The Stand was a readalong proposed by the warm and amazing Trish over at Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity. As you might notice from the above icon, the RAL is suppose to last over two months...well, I was a bit more ambitious and felt an immediate urgency to finish the darn thing, which is what I ended up doing. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time out midway through to write a halfway post. And because I don't want to the arse to spoil anything, I'm just going to post a wrap up post for the end of July. Of course THAT post WILL contain spoilers, but at least I won't be spoiling it for those who follow rules and have paced themselves with this readalong.
Instead, I thought I would discuss general thoughts on a second time around reading. Especially since THIS time around I read the uncut version rather than the initial published version. Plus, let's keep in mind that I was in middle school when first reading it.
My biggest question while reading The Stand this go around was what's the difference in the versions? So, rather than finishing THIS version and then pick up the mini chunkster (800 some pages rather than the 1200) I thought I'd just research it.
And what I've come up with is the whole chapters of The Kid and Trashcan Man are in the original uncut as well as Frannie's in depth relationship with her ma. The Kid vs. Trashcan was horrific, wasn't it? (I'm glazing over it because I truly cannot remember if those graphic scenes are in the halfway point or not...but man alive, they were cringe-worthy-graphic!). Can you imagine a version WITHOUT THE KID? He was a version of Beelzebub that walks around normally. America's Most Wanted, much? Most of King's characters had redeeming qualities, even the Evil Ones. The Kid, however, was a true sociopath, and I'm glad that he was in the .001% who survived Captain Trips.
I really think the development of Fran's character is spot on and the early interactions with her mom and pop make her a strong character in my eyes. She's someone that I can relate to. And Everyman, if you will. Fran's not over the top brave, she doesn't find herself in many situations questioning her choices, but she still must make some important decisions to remain authentic while building a future in a world where a future seems unlikely. Fran moves away from the young college Self into a woman, without pretension or over-the-top weepiness.
Overall though, I found the additional 400 pages to be over the top and largely fillers. I remember being completely engrossed in The Stand, the cut version. This one, at times, sorta dragged for me. Is it weird that I would rate the cut v with 5 stars ans the uncut v with 4?
CANNOT wait to hear everyone's thoughts at the end of July so I can blab mine.