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The Body

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4.28  ·  Rating details ·  35,823 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews
In 1960s America, four young boys go on a journey to search for the body of a boy killed by a train. As they travel, they discover how cruel the world can be, but also how wondrous.
Paperback, Penguin Reader: Level 5, 80 pages
Published December 20th 1999 by Penguin Books (first published 1982)
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Angelica I'm 14 and I just read it, it really depends on the maturity of the person. Lots of swears, but really not too graphic.…moreI'm 14 and I just read it, it really depends on the maturity of the person. Lots of swears, but really not too graphic.(less)
Mariel No, the movie is toned down by removing a fairly graphic sex story within the story.

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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  35,823 ratings  ·  1,170 reviews


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Nataliya
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who's looking for a well-written character-based story


For all of those who keep insisting that Stephen King is a literary equivalent of Big Mac and fries, writing in the comfortable confines of the frequently-despised 'genre' - please take a look at The Body: The Fall from Innocence, which is much more familiar to public in the quite faithful adaptation by Rob Reiner - 'Stand by Me'.

It's not King's trademark horror; it is actually free of the constraints of any so-called 'genre'. It is a coming-of-age character-study novella set in 1960 Maine wher
...more
Peter
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
Interesting novella showing the lives of four young boys growing up in the early 60s. Teddy, Chris, Vern and Gordon ("Gordie", the narrator who later becomes an author). You'll find typical small town life (Castle Rock), references to other King works (Cujo) and see the boys gradually loose their innocence and childhood. They are looking for the body of Ray Brower (of course I had to think about Henry Bowers from It). You'll read a lot about violent fathers, how to get acquainted with women and ...more
Leo .
Feb 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Well what can I say? What a great coming of age drama. King at his absolute best. When this story was made into a film Stand By Me with River Phoenix and Keifer Sutherland I thought there is no way they will make the movie as good as the book. Well I was wrong, the film is brilliant too.👍🐯

"So darling, darling, stand, by me, oooooooh! Stand, by me..."
...more
Carol
I really liked the movie Stand By Me so I knew going in to expect a great read, but what I found was so much more.

The Body is a timeless coming-of-age story. Set in late summer of 1960's Maine, four twelve-year-old buddies, all with strangely abusive and dysfunctional families, take a longer than anticipated walking trip in hopes of seeing a dead body rumored to be hit by a train. As their many harrowing adventures and touching personal stories unfold, they run into big trouble with some older d

...more
Emily B
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I decided that in 2020 I would try harder to read some Stephen King. After reading The Body I wish I had started with it.

I didn’t really care for the two short stories within the novella. When the first one began I was wondering if I had a weird electronic version that mixed two separate novels together.

What I liked most about the novella is the idea that the most important things are the hardest things to say.

‘The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get a
...more
Sandeep
This story is a journey of young boys growing up, loss of innocence, and friendship. This is probably the most authentic coming of age story I've experienced. These kids feel like REAL kids. They act and speak like actual 12 year old boys would, which I'm thankful for because I think a lot of adults who write about young kids or teens have forgotten what it's actually like to be one.

Stephen King can definitely write the best child characters. The amount of depth he installs in his characters and
...more
Duane
This early Stephen King story was adapted into the 1986 movie Stand by Me. The setting is 1960s Maine where four young teens take a walking adventure trip looking for a dead boy's body. If you grew up in the 50s and 60s, this is the kind of stuff you would do, damn the consequences. Great story telling by a master story teller. ...more
Helga
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: stephen-king
“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. It’s hard to make strangers care about the good things in your life.”

Besides Charles Dickens and Ruth Hogan, Stephen King is one of the few authors I admire who has always been able to stir so many different emotions in me in a single book.

Any other author could have written the simple story of 4 adolescents, who decide to embark on a journey to see the body of another youth, who has been killed by a train. But no
...more
Elisabeth
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 stars
Simply amazing.
Kerri
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This my second reading of The Body, and its just as powerful this time round, at times even more so because knowing how it ends changes how it reads, if that makes sense. It's strongly linked in my mind with the movie (Stand By Me), which really captured this story, I think. I picture Chris as he was portrayed by River Phoenix for example (the same goes for the rest of them). For me the movie blends perfectly with the book (in my mind at least). I think it is a story I'll return to many times, b ...more
Jaclyn
The ways in which kids feel pain, and love and loss are distinct. The Body is an adventure from the outset, a tale of friendship and a coming of age novella about the loss of four young boys innocence. Do the people you surround yourself with hold you up, or do they hold you back? Will they stand by you? This theme is questioned throughout the book, notably from the wiser than his years Chris Chambers. One of my favorite scenes in the book comes near the end, when the boys are making their stand ...more
Jonathan Dunne
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Forget writing courses. Read 'The Body' by Stephen King and you'll learn all you need to know. ...more
Em*bedded-in-books*
Dec 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Stephen king is one of my favourite authors, and I never let an opportunity pass when I can read his book. This book was chosen as the weekend read this past weekend, and I plunged right in. Though most of his books are a hit with me Some are a miss. Fortunately this one was a hit.
This is almost a growing up story,, the story of four boys from a poor neighborhood you come to know of another that boy lying further off atah riverbank miles from where they are. They plan to walk up to the body to
...more
Henry
Jan 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A moving account of four twelve year olds in 1960 embarking on a ridiculous adventure that is beautifully written and incredibly moving. One of King's best: no ghosts, vampires, horror or supernatural things or beings (of which he is a master). Just four boys doing the kind of thing that 12 year old boys do. The very successful movie "Stand by Me" is based on this novella. ...more
Marie
Nov 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The straightforward, but somehow magical recount of four boys looking for a body, sounds like it should be so much less than it is. The harsh reality of life, leaking out of a would-be romantic childhood adventure, lulls you into the wonder of youthful friendship, then slams you hard with the realization that life happens to everyone, and nothing about that is fair.
You wouldn't need to read between the lines for this to be a great story. King lays everything out for you, gut-wrenching but heart
...more
 Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ
With a Little Help from My Friends by The Beatles

What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do I feel by the end of the day
Are you sad because you're on your own

No, I get by
...more
Himanshu Karmacharya
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller."
This is what I thought about when reviewing this book. Words cannot describe all the feelings it made me feel. It left me with a hole in my heart, as I cannot fathom how to cope, now that the book is over.
...more
Nicholas
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, the-king
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have pe ...more
Olivia
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
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Reading this book reminded me of how much I love reading books that are either narrated by a children or feature children in them as the main characters. This was a great coming-of-age story. It made me smile, laugh and, feel sorry for the kids. It's a great story of friendship and childhood. This is my third Stephen King novella and something I've noticed is that all his books seem to have references from the other books. For example, in this book the fictional prison of Shawshank is mentioned.
...more
Peter Derk
Sep 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
When we visited my grandma, she had one VHS we watched all the time: Stand By Me.

It was like a ritual. Every time we visited, when it was time to find something to watch, that's what we watched.

It was like a ritual because I don't know how it started, and I don't remember the last time. But for years, it's what we did, and just the look of the movie reminds me of visiting her house.

It made a great movie for this sort of thing. When you're a kid, Stand By Me is just a little...advanced. Or it
...more
Kelsey
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't know why, but I just couldn't get fully into this. I really wanted to as the film is one of my favourites. But I just couldn't. I found myself skimming a lot of it and even skipping large chunks. It was still really well written and I know the story is a good'un, so I really have no idea why I couldn't get into. Maybe the film overshadowed it too much or something? I don't know.

But I did like the fact that the ending gave you more details on everyone's futures. I'm still not really sure
...more
Madeline
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This audiobook takes me back to the movie.

Stephen King’s words are so strong, so clear, so vivid, they make me weep with emotion.
Hafsa Sabira
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This short story is beautiful beyond description. Where do I even start?

At first,I must put a few words about the cover and the title. In our literature classes we were often required to analyse the cover pictures and the titles and were asked to find their relation with the content of the book. If that's the case with this book, it's just about 100% perfectly matched with the context. See how it's 4 boys walking along a railway track? That's pretty much the whole story right there.

If there's ev
...more
André Mwansa
Dec 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favourite by this author. .......
Kyra Leseberg (Roots & Reads)
I was surprised as a teen to learn the movie Stand By Me is based on this novella by Stephen King. I've never been a huge King fan (I'm aware of what it means to admit this; please don't send hate mail) but added this to my TBR years ago because I loved the movie so much.

The Body is a coming-of-age story set in 1960s America following four twelve-year-old boys on their adventure to find the body of Ray Brower along the train tracks in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Full of nostalgia f
...more
Catherine
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite, 2017
"'I'll see you."
...'Not if I see you first...' He walked off, still laughing, moving easily and gracefully as though he didn't hurt like me...Even if I'd known the right thing to say, I probably couldn't have said it. Speech destroys the function of love..."

The Body made me feel nostalgic for summer experiences me and my friends never got close to having. Adult Gordie's reflections were so honest and heartfelt I could picture myself in the novel walking alongside the railways with Gordie, Chris,
...more
Fred
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Hello, welcome to another episode of Fred-Reviews-Books-Literally-Five-Minutes-After-He-Finished-Them!
After taking a very quick break from the (still very good) book I am currently reading, I started Stephen King's The Body last night and finished it just now.
I could not stop myself from reviewing it immediately; maybe a sign of how good it was!

The Body, or Fallen from Innocence (alternate title), is the novella which inspired the very well-known, revered film Stand By Me. It follows four young
...more
✦BookishlyRichie✦
Dec 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as the movie.
I have never read a Stephen King book before and I'm so glad
that this was my first. I must have more King now. I just loved
the rawness of the story, and how these characters worked. Chris
is my favorite character in the book and in the movie and this novella
makes me want to watch the movie right now. If you have not seen "Stand by me"
then go rent it or watch it online. It's a perfect coming of age movie and the book
is just as perfect.

-R.D.
...more
Melissa Coyle
This brought back memories of the boys, and now the men that I know. There was a freedom before I-Pods and Xboxes, for adventures, daring, swearing, smoking, neighborhood sports that forged a brotherhood of respect (or not) amongst these lads. It has made them who they are today. I love how these cranky twelve year olds plan an adventure out of the curiosity of seeing a dead body. This story was a walk down memory lane! :D
Allison Krulik
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story! This one and the rest of the short stories from Different Seasons were all awesome!
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more

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