Rereading with Some Trepidation: The Stand

the stand

I’m about halfway through a re-read of The Stand. I read it for the first time when I was probably way too young and remember loving it. But I’m having some bumps on this reread.

Which you know it’s been decades people change you never read the same thing the same way no matter how much you might have loved it. But it does make me wonder- 1. Does knowing the fate of these characters change the reading experience?

2. Did I actually like the mini-series better and simply confuse that with the book?

And news about the upcoming remake makes me wonder about that version as well…

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

Spoilers!

It struck me about 300 pages into the extended edition that I’m reading that 98% of these characters good/ bad, likable/unlikable… they die.

And while I can look at it from a different perspective as the armies come together I can’t really shut my brain off to that especially due to the word vomit. Like it’s a time commitment and not always a pleasant one with some characters whose fate I already know.

The Stand suffers from the same other problem I had with IT a few months ago with a vast amount of racist and dated language and while I could roll my eyes but overlook that with IT (probably because it was a first read it’s harder here) I don’t remember what 12 year old me thought of the language in the book but adult me is struggling.

All of that is making me look back and wonder if I didn’t simply like the miniseries more. I have to be honest that’s probably the reason I read the book in the first place. I’m a movie person and while I read a ton of books getting an adaptation is a sure fire way to get me reading.

I’ve been looking at clips on Youtube and while I can tell even there the film isn’t perfect and maybe won’t stand up (probably) it only makes me want to buy a DVD player and figure out how to get my hands on a copy of the miniseries.

Which we are getting a new version of this year and after the (admittedly brilliant) casting of Alexander Skarsgรฅrd as Flagg (he’s perfect really I’d follow him to Vegas any day of the week!) I haven’t paid much attention to news on that save for the other night when I was looking up anything on the original and read Stephen King has written a new ending for the new series..

My first thought:

Stephen King

Endings

Oh dear

This will probably be… questionable…

Truth is deaths aside I didn’t mind the ending of The Stand. I mean if you hated the show down in the desert you probably had issues with far bigger elements of the story that simply took shape in the ending. Or you hated the ending. I don’t know. I wasn’t bothered by it like some of his others. I don’t really want a whole episode about what happened to those characters who lived not just because that’s an episode lost to the main story.

Love it or hate it The Stand is at heart a timeless story and a part of me fears King’s tendency to be very political right now and not at all subtle could date this version too much…

Of course I realize writing this I’m talking about “this version” when there’s already two other versions and probably in the future there will be more Stands.

Halfway through and it’s been a weird reread already. My issues aside the stuff about the plague and the outbreak is some of the best creepiest stuff I’ve ever read. And it’s in the little things not the parts where he hits you over the head with violence and what have you but the simple things like the characters having to bury loved ones themselves because there is no one left, the lights going out and it’s impressive how he can drive home the utter and complete silence and emptiness of the world.

I suppose that’s always the thing with King- when he’s on the stuff is outstanding getting under your skin, freaking you out and keeping you up at night. I just have to drown out the rest of the noise.