StandAlong ~ Halfway Point

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.



  1. I don't think it's weird at all. Things get cut from books and movies for a reason. I rarely ever see a deleted scene or section that truly adds to the reading/viewing experience. 800 pages is plenty, as you point out.

    I'm always surprised that Stephen King does these things, too. In his book On Writing, which is wonderful by the way, he says that second drafts should always equal first drafts minus ten percent. He even includes a short story draft with all his edits and cuts along with the final version to illustrate his point.

    I read The Stand in a couple of days way back in the day, probably high school or college, and enjoyed it. I don't really see why it's become the big fan/cult book that it has. I always thought Carrie, Salem's Lot and The Shining were much better.

  2. I loved The Kid!!

    Wait. That's not quite right. I love the existence of The Kid. He is one evil mo-fo. I feel bad for the people who read the version without him.

  3. Oooh, I've only read the uncut version, so it's interesting to know which bits are extra (I did know about The Kid, but not the others!) I really liked all the stuff with Frannie and her mother, so I'm glad I didn't miss out on all that!

  4. While I didn't read the uncut version, I do think the story did not benifit from additional pages. Thanks for the encouragement, I will finish, because I do that.

  5. I learned about The Kid not being in the original recently and I really could have done without that section. UGH. I love Stephen King but I really, really hated that scene with Trashcan Man and would have gladly skipped over that if I could have. *shudders*

    I've been "educating" myself on Stephen King works this year and so far I love several of his stories and can completely understand why this is a book that people love. I know I'm going to re-read this one again in the future!

  6. I quite agree that the uncut version could use some cropping, not that I have read another version. This was my first time reading a Stephen King novel. I finished it early as well. Really enjoyed it, but would have gone for the shorter version if I had it to do over.
    After having a devil of a time getting used to all of the characters, I was really invested in the story and the characters.

  7. It's interesting that those are the scenes that were cut. I'm reading the long version and I haven't read the cut version. I wouldn't have missed the parts with The Kid. I feel like I've mostly blocked them out of my mind anyway. I do think, though, that Fran's relationship with her mom explains so much about her character and I think it would be a different story without it.

    That being said, Fran drives me nuts.

  8. It's so interesting to hear that the original was cut for marketing purposes rather than editing purposes! The Kid is right after the second half--I know because I stopped to write my review yesterday and then the very next chapter was the roadtrip. Shudder.

    I'm still on the fence about Fran. Wishing she would stand up for herself a little more--act like the survivor that she is.

    I think if I read this one again I'll do the original version since I already have the copy.

  9. I think I might be the only one in the Standalong who read the original version. I researched it first, but I think I made the right decision for me. I tend to wish most author's books were better edited, not longer. I'm glad you posted about this! I've been really curious about what I missed, but I really enjoyed the book as it was.

  10. I do think that the uncut edition could have use some pages less. Not all of the 400, but definitely a hundred or two. I still enjoyed it though and I can really see why so many say it's King's best work!


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