Stephen King is Shocked That He is Still Alive

Writer Stephen King speaks at the Amazon Fishbowl with Bill Maher at the Shop during the 2006 Sundance Film Felstival on January 23, 2006 in Park City, Utah
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If you feel like it is hard to believe that the novel Carrie was published 50 years ago, you’re not alone. In fact, the author Stephen King can’t believe it either. He admitted that he is stunned that he is still alive and able to celebrate the book’s big anniversary. King shared on social media, “Tomorrow, CARRIE turns 50. Hard to believe I’m alive to see it.”

Carrie was his debut novel when he was working as a teacher and spawned the 1976 film by the same name. King said about writing the book, “I would teach, and I would come home tired, like I’d been on stage. And then I had to correct papers – more of the same. And there was very little time left for my own work. I can remember thinking, ‘Two or three more years of this and I won’t be able to write at all.’ Because they wanted to give me the debating club, and the play, and stuff like that. There was no discussion of me quitting.”

Author Stephen King reads from his new novella "Ur", exclusively available on the Kindle, at an unveiling event for the Amazon Kindle 2 at the Morgan Library & Museum February 9, 2009 in New York City. The updated electronic reading device is slimmer with new syncing technology and longer battery life and will begin shipping February 24th

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His wife urged him to continue writing and eventually, the publisher Doubleday picked up his novel. A year later, the paperback rights went up for auction and he was awarded an advance of $500,000. Great, right? It wasn’t always a happy time for King and his family as he was suffering from intense addiction problems.

Carrie Sissy Spacek, 1976

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King said that he had been drinking since he was 18 and by that time things had escalated. He added, “I realized I had a problem around the time that Maine became the first state in the nation to pass a returnable-bottle-and-can law. You could no longer just toss the shit away, you saved it, and you turned it in to a recycling center. And nobody in the house drank but me. My wife would have a glass of wine and that was all. So I went in the garage one night, and the trash can that was set aside for beer cans was full to the top. It had been empty the week before. I was drinking, like, a case of beer a night. And I thought, ‘I’m an alcoholic.’ That was probably about ’78, ’79. I thought, “I’ve gotta be really careful, because if somebody says, ‘You’re drinking too much, you have to quit,’ I won’t be able to.”

Author Stephen King participates in a news conference for "An Evening With Harry, Carrie and Garp," a reading with King, J.K. Rowling and John Irving, at Radio City Music Hall August 1, 2006 in New York City

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Around the time, King also got addicted to cocaine, especially during his bouts of writing. In the ’80s, his wife gave him an ultimatum. He said that she filled a trash bag with “beercans, cigarette butts, cocaine in gram bottles and cocaine in plastic Baggies, coke spoons caked with snot and blood, Valium, Xanax, bottles of Robitussin cough syrup and NyQuil cold medicine, even bottles of mouthwash” and dumped it out in front of him and the family. He went to rehab and has been sober ever since.

What is your favorite Stephen King novel or movie adaptation? Can you believe Carrie is turning 50?

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