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The Stand: Cut Vs Uncut?

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message 1: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Hey, guys,

So I got a copy of The Complete and Uncut versions of The Stand for Christmas, and yesterday I got a second-hand paperback of the original, cut copy of The Stand, which is under 1000 pages.
So, have you guys read both versions? Which one was better? I'm torn, because it sounds like Stephen King would release the uncut edition filled with unnecessary info that really doesn't help the story at all, so I'm reluctant to read either one.

Which one should I read?


Gerd I enjoyed both versions, but I did read them years apart.

Far as I remember the major difference lies with a character that doesn't appear in the shortened version and more background on the Trashman.


message 3: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Does the character add to the story? That's my biggest concern with reading the uncut, most times it's just stuff they didn't want to use the first time around so they try again to get some more money for it.


Shaun Bossio For me, I found the additions to be great. For instance, there is an entire chapter in the book that focuses on people throughout the country that somehow survived Captain Tripps, but died in other ways. I thought it was fascinating that he would take this detour to show the scope across the entire country. I think it is one of my 2-3 favorite King books and I would much rather have the additional material. I think you will find that The Stand is one of those books that you never want to end, so having a few extra hundred pages is a blessing in disguise.


message 5: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Would it be worth it if I read the cut version then waited a few months and read the uncut, or does that sound like a waste of time to you guys?


Shaun Bossio Honestly, I think you will start the cut version and wish you had more exposition, namely that which is supplied in the uncut version. I bet if you start the uncut you will be done much faster than you think. It is one of those books that is very difficult to put down once you start.


message 7: by Gerd (last edited Feb 16, 2014 08:54AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Gerd Bailey wrote: "Does the character add to the story?"

Difficult to say, he didn't add much to the story experience for me, but I felt while reading that he is an early incarnation of his Gunslinger Character for the Dark Tower series of books.

So, yeah, the cut version may work better for you.
And there's no reason not to read it again later in the longer version.


message 8: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Ok I may do that :-)


message 9: by Ted (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ted Scofield I have read both versions, and the unabridged version of The Stand is one of my favorite books of all time. Read it the way Stephen King intended it to be read.

(King didn't choose to cut it down in length; his publisher forced him to do so. At the time he didn't have the power to refuse.)


April Bailey wrote: "Hey, guys,

So I got a copy of The Complete and Uncut versions of The Stand for Christmas, and yesterday I got a second-hand paperback of the original, cut copy of The Stand, which is under 1000 pa..."


I believe the Uncut version would be best. I prefer uncut versions in everything though to get the FULL experience originally intended for us. lol


message 11: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly That is certainly true. The only thing is though that King says that the story really isn't and different, he put together what his editor recommended be removed originally lol. I will likely read both to compare/ contrast


Richard i'm not sure there is any point reading both but if you do i'd so so years apart. The cut version is a great story, the uncut a more luxuriant version - some of the additions are a labour (Trashcan Mans travels) but some, as mentioned above with the chapter about survivors dying in other ways, are a pleasure

i struggle with The Stand these days as it is so religious. I didn't mind in the 80's but these days being a confirmed athiest the absolute presence of God in the book is distracting


message 13: by Joe (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joe Humphrey read the uncut version. Seriously.


message 14: by Shan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Shan Bailey wrote: "Hey, guys,

So I got a copy of The Complete and Uncut versions of The Stand for Christmas, and yesterday I got a second-hand paperback of the original, cut copy of The Stand, which is under 1000 pa..."


I read the unabridged version and I felt it was way too long. Definitely read the abridged version. I'd bet money that you won't miss the extra fluff.


message 15: by J. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J. Gowin Unless you are fixed for time, read the uncut version first. If you read the original edit first, you'll end up reading the the longer version anyway just out of curiosity. The only reason to intentionally read both is to compare the work of different editors.


message 16: by Checkman (last edited Feb 18, 2014 02:38PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Checkman I do have a few observations about the 1978 edition vs. the 1990 expanded edition.

The biggest thing about the novel is that it was written by King in the mid-seventies when he was in his mid-twenties. Which probably explains the.....I guess the "attitude" of the story. Call it a Seventies Vibe. It works and I like it. An acquaintance of mine describes the novel as a "counterculture wet dream" and I would have to agree with him in many respects.

Lately I've begun to take into account how old an author was when he or she wrote their novel or short story. It's important I think. With a long time writer like King (who has been getting published for over forty years now)it can really explain allot. Even King in a new introduction to the recent paperback printing of "The Shining" says that there is a cocky tone to the writing. King was in his twenties. We are always changing as we go through our life. Opinions, beliefs, and so on do not stay the same. Where the writer is in their life when they wrote a particular story or novel is important to understanding why the story takes the path it does. Well at least for me it's important. It helps me to enjoy the reading experience more.

For example, during the mid-90's I was more in tune with the cutting edge and popular ideas and fads. The various clever little phrases like "My bad" and "Baby's got back" , the hottest bands (Nirvana and Stone Temple Pilots anyone?), coolest actors (Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey) etc. I was also cockier and quicker with a sarcastic retort.

I wonder if this is true for many folks. Now I really don't care so much about the flavors of the month. I have other things to deal with. My sixteen year old daughter sometimes finds me "so nineties".

Anyway I think this can be applied to The Stand . It's a novel that is a creature of the mid-seventies written by an intelligent young man in his twenties and very involved with the current events and attitudes of the time. Well I don't know if he was "very" involved, but most people are more in tune with pop culture in their twenties.

Setting it in 1990 made it feel dated. But for whatever reason(s) Mr. King thought the story needed to be updated. As an old science fiction fan I would have kept it in 1980 and just stated that it was taking place in an alternate timeline. But it isn't my novel is it?

Overall I like the expanded edition. However there were a few things I wouldn't have put back in. The biggest would have to be The Kid. I don't like that character and I don't believe it added anything to the story. I prefer the 1978 version. (view spoiler)


Richard agree 100% - The Kid was a dull addition that served no purpose. Kings 1970's and early 80's writing is by far his best. I think he peaked somewhere around Christine, he's still good but that hungry savage writing he head is now quite dilluted


message 18: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Richard, I wasn't aware of the presence of God in the story, I knew it was a "long tale of dark Christianity."


message 19: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Checkman, wow thanks so much for that!!


message 20: by Checkman (last edited Feb 19, 2014 07:19AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Checkman Bailey wrote: "Checkman, wow thanks so much for that!!"

So problem. As I get older I find myself becoming more aware of perspectives and the phrase "It's all relative" as taken on new meaning. LOL. Also my back aches more and I've lost (most) of the hair on the top of my head.


Checkman Richard wrote: "agree 100% - The Kid was a dull addition that served no purpose. Kings 1970's and early 80's writing is by far his best. I think he peaked somewhere around Christine, he's still good but that hungr..."

Well put. Now's he's uber rich and the hunger is gone. I sometimes think he is still writing because what else is he going to do with himself?


message 22: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly I disagree with that comment personally, I think he really enjoyed writing and that's why he does it lol I like both his old and new stuff equally.


message 23: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly I have The Kid as you call it on eBook but never read it yet. my library has the CD audio book so I might go the last way for a change with that one lol


Checkman Bailey wrote: "I disagree with that comment personally, I think he really enjoyed writing and that's why he does it lol I like both his old and new stuff equally."

Yes he must. I was amazed at how quickly he started writing again after his accident in 1999. King said that his writing helped his recovery.


Richard Bailey wrote: "I have The Kid as you call it on eBook but never read it yet. my library has the CD audio book so I might go the last way for a change with that one lol"

the kid is a character in the stand uncut, i think you are referring to the bachman novella he wrote which had kid in the title


message 26: by E.W. (new) - rated it 5 stars

E.W. Pierce Uncut is the way to go if you are a fan of Steven King or already love the Stand. For a more general fan, I'd suggest the shorter version.

That said, I loved the uncut version. Still wasn't long enough!


message 27: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Ah Richard, no I was referring to the Colorado kid


message 28: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Crawly Too short, Eric?? That things 1100 pages lol


message 29: by E.W. (new) - rated it 5 stars

E.W. Pierce Yea, the Stand is one of my favorite books of all time, so even 1100 pages isn't enough. :)


Cecilyn P. Bailey wrote: "Hey, guys,

So I got a copy of The Complete and Uncut versions of The Stand for Christmas, and yesterday I got a second-hand paperback of the original, cut copy of The Stand, which is under 1000 pa..."


Absolutely the Uncut version!


Dragonsbane The uncut version as this is how Stephen King wanted it to be.


message 32: by Rob (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rob The uncut version is definitely one of the best reads. Don't short yourself for a few hundred pages. Whats more important? cliff notes are getting the real deal?


message 33: by Kevin (new) - added it

Kevin The main thing about the uncut version, that King himself explains in the introduction to it, and that I haven't seen addressed in any of these replies, is that the book was originally cut not for editorial reasons, but for business reasons. The publisher just thought the book was too long and that that would affect sales.

So it's not like it was the work of an editor saying that that content was unnecessary for whatever reason, it was purely a business-driven decision. And King says that's why he was re-releasing it with the cut material restored.

Personally, I've always loved the cut version, and I've only read the uncut version once, years ago, so it's difficult for me to compare them. But since I haven't read either version for years, reading this thread has made me want to go back and read the uncut version again.

I suspect you'll enjoy whichever version you read. It's a great book. But if you're considering reading both, I'd definitely read the cut version first.

Enjoy


Cecilyn P. Kevin wrote: "The main thing about the uncut version, that King himself explains in the introduction to it, and that I haven't seen addressed in any of these replies, is that the book was originally cut not for ..."

I have to admit, I never read the cut version. I believe the movie was based on that one though, and I hated it! Maybe some day I'll read that one too, then go back and reread the uncut. You had good thoughts on this. Thank you.


Michael Casey I loved the uncut. I understad why they cut some of the earlier scenes of death, because they were getting a little redundant, and I get why they cut some of the backstory of the cameo role characters, but they completely changed the plot when they cut Trashcan Man's early scenes. Without those, the ending turns into a deus ex machina. With the scenes, the end makes sense. Poor job of editing in the cut version. You don't change the book to that degree.


message 36: by PJC (new)

PJC Ah, cut or uncut... The great debate. If you know what I mean.


Checkman Patrick wrote: "Ah, cut or uncut... The great debate. If you know what I mean."

Circumcised or uncircumcised?


message 38: by Fabitha (last edited Apr 16, 2014 03:15AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Fabitha Checkman wrote: "Patrick wrote: "Ah, cut or uncut... The great debate. If you know what I mean."

Circumcised or uncircumcised?"


LOL

Anyway, I read the uncut version first, and I think it's no use to go for the slaughtered one...


Checkman Fabitha wrote: "Checkman wrote: "Patrick wrote: "Ah, cut or uncut... The great debate. If you know what I mean."

Circumcised or uncircumcised?"

LOL

Anyway, I read the uncut version first, and I think it's no us..."


I read the edited version in the summer of 1985 when I was seventeen years old. Strangely enough in that version the story takes place in 1985. For that reason I'll always be sentimental about the original version because it's part of my youthful memories. However I also prefer the director's cut. I own both though.


Fabitha Checkman wrote: "I read the edited version in the summer of 1985 when I was seventeen years old. Strangely enough in that version the story takes place in 1985. For that reason I'll always be sentimental about the original version because it's part of my youthful memories. However I also prefer the director's cut. I own both though. "

That's similar to my experience with The Dark Tower: I read it when I was 19 years old and in 19 days :D (creeeeeepy)

I just think, since I figured out what was cut in the first version, it will be kind of a repetition read it. If I'd want to re-read it, I'll still go for the uncut. Thought I may be curious.


Checkman Fabitha wrote:That's similar to my experience with The Dark Tower: I read it when I was 19 years old and in 19 days :D (creeeeeepy)

I just think, since I figured out what was cut in the first version, it will be kind of a repetition read it. If I'd want to re-read it, I'll still go for the uncut. Thought I may be curious.


(*SPOILER*)

One of the biggest differences is that The Kid is changed into a dirty old man in a dirty t-shirt who smokes cigars and drives a Cadillac. He makes a go for Trashcan man in the motel and Trashy hits him and he leaves Trashy alone. He dies from a heart attack when they reach the Eisenhower Tunnel in Colorado. That's it. Other than that there are several chapters that are put back in. The biggest ones (in my opinion) would be the chapters detailing the final days of the United States during the plague and the chapter detailing the fate of some of the unlucky survivors after the virus had run it's course. "The No Great Loss" chapter I call it.


Fabitha Checkman wrote: "Fabitha wrote:That's similar to my experience with The Dark Tower: I read it when I was 19 years old and in 19 days :D (creeeeeepy)

I just think, since I figured out what was cut in the first vers..."


Ahahahahah well, you made your point xD I also understand that he cut the fight between Frannie and her mother...anyway, I was kind of shocked from The Kid uncut part...never know Stephen could go that far o___o


Checkman Yes I have never liked The Kid.
Haven't talked to anybody else who liked that character either.


message 44: by Will (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will Once I suspect that it depends on how much of a fan of Stephen King you are. The original cut version is perfectly fine for most people. The uncut allows you to luxuriate in the world of the book for quite a bit longer.

It's a bit like the Director's cut/ extended versions of the Lord of the Rings movies. My wife thought that the original unextended versions were too long. The boy was fine with the unextended but didn't feel the need to watch the full thing. I like wallowing in as much of the world as the director would like to give me.

Which is better - a quarterpounder or a half-pounder? That depends on how much of an appetite you've got.

BTW - I think the publisher was right in his original decision. The full version was probably too much when it was first published. It's a sensible move to bring out the longer version some years later when there is a clearer market for it.


Checkman Will wrote: "I suspect that it depends on how much of a fan of Stephen King you are. The original cut version is perfectly fine for most people. The uncut allows you to luxuriate in the world of the book for qu..."


Yes.Good comparison. My wife prefers the director's cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy while I actually like the theatrical versions.


message 46: by Michael (last edited Apr 22, 2014 07:01AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Michael Casey Checkman wrote: "Yes I have never liked The Kid.
Haven't talked to anybody else who liked that character either."


I actually liked to hate him, if that makes sense. I've met his type with high boot heels and almost incestuous relationship with their cars. He gave Trashy a different feel, though I'm not sure I can put my finger on exactly how.

I'm curious, which one did you want Trashy to burn to the ground more?


Checkman Michael wrote: "Checkman wrote: "Yes I have never liked The Kid.
Haven't talked to anybody else who liked that character either."

I actually liked to hate him, if that makes sense. I've met his type with high bo..."


You know I actually felt for Trashy (though I readily acknowledge that he was dangerous). I've been a police officer for 14 years and I've had contact with a few arsonists over the years. Not that long ago I had to help wrestle an arsonist who went berserk during his interview with detectives after confessing to setting fires. As we were wrestling with the guy I kept thinking "Trashy".


Michael Casey That's wild. And, yeah, I felt for Trashy, too. He was kinda like a rabid dog, dangerous, but it's not his fault. I'm guessing King did that on purpose. Kinda like God sent him there to destroy the Randall, or at least to foil his plans for the moment. Trashy could sneak into their group because he appeared to belong with the evil group, but deep down inside, he was good. After all, he hated the way the Kid died. He hated the results of what he did. He just couldn't help himself with the pyro stuff.


Fabitha Yeah, me too. It's only fair that King put some "not so good people" with Mother Abigail and vice-versa. It's the same with Harold: I can't honestly say that I hate him...


Checkman Michael wrote: "That's wild. And, yeah, I felt for Trashy, too. He was kinda like a rabid dog, dangerous, but it's not his fault. I'm guessing King did that on purpose. Kinda like God sent him there to destroy the..."

I heard one arsonist tell a detective that setting fires just made him feel better. He was also a cutter and said that cutting himself helped him to concentrate. Now it was just dumb luck that none of the arson investigations that I've been involved with involved anybody dying. Just dumb luck. Hopefully it will stay that way.


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