That other 1141 pages

I’m five days into reading Stephen King’s The Stand. The un-cut, complete, 1141 page version. I’m on page 738.  Yeah, I’m a fast reader like that. But I don’t just gloss over it – I could write a book report or pass a reading comprehension test on what I’ve read so far no problem. I’m just a fast reader.

It’s … all right. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it. I’ll finish it.  But not tonight. In fact (ohhh, awesome Depeche Mode song there, “But Not Tonight”)… in fact, I won’t even be reading the book tonight.


Well, I woke up this morning and my brain was narrating in the style of the text.

It was a little bit cool, but overall it was very disconcerting.  And, if you’ve ever read the stand and are familiar with the LOST-style use of flashbacks to develop characters you’ll better understand why.

After having stewed about it for a day or so and finally cleared my head of the narration, I’m not going to go into to it too much here. Suffice to say, it weighed on me… heavily.

The story itself has been heavy too. I don’t mind that so much, but it does kind of suck the joy out of you when you’re reading 100+ pages at a time.

**** Spoiler warning – I won’t talk ending, but I will talk plot ****

you’re still here? okay…

well, it’s about a plague and life after the plague for the 1% or so of America who survives. There seems to be a supernatural force at play, splitting the survivors into two camps: one good, one evil.

There are a number of main characters – I find myself having a favorite among them: Nick Andros.  (Mind you, I’m only at page 738, and to be honest he has dropped from A++ favorite to only A+ over the last 50 pages or so).

There are clearly characters we are supposed to empathize with and root for or against. I get that, and I generally go the way Mr. King has been steering me as a reader. There are some I may be feeling more or less for, and there have been some minor characters who’s back stories have hit very close to home in one way or another.

I’ll admit it… I’ve been affected by the book. And whether I like it or don’t, I’d say that makes it a good book. I’m glad I’m reading it. I hope I feel that way 403 pages from now.

I expect to have it all finished by Monday, but tonight I’m taking the night off.

Contributed by: Scott Copperman


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