Friday, January 27, 2006

Looking back on "The Stand"

I've been paging through Stephen King's "The Stand", and have you ever noticed that the female characters in that book do nothing but cry, get pregnant, and do little household chores? OK, there are two who don't fit that description, one of whom starves herself in a religious daze. That doesn't redeem King.

King's usually pretty good at making his characters come to life, but he was asleep at the wheel for "The Stand." It's a decent storyline, in part, but his characters are just boooooooring. Also, the uncut version was updated to 1990, when the original story happened in 1980. That in itself is not a problem, except he didn't update the characters accordingly. One 21-year-old character makes a reference to Pat Garrett, which seems kind of odd for a 21-year-old in 1990. The songs they reference are all pre-1980, as if the 80's music scene just never happened. Actually, that's a problem in all of King's books, but it's particularly noticeable when you compare the original Stand with the uncut version.

I like King's early work, I really do, but someone really needs to rewrite "The Stand." Someone other than King.

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