Until very recently, the only book of his that I read
was 'On Writing'. I like reading how writers produce(d)
their craft/art. The mix of autobiography makes it
even more interesting.
However, I've never been a fan of science fiction/horror/
gore/scary shit. Just not my thing in movies or books.
However (again) a few years ago, I came across an expanded
version of 'The Stand' at a discount price and bought it
intending it to be a gift for a friend who was a fan of King.
The friend passed away before I could send the book.
I came across it a couple of weeks ago under a pile of... stuff.
So, I thought why not read it and see what all the hoopla
is about. This edition is 400 pages longer than the original.
Well, what the heck. I don't exactly have a busy schedule
at the moment, ya know.
Basic premise: gov't researchers have an accident with a
super deadly strain of what they call the flu and it is so
contagious that it kills ninety per cent of the population
in the United States in about two weeks. Very ugly.
The rest of the story is about how those remaining are
gathering together to survive and rebuild a civilization.
Because of dreams everyone is having, the good guys
(mostly) end up in Boulder, Colorado and the bad guys
(mostly) end up in Las Vegas. Good vs Evil at war.
Since so few people are left alive they have plenty of
food, vehicles, gas, camping supplies, etc. to rebuild with.
And, lots of empty buildings. Well, empty after they clear
out all the rotting corpses.
Mr. King infuses the language in the dialogue with slang
that comes across as awkward and juvenile. He mentioned
I-95 in an area that made me flip back several pages to make
sure the characters hadn't slipped back to the east coast but,
no, he moved it to somewhere out west. Careless, that.
One of the worst things that really almost made me put the
book down was in the last quarter or so. He described several of
the male characters, in several different scenes as "he made
wee wee in his pants." What the hell??? Immature humor?
Oh, yeah... there is a major nuclear explosion in Las Vegas and
never a concern mentioned about fall-out adding to the survival
I don't think Mr. King has any interest in making his readers
think. He seems to aim for light entertainment even though
the subject matter is grisly and serious.
I also think that he writes with the intention of every book
being made into a movie, which of course most have been.
This version also included several black ink illustrations
which added to the impression that I was reading a very big
comic book. Really. It felt like a comic book story.
What have I missed? Did I expect too much from a very
popular author? Am I being a snob?
I'm glad I read it only because I can put away any thoughts
of ever reading any of his other books. I had the unfortunate
experience of seeing a few of his early movies. Yuck.
I'd like to hear what you think. Fill up the comment box.