Jennifer's Reviews > The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King
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Jan 10, 12

bookshelves: rubbish-bin
Read from January 09 to 11, 2012

It is probably 15 years at least since I have read a Stephen King - I remember reading the Talisman which King wrote with Peter Straub and I really enjoyed it. But I have read 3 or 4 others which I enjoyed less, and picking up this novel reminded me of why I have left it so long.
King is a lazy, talented, jaded writer, in my opinion, who rehashes his technique without much modification, into endless plot variations, well written and often imaginative in their graphicness and horror. His characters are as minimal as he can get away with, and he really can't be bothered describing them doing anything that is not directly important to the plot, though these plots can be very convoluted (especially as he has trouble resolving the snowballing apocalyptic types of situations that we see in his epics) and so there can be a lot of meetings with a large cast of characters, who nevertheless lack depth and life.
King writes for his US audience entirely, and his books are so steeped in his own contempt for the ignorance and poverty of culture of his own country that they can be a bit toxic in his longer works, IMHO. Hey, I might be underqualified, as I haven't read a lot of King, and I'm possibly remembering wrongly, but it seems to he that his baddies are either pure incarnated evil, often helped by cheap supernatural tricks and aided by dumbass, ignoramuses who use incorrect grammar and left school early and speak with southern accents. His goodies are more educated and sensitive and speak in proper sentences. Blacks and other ethnic groups rarely appear and are usually in cameo roles, and women are mostly useful as weaklings to have violence done to them or compassionate angelic figures. He is the Sultan (I hesitate to say King!) of Stereotypes and would be well aware and unconcerned about this. He writes firmly for the mass market and takes few chances with his successful formula, it seems to me. In this way, I think he lacks respect for his audience and his own work, and I wouldn't bother with another one of his epics. I think he writes bloated short stories pitched cynically to make money. And he's good at it. The man has talent - talent that he has pimped out for the dosh.
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