September 16, 2011
Let's talk about it, people ... THE STAND! So, what did you think? Did you start sneezing? Did you stay up all night scared out of your mind? Did you fall in love with Stu? Could you not believe that Molly Ringwald was cast as Frannie in the movie version? Did you think the Walkin' Dude was creepy? Did the descriptions of the flu make you more or less inclined to see Contagion?
Was this your first time with THE STAND or was it an old friend from a bygone day?
The reason I picked this book for our last summertime read is that it's one of my all-time favorite books. I know the ending is, well, not exactly a bow tied up all pretty and pure, but the journey is the best part of this book. I love every creepy, unstable, disgusting moment along the way to Las Vegas. I love the way King can weave you so fully into a character that you feel like you know this person in real life. I love that he mixes real-world real-life elements with goofy, over-the-top fiction bits and makes it all work somehow.
And now, as I'm writing my first piece of fiction, I have even more respect for this book. Here's a piece that is so epic and huge (and LONG!) and full of flavor and description and activity and after all these years at the core it still holds up. That is talent, and commitment, and work.
I often think about what life would be like in Los Angeles after a disaster (an earthquake is usually the impetus for these thoughts.) I wonder if I would be clever or strong or alone -- will I be a Frannie, a Stu, or a Nadine? I wonder how we as a society will work it out. Every time I revisit THE STAND it feels like I'm talking to my old friends, and it's still just as disquieting as ever.
I'm particularly interested to hear how first-time readers got into it. Were you disappointed? Surprised? Scared out of your minds? Taking long showers with disinfecting soap?
I think the book weighs more than the calico.
Posted by laurie at September 16, 2011 12:49 PM