Friday, October 24, 2008

Now face North

"Stand" by REM

So Stephen King's novel, The Stand turns 30 years old this year. (Last month, actually.) There's an interesting interview with Mr King here where he talks about The Stand and apocalypse(s) and his upcoming collection of short stories (yay!) and Sarah Palin (oh, but I mentioned apocalypse already).

Anyway. Time to talk The Stand/King memories/thoughts/whatever.

I remember when I first read The Stand. I was 12 (or maybe 13) years old, and it was the first Stephen King book I ever read - I was so ambitious back then! I began with his longest novel I could find!
Of course I was hooked from there on out.

And because I'm too tired to really coherently write much of anything, here's how King's work breaks down:

Stuff (that I've read) that rocked:
The Stand, Eyes of the Dragon, Pet Semetary (creepy-ass ending), Duma Key, On Writing, Insomnia, Misery, all of his short story collections, The Running Man & Rage [Bachman Books].

Stuff (that I've read) that did not rock:
Lisey's Story, From a Buick 8, Dreamcatcher, Gerald's Game, Dolores Clairborne, Blaze & Regulators [Bachman Book], and It [Waaaaay too long].

I've not read the Dark Tower series - question for those who have: Worth it? I know about the whole "Stephen King is a character in the book at the end" bit, and I'm cool with that. But is the series worth the time to get into and read completely?

There are plenty of other books of King's that I've not included on the above list, mostly because I couldn't remember them, or they just didn't quite fit into either category - Firestarter and Carrie, for instance. Oh! Salem's Lot. That one rocked. At least I think it did....I should probably give it a reread.

What about you? Have you read The Stand? Did you enjoy it? What about the (mostly crappy) mini-series from the mid-90's?
Oh, and that brings up the topic of film adaptations of King's works... which is probably better saved for another day, because there have been a lot of them.


Anonymous said...

I have never read a Stephen King novel. I have read a handful of his novellas and both of his non-fiction books. And the next time we go to the library, my list consists of two of his books (Carrie and From A Buick 8 - which I know you just said didn't rock but I love the premise enough to give it a shot). I'll try The Stand after that so we can talk about it.

Amy said...

I think I've already pretty much said everything I can say about "The Stand". Did I ever send you anything from that soundtrack I made? How did that exchange turn out? I remember I definitely discussed it with you but the details are very hazy.

"Eyes of the Dragon" is probably totally his best book. I say, without actually having read most of his books.

"'Salem's Lot" completely rocked. That scene where the kid is tied up in the bathroom was the tensest thing I'd ever read. I mean. I read it when I was 10, but, you know.

P@ said...

Annika - Carrie is actually quite good, just one that I didn't put in the "rocks" category because I didn't read it more than once. And I don't know if it stands the test of time.
But Buick 8 is just really ...bad. Especially in comparison to other King that is so much better.
But I look forward to talking to you about anything King-related. :)

Amy - Yeah, we talked about the Stand-related-soundtrack, and you gave me the list of everything that it included. And I still think that both the idea and the fact that you did it are among the coolest things ever.

Anonymous said...

I also read The Stand pretty young- and for me it was the year that they released the unabridged, "director's cut" edition of the novel. Man did I read the holy living shit out of that thang. I adore Eyes of The Dragon, a truly wonderful, scary, sweet story. On Writing is interesting but not nearly as "OMG" brilliant (for me) as his earlier work on the Horror Genre as a whole- print, film, radio, etc, Danse Macabre- check that sucka out, P@.

I read the first four or five DT books. Uh, I really liked the 1st book, and each subsequent book I liked less. I have some friends who adore the series, even with the huge "meta" angle... someday I'll read them. Someday, on a beach, with a shitload of rum. Presuming I am shipwrecked with rum and The Dark Tower series.