Marisa
Marisa asked:

I'm a big SK fan but have yet to read The Stand! It's next up on my list. With that said, should I read the original version or the updated and uncut version??

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Andrew Horton The uncut is unbelievably bloated; it's probably the single greatest argument for a good editor in publishing history.
Ben Miller Before you decide, read King's introduction to the uncut version. Besides being very entertaining, he essentially tries to talk you out of reading the uncut version while at the same time justifying its existence. After you read that, if you are intrigued by the uncut version, go for it. I chose to read the uncut version, and I really enjoyed it.
Kelly I read the uncut version and loved it, but would love access to the original just to see the difference. I love all the subplots and how they intersect, but it is definitely a long book that require pacing and commitment.

But if I had to choose, I would always choose the uncut. More of SK is never a bad thing. And The Stand is an epic story, I believe in this case, more is better.
Kevin I read both!
30 years ago I read the cut version and rated it as THE best book that I had ever read. I did not want it to ever end! (At this point I must say that I generally tend to go for books that are between 300 to 500 pages) So when the uncut version came out I was excited but also a little apprehensive about starting it again and putting so much time and effort into re-reading a book.

I also hadn't read any Stephen King in a few years and wasn't sure if he could conjure up the same emotions in me that his early books did. In truth, I was afraid that it might be dated.

I was wrong to worry! It is as absorbing and mesmerizing as the original cut version and again I did not want it to end!
Also, because I liked it so much, I re-read Dead Zone, Firestarter, Cujo and Different Seasons and loved them all over again. And finally got around to reading Christine (superb as well) among others. In total I have read 29 of his books and re-read 5.

He is not perfect though and 3 of his books did not work for me and I gave up on them (Lisey's Story, Gerald's Game and From a Buick 8) and some that I finished were only ok (Rose Madder, Hearts in Atlantis and Under the Dome {good characterization but weak story})

I am looking forward to taking on 11.22.63 next!

Sorry, I only meant to write one paragraph but maybe like SK I decided to give you my full uncut version))

Kevin

Teun Segers I'm at 90% of the uncut version right now. Although it is reaaally long, i'm glad i got this version.
Mike I don't read books twice, so I'm listening to the uncut version. I'm not going to listen to the cut version, just to turn around and reread that entire book plus the parts added back in parts in the uncut version!
Best case scenario for each are the same, so here are your worst case scenario for each.
1) Read the cut version only to want to read the uncut version after that.
2) Read the uncut version only to realize it was long winded and parts could have been left out.
-
Best choice = #2 - Read the Uncut version and be happy, or in my case, listen to it.
J.A. Ironside I love the uncut version. Just finished my 9th reread of it. I think if you love SK give it a go. I can understand why people find it bloated but this is one book where I've drunk the Kool-aid and I am happy to spend even longer in that universe.
Psych3man Uncut, definitely. The stories within the story are excellent.
PSXtreme I've read both, but preferred the uncut version more. There was even more original content that still was not included in the uncut version (about 200 pages) and was kept out specifically by King. The original version had been cut simply as a cost-cutting exercise. The Publisher originally didn't want to eat the extra cost to publish the 1153 pages and felt the public wouldn't pay the additional costs at the register (stated in the new introduction by SK in the uncut version).
Wendy Yes read the uncut version!!!
Adriaan Du Toit That depends on whether you're a fan of Stephen King or just a fan of apocalyptic fantasy-horror.

The uncut version dilutes the latter with the former.

To me, this was a good thing. I read King because he creates amazing characters. Not because his stories are necessarily satisfying.

If you're after a great story, read the original.
If you want more King, read the uncut.
George Tocco I am 63% the way through which mean I am on page 914, but I highly recommend going this route. I have read many reviews people getting burned out around page 600. In my opinion how could you, the story just keeps moving along really well and you become so invested in the characters. I also disagree with people saying it is long winded. In the beginning of the book Stephen King talks about the length of it and agree's this is really long, he also gives a great point of taking out all the details is like rushing through Hansel and Gretel. I feel that the uncut version definitely deserves a chance. Plus its what he originally intended when writing it in the first place.
Lisa Hall Definitely read the original edited version. I LOVED the first book - rate it as one of my all time favorite books. When I read the uncut version, most of the time, I found myself saying - yep, the editor was right. Most of the sections cut were character development prior to the onset of the super flu. Most of them were pretty benign and did not really add, but there were several lengthy scenes that were just harrowing in a very negative way, to the point I wish I could mind wipe them. Really wish I had stuck with the original book.
Checkman I say read both. I would go with the uncut version first and then read the 1978 version. However the edited version has gotten pretty hard to find. Amazon or Ebay are good places to look, but you'll pay for it. Try used bookstores. I found my 1980 paperback edition at my local used bookstore. Have fun and good luck.
Nan I just finished an uncut audio version of this book (47 hours 47 minutes). Loved it and I'm glad I went with the uncut version!
Sharon I read the original in 1978. I'm surprised it's not listed here. The "uncut and updated" edition was more drawn out and parts detracted from the various story lines. It's still my favorite King novel with Talisman a close second. I agree with Checkman: read both. I did. You can always check the local library for the older edition.
Mike Steven Definitely the original. I read the extended version and there's over 700 pages of wasted writing.

Also, the bad guys are far more exciting than the good guys in this novel which offers a kind of skewed morality when reading it.
Robert The only one who can judge whether a work is "bloated" or contains what it should contain is the author. King had many years to think about how he'd envisioned The Stand and whether what first saw publication fit that vision ADEQUATELY. He determined that it did not.

In approaching any work of art, the artist has the first and final say. If it contains imperfections, has a brush stroke that could be improved on, or whatever, so be it. It's kind of like entering a marriage contract. You don't get to pick and choose what you'd rather not see in your partner any more than you can lament what you believe to be missing.

Love means never to having to say "cut out the stuff about you that I can't understand." If you love King, trust in his judgment as an artist. Walk along with him and try as best as you can to be in his shoes, see through his eyes.
Ian I read the extended edition, i loved the characters and the journey. Afterward i looked up what was added, and i am glad i read the uncut version, some of those added scenes, although some may seem unnecessary for the plot, are totally worth it and will stick with me.

Trashy's encounter with The Kid, the vignettes of all the people who died... i hear these were cut from the original and these were some impactful scenes.
Patti I have read both versions. Multiple times. I strongly recommend the uncut version. There are interesting subplots (The Kid) and little vignettes that I found really great.
Nick I love The Stand and have never read the extended version of it, nor do I intend to. The original version is perfect just the way it is. 800 pages is quite enough. I fear that the additional 300-400 pages will just be the kind of boring, self-indulgent, cocaine-fueled masturbation King delivered in It.
Jen For what it's worth, the uncut version is the version that Stephen King prefers. I'm reading the uncut version right now and SK's intro includes his reasoning. If you aren't up for reading both versions, find the uncut edition, read his intro, and decide from there. His explanation was enough to convince me to read the longer one.
Candice O'dell I have read this book(both versions) probably 30 or more times, and love them both. I would start with the uncut first.
Kayla I am also "listening" to the uncut version. I don't see the reason to read the cut and the uncut version.
Scott Chadwick If you have a lot of time on your hands or are a speed reader then try the uncut version. Either way you are not going to miss out on any plot lines
Matt Keene I've just finished the uncut version -- I've never read the original edited cut and, in fact, had never previously read any of King's novels. I'm not a guy who generally signs up for 1,500 page books, but I blew through this in a couple of weeks. Without having read the original, I can see what parts of the uncut version could be excised, but I enjoyed -- and marveled at -- King's comprehensive character and plot development. Easily one of the best five books I've read in the last five years.
Britton Wingfield Read the original, edited version. Turns out that a good editor is important.
Shaun Uncut. If you're going to go for it, then go for it! Of course, you posted your question six years ago so hopefully you've made your choice by now. :)
Todd Gerundo Uncut edition
Jessica Lindsay As someone who read the uncut version - do not do that to yourself. It's immediately apparent why this content was cut. There are entire pages that any competent editor would have cut out, because they're just repeating the same information we just heard. Entire chapters that are just "watch this character deliver the same piece of news to every single relative in their life". The uncut version of the Stand is the best argument for why you should send your books to an editor that I've EVER seen.

I LOVE King books, I devour 1000 page books like It; and this was a slog for me to get through. I almost gave up on it. If it wasn't for the saving grace that's the last couple hundred pages, it honestly would've been my first ever DNF.
Evan I read it as uncut the first time and second time.. then uncut on the third. If this is your first read through.. I would say go with the uncut..and preferably for one of the earlier editions where the story takes place in 1980.

While the uncut version is a good read to see what he left out and a great prequel to " the Dark Tower" series... it's attempt to 'stay current' and name drop to try to pretend it takes place in 1990 just doesn't fly with me. ALL of the cultural references, overt unsubtle hick racism, attitudes, etc..are a clear reflection of the U.S. as it was in 1977..not 1990. .. Save it for the second read through in another 5 years.
Clare Kelsey I have only read the uncut version of The Stand and rated it 3/5. I also want to make clear that I do enjoy long books; I thought It (also by King) was amazing and would not have wanted to see any sections cut out. (Well actually there was one part I could have done without. If you know, you know.) However, while reading the uncut version of The Stand, I often felt like the book was just dragging on. So many parts of it were not necessary. For this reason, I would nudge other readers to pick up the shorter original version. Although I have not read the original, I imagine it would be more enjoyable without all the excruciating details and small "subplots."
Stuart S I've only read the uncut version, shortly after it came out in the early 1990s. Loved it - over 1100 pages but they just flew past. Not once did I tire of it.
Jamie Homer Hey Marisa! I’ve not read the original shorter version but I would always go for the most thorough version of a book that I could get my hands on. I literally finished the uncut version last night and really, really enjoyed it. Didn’t want it to end. Go with the uncut version gets my vote!
Jamie Gogocha The first time I read The Stand, it was the original version. A few years later, after the copy I loaned someone never came home, I went to buy another copy and found the uncut version. After I read it, I was floored. While the extra stuff didn't add to the plot, necessarily, it added so much to the emotional experience and toll the story took. I'm on my fourth time reading The Stand now, and will always choose the uncut version.
T.HiggsReviews I see you haven't read the book yet so I'll chip in. I plan to read The Stand this year and I'll be going for the uncut version. I like to read books and watch films the way the creator intended for us to experience them and although I have never read a cut down book before I have seen some cut films before and have always found myself preferring the uncut versions as in my opinion studio interference always ruins things.
Christopher Your question was 4 years ago, so I'm sure you must have made your decision by now. I have only read the Uncut version and it's my favourite novel alongside It.
Laura E. Mackey I read the original and loved it. Then I read the uncut version and somethings that just seemed to be in the original made more sense in the uncut. I now have the audio of the uncut and I am enjoying it as well.
Roy I say read the uncut version. However, don't be intimidated by the length. Don't treat it like one giant book. Break it up into manageable parts. What I did was try for 100 pages (more or less) a day. That way it's not so daunting. I just reread it for the second time. I didn't try to speed through it. I took my time and tried to enjoy it as much as I could. I consider it a worthwhile experience.
Sandy Kandt-michael Read the first one 30 or so years ago and was sorry to see the story end. I will say this, if you are going to invest time in reading The Stand then definitely take the time to do it right the first time and read the uncut edition. SK puts you into the heads of his main characters and makes the stories within the story that much more thought provoking.
Steeve I just ordered the uncut version not realising that there was such a beast. At first I thought, "wow, I don't remember this book being > 1000 pages". I'm about 1300 pages in and while long I recommend it only if you like long, slow, plodding reads. I really wish I could remember the original but I read it in 1978 or 79 and my memory ain't what it was.
Joanna I disagree with Andrew, respectfully. LOVED the uncut version and I don't even LIKE King normally.
Angela Greven I always said I would read this when I retire - well, now I'm retired, and I am reading the uncut version. I think the uncut version would be the way the story really is.
Mindy I went for the uncut version and I think it took me about a month to listen to the entire audiobook, but I personally enjoyed it. SK does say you won't miss anything important in the cut version, except the uncut gives a little lead in to the dark tower series.
Dobe original version and I feel that still is his best novel!
Patrick I read both and while the edited version moves more swiftly, the uncut version has some great background material that makes you say, "Oh, that's why....".
Amanda Aragão i will always prefer the uncut version of everything, but "bloated" really is the best definition. however, i'm glad that i'm reading this one.
Vivienne Ferrill I've read and reread both. If your short on time (LOL) go for the original. The uncut version takes place 10 years later but at this point all of the musical and some of the political references are out dated. The uncut version offers back stories on minor characters but isn't different enough for me to suggest one over the other. I haven't read SK for a few years but this is in my top 5 of every book I have ever read.
Donna I wondered which version they are selling most now. I have both, I bought the original edited version when it first came out and then the longer version when it came out. I still have both copies, treasured among all others. When I downsized my living space and sold or gave away most of my books, even the Stephen King ones I had bought the second they came out (at a book store of course), I still have both versions of The Stand. I would read it again and again. So I am surmising from this post that it is the extended version that is selling most now? I would advise reading the original edited version. You won't miss a thing, really. Then read the extended one. You should be able to find the edited version in a library, yes.
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