I have always loved Stephen King’s early work “The Stand”. Every couple of years I read it again, even after reading most of his later stuff, some of which drains the life out of me as the plots become more and more overdrawn at the far too late endings. (And some of which is also damn good.)
A quick apology to Mr. King, if he happens to be a Doper. No offense intended - I am a steadfast fan despite my criticisms.
What is your favorite scene from “The Stand”? (note: I haven’t read The Stand for about three years - it’s about time to get it out again) One scene immediately comes to mind for me, which is so poignant because it reminds me of real life… the scene where Lucy is talking to Larry in the night and Nadine comes along for her one last chance at evading her fate… then Lucy spouts off a little rant like… [DISCLAIMER - extremely paraphrased and probably very ggurl flavored] “Well, just go on out there to Miss Perfect… she’s what you really want even when you have me to warm you up every night… you’ll just keep chasing her even though she’ll just cross her legs and spit in your eye… maybe I get stuff written about me on bathroom walls, but it’s just because I want to love and to be loved…”\
I LOVE that part, I really identify with that little rant from Lucy, but then it gets ruined when Larry comes back. Because in real life, they seem to disappear when Miss Perfect comes around…
I may think of other “The Stand” scenes that I absolutely love. But I want to read about yours too!!! Thanks!
Dunno if I’d call this my “favorite” part, but the Harold/Frannie/Stu love triangle was eerily similar to a relationship I had years ago. Unfortunately, I was “Harold”. So when he blew up their house, I fuckin’ cheered.
(Of course, I’d never blow up someone’s house in real life. That’s the whole point.)
BTW, there’s a couple extra scenes on the DVD that weren’t in the original broadcast. Nothing major, just about 15-20 seconds of extra sex & violence that were clearly cut by standards & practices, but it was pretty cool to see something brand new after watching my old VHS tape 1000 times (and wearing it out in the process!)
I just recently bought that whole unedited version of The Stand (talking about the book in this case), and I particularly liked the part where King described a series of accidents that lead to peoples’ deaths directly because of the end of society; one boy fell into a well and died. Another man ran himself to death (his entirely family died in the course of 5 days and running was the only thing that soothed him). Another little girl (?) died of a fractured skull when she fell off of her bike. That just struck me as eerie.
I’m also a big fan of any part with Nick, the part where Tom Cullen spies in the west, the evolution of Harold, and the part in the end where Flagg comes back (also in the unedited version of The Stand).
My favorite book by Stephen King is The Eyes of the Dragon but that’s a close second to my favorite series by King, The Dark Tower. The Stand would be my third favorite. I agree on some of his others works being a wee bit drawn out or dull but all in all, he’s one of my favorite authors.
There are a number of parts that I especially enjoy.
When Frannie describes in her diary how she, Glen and Harold visited the Stovington Plague Center and saw Stu’s room. That says more to me about their three characters than much of the rest of the book.
Flagg rescues Lloyd Henreid from prison. I love that scene.
Kojak. I can’t say enough about this character. And he is a character, even though he is only a dog. I love it when he finds his way to Boulder, I love the description of Kojak defending Hemmingford Home against the wolves, and I love it when Kojak returns to Stu and brings him firewood and rabbits. What a great dog. I almost feel like he’s a dog I knew.
Flagg visits Glen Bateman in prison and Glen essentially laughs at him. “Oh, we made such a business of you. Why don’t you get yourself a pile of sand, find a hammer, and pound all that sand right up your ass?”
The part that always gave me chills: Nick’s note to Mother Abigail that he doesn’t believe in God, but Abigail says, “That don’t matter, child. God believes in you.”
Trashcan Man. What a wonderful character. His glorious return to Las Vegan for REDEMPTION is beautiful.
Larry sending The Judge off to spy on the West. It’s a shame we didn’t get to see more of that old guy.
And actually, I also like Lloyd talking with his young upstart lawyer. Devins? I think that’s his name. “You’re in deep shit, Sylvester!”
I liked the parts towards the beginning of The Stand with Larry’s narration of the apocalyptic and surreal empty city.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read Secret Window, Secret Garden (Four past Midnight). The movie adaptation is coming out, so I figure I’ll reread it. I barely remember reading it, but found it a bit plodding and forgettable to my recollection.
They’re doing a film version of Riding the Bullet, don’t understand how that one will work translated to film. Seems like they’ll have to make it cheesy and hollywoody to get it to work. Everything’s Eventual is IMHO the best book of short stories from SK to date. The title story (Everything’s Eventual) spoke to me, more than any SK story ever has. And that frankly is too close to home. It was too fucked up and eerily relatable to my engrammatic banks (I am not a Scientologist!). Everything’s Eventual is “14 dark tales”, I think it was originally only 13 stories (befitting) and then they threw in Riding the Bullet after its success as an E-story. I think Stephen King might be superstitious and thought twice about throwing out 13 stories like this- his idea or the editor’s?
I just read Dreamcatcher, and thought it was pretty brilliant. Not the best SK- but right up there. He reused/recycled some of the general themes of The Body/Stand by me and added a scary alien quasi-plague to track the whole story. Some classic thematic SK agents and a worthwhile read.
I only read The Stand, once, and it’s been at least 20 years. Is it worth slogging through the extra several hundred pages of the “expanded” version that was released? On another Stephan King note, can y’all recommend
any of his books written after Pet Sematary? I read everything up to, and including
Pet sematary, and then quit. I did read Delores Claiborn and Insomnia(I think it was called)(?) but would like to read some more. Thanks
Those scenes are what made the unabridged version for me. I read the original when I was about 13 years old, and the unabridged version was released about five years later or so, right around the same time as the miniseries. I remember thinking at the time how the “original” hadn’t seemed all that choppy and cut up–until I read the new version. So, DrMemory, I highly recommend reading the unabridged version. (And if you’ve never read The Talisman, that’s my absolute favorite, and the one I’d recommend most.)
Other favorite scenes–Frannie burying her father gets to me every time. Stu’s escape from the CDC, and Larry following the trail of Payday candy wrappers. The Lincoln Tunnel scene freaks me out completely, probably because I’m inside it so often. Joe/Leo and the guitar, Tom and Stu snowbound in the hotel … really, I just love the whole damned book.
I think The Stand, along with The Dark Tower series will be thought of as King’s mangum opus. Really a great book.
I liked the beginning, when Captain Trips is just starting to get out of control, following the chain of how it’s spread. Seemed to me like… it could happen. It really could.
Other than that, all my favorite scene have already been mentioned. I wasn’t wild about the miniseries, though. I felt like Flagg’s should never really have been displayed directly; I always thought of that line from “Come Together”: “Got to be good-looking 'cause he’s so hard to see.”
Two scenes in The Stand have always resonated with me, and they’re both minor, almost throwaway little riffs on the story.
The first is when the four heroes are walking to Las Vegas, per Mother Abigail’s instructions. Glen Bateman goes off to bury their trash from (breakfast? Supper? Some meal, anyway) and Kojak comes bounding up to him. The other three men hear Bateman say, “Well, there you are, you big lazy turd.”
I don’t know why, but that has always made me laugh.
The other scene is very touching. When Stu and Tom Cullen are traveling by Snowcat back to Boulder, Stu wakes Tom up one morning by telling him “Merry Christmas.” Stu has raided some stores in the nearby town, and gotten presents for Tom and for Kojak. He’s even set up a little Christmas tree with tinsel. In a brilliant (and, I feel, completely correct and insightful) characterization of Tom, King has Tom at first experience joy and excitement about Christmas, just like any child. And then, almost immediately afterward, Tom becomes angry with himself for not remembering to get Stu anything. Stu’s handling of that situation is perfect. I just love that scene.
Further proof, to me, that King’s strength isn’t necessarily writing horror – it’s writing characters that the reader comes to care about.
The part that gave me chills. Trashcan man motoring around in the desert looking for weapons for Flagg and ‘knowing’ there’s a stockpile of more bio-weapons, possibly ones even worse than Captain Tripps, but not touching them because he realizes that those kind of weapons are too unpredictable. It’s the momentary sanity in his mind that was creepy.
Also, the part where the US gov’t decides to unleash Tripps on other parts of the world so it won’t look like the US created it. Creepy.