.

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2. The story was actually inspired by three disparate strands: while King worked as a high school janitor, he found that there were curtains in the girls showers, there were two dead girls from his school and he read about telekinesis in LIFE magazine.

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3. King was struggling as an English teacher when he wrote Carrie and, due to his low salary, he had got rid of his phone to save costs. So when the book was picked up by a publishing company, they had to send him a telegram to let him know.

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4. Before it became a runaway hit, the response to the book was mixed. Even King himself looks back with conflicted feelings. "It reminds me of a cookie baked by a first grader," he later said. "Tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom."

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5. There's a strong Cinderella vibe to the character of Carrie and apparently King had originally intended for her to leave one of her dancing shoes at the prom, as a more obvious nod, but he forgot to include it.

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6. As well as the failed stage version, there was also a non-musical spoof which was played off-Broadway in 2006 after King agreed to give his consent. It starred a female-impersonator in the lead role.

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7. King admits that he never actually liked the character of Carrie White. He compared her to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the Columbine killers. He said that he pitied her but he also pitied her classmates.

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8. The book was written while King was living in a trailer and on his wife's typewriter, on which he also wrote Misery.

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9. While we're all aware of the original Carrie film in 1976 and the more recent remake last year, not as many are aware that a 2002 TV adaptation was also made with Angela Bettis and Patricia Clarkson. Carrie survived at the end as they were hoping it would spin off into a TV series.

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(Images: Rex Features)

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