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The Stand
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Archived 2010 Group Reads > The Stand 03: Chapters 13-20

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Andrea Hi everyone! I hope you are enjoying this book as much as I am. I am still trying to catch up with the reading, but I figured I would get the section posted so people could start discussing.

Nathalie (natjen29) Already on my way to chapter 20. This is a breeze compared to other chunksters!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) It's so easy to just get swept along! King writes in such a conversational style. It's like he's just sitting there telling you stories, one on one. :)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Just finished this batch of chapters (with half hour to spare, so I'm still on time!).

I'm not going to give an in-depth review, but just thought I'd share some things that stood out.

- Stu faking a cough in front of that doctor, and then the doctor flipping out and running away--funniest thing in the book so far. I laughed out loud.

- I guess the doctors are wrong about the contagion not being able to escape air-tight spaces? That one nurse got sick, so unless there was a breach in her suit, that must be true.

- It's interesting that King uses real dates but not real names--he notes that the president of this time period was inaugurated on Jan. 20, 1989, but then doesn't mention Bush's name. I wonder why that is?

- I found that the Lloyd/Poke chapter dragged a bit.

- I actually wrote this down on the little sticky note I was using to keep track of my thoughts: "I <3 Nick."

- The recurring corn dream thing among the survivors-to-be (it's pretty apparent who they'll be) is interesting. I thought that this novel would be wholly science-based, and not have any paranormal threads, but that is making me wonder... NO SPOILERS THOUGH. I'll just wait and see as it unfolds. :)

- The way the government quarantined Shoyo without letting the residents know was really disturbing.

Nathalie (natjen29) I fell a bit behind on the third chunk we're devouring, but I've caught up this morning.
I found the Nick chapter very well written, although I did notice a few slight inconsistencies. Maybe my neurotic brain talking but I did wonder how he could imagine the sound of a word without actually having the ability to hear? I'm talking about INCOMMUNICADO. This could of course be fawlty translating (wouldn't be the first time)

As for Larry's and Fran's chapter. Nothing new emerges, it's just a elaboration at how the virus interferes with their lives.

At the moment Nick is the one I'm rooting for. I find Larry to be a bit of a scumbag and Fran to be a bit naïve. Of course I know where they are headed but I'm going on what I feel while I'm reading the current chapters.

The Lloyd chapter, in my opinion, is a particular case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I can't lay my finger on it, but I don't get the typical 'bad guy' vibes off of him, but I do need a chapter or more to figure him out.

On to the next..

Loretta (lorettalucia) @Nath: I can see what you mean about Fran being naive, but I think the pregnancy has already started to force her to grow up, and the spreading disease will only continue to do so.

LOL, and I'm glad someone agrees with me about Larry being something of a scumbag.

Is this the first time you're reading it? It's my first time, but I know a lot of others are re-reading.

Nathalie (natjen29) @ Loretta:
This is my third read, but the last time has been a few years. I'm trying to blank out thoughts of what is going to happen. The first few chapters are a bit fresh in my memory, because I read the graphic novel Captain Trips not too long ago, but I'm sure the rest will be wonderful to explore again.
I read so much that I tend to need rereads of my favourite novels to keep them close to my heart. :)

Andrea I am HOOKED on this book, I don't want to put it down!

My notes from this section....

Happy to learn that Stu looks like the virus cannot get to him! At the same time I am shocked that people are dropping like flies.

We are starting to learn a lot more about the virus as far as symptoms, detection, and incubation.

Deitz's report was really interesting and intriguing. Fran's mother is going to die! Wondering the fate of her sweet dad???

I knew right when Patty sneezed that something big was going to happen at the Atlanta facility. I wasn't surprised to later learn that Stu had been moved to Vermont and most of the people from the other facility are not around. Can we assume they all died for now? I hope King gives us a little more information about this.

The Poke and Lloyd chapter was really weird and the violence was a little disturbing to me. The Poke gets killed and Lloyd is hauled off to jail, I was surprised the cops didn't treat him with more hostility given the crimes! Now I am wondering how Llloyd is going to come back into the story again.

I am still loving the story of Nick and thrilled that he seems to be immune to the virus.

Everyone is so sick that the town (Shoyo) is pretty much shut down and no one really noticed? This means that pretty much the entire town is already so sick that the government doesn't even feel like they need to keep watch!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I want to defend Larry, but to do so I would be giving some stuff away. Let's just say that he definitely grows up. I'm a fan. :)

Andrea Kathy, I see something in him that has thus far kept me from trashing him. I'm holding out hope that he is just acting his age and is not a bad person. I honestly think that a lot of the stuff that was presented as his faults with his mothers relationship was indeed a two way street. I am still shocked by the layers of character development.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Exactly! I love it when an author can still make a character likeable even through all their faults. Larry is like alot of guys his age....immature with alot of growing up to do. No offense to anyone, but I've known alot of guys....and girls in their 20's, who have alot of growing up to do. So, alot of it is that. I think he's going to suprise alot of people.

Nathalie (natjen29) Kathy wrote: "I want to defend Larry, but to do so I would be giving some stuff away. Let's just say that he definitely grows up. I'm a fan. :)"

I know he grows up, but like I said, I'm going on emotions I feel when I read the chapters and at the moment he's not my favourite person in the world. :)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I understand what you are saying, Nath. That's fair.

Andrea I am so glad that this book is so developed with great characters that it is really sparking some great discussion!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I think whether you love the characters or hate them, it's just proof of how well developed and real they are. Otherwise we wouldn't have such strong opinions about them. :)

Nathalie (natjen29) Very well said Kathy!

Andrea Yes, very well said indeed!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Thanks, guys. I may be a bit biased where Stephen King is concerned. He's my favorite author and The Stand is my favorite book. (Hence 3 times reading it now. lol)

Yassemin (yas666) Kathy wrote: "I want to defend Larry, but to do so I would be giving some stuff away. Let's just say that he definitely grows up. I'm a fan. :)"

I agree with you as regards to Larry!

Have to say if I had to pick my favourite though, perhaps Nick..I like him a lot too!

Loretta (lorettalucia) I think the interesting thing about Nick is that, although he's the youngest main character (or second youngest, behind Frannie), he's possibly the most mature, as life has forced him to grow up very, very fast.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Nick is very mature. Life definitely forced him to grow up faster, Loretta, I totally agree.

My favorite would be Stu, though. He's a down to earth real guy.....I'm ahead, so I don't want to say too much. lol

Nathalie (natjen29) My favourite hasn't entered the scene yet! .. but M-O-O-N spells it loud and clear! :)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Nath wrote: "My favourite hasn't entered the scene yet! .. but M-O-O-N spells it loud and clear! :)"

Oh, Nath, me too! (nuff said. lol)

Andrea I love the little bits you guys are giving us to keep us looking forward to what we are in for!

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Andrea, just feel free to shush me if I start telling too much. I can get carried away!

Andrea No way, like I said I love it!

Nathalie (natjen29) Well Andrea we are here to try and win over as much possible future King-readers as possible.. We could get paid to do that, but we love his writing way too much to ask for such a thing, don't we Kathy! :)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Absolutely, Nath! Call it positive peer pressure! lol And we volunteer to do it! :)

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Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) Just finished this section up 2 minutes ago! I am huge fan of Nick. I loved getting so much back story on him. I have to agree that as of right now I'm not a big fan of Larry, but it seems from the comments that most likely will change as the book progresses. Frannie is starting to irritate me a little bit too...but I guess she is going through a lot at the moment and can't always entertain us

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Alot of the characters grow up alot throughout the book. Which I think is what would happen to any of us put in that situation. I would like to think I would grow...

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Gwenyth Love (everythinggwenny) True enough. I actually can't wait to see some of the characters grow up a bit. I have a little advance information as I watched the mini series, but I know how often book and script do not match up so I'm not putting a lot of weight on that

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) As much as I do love the mini-series....the book is much better and there is alot missing in the mini-series.

Andrea Kathy, you mention some really good points. I think that in a situation like they are in you have to grow up quickly to survive. In reality I think both of our two young people are acting age appropriate. As far as Nick, he is just mature beyond his years and that is also contributing to making the others seem so much younger.

message 34: by Kathy (last edited Sep 22, 2010 06:49AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Exactly Andrea. Nick's "disability" (and I use that term only because I can't describe it any other way, even though he makes sure it doesn't limit him) has forced him to grow up very early. Whereas Frannie and Larry are in their early - mid twenties and that age is notoriously selfish and self-absorbed (speaking from experience....I have a 21 year old. lol) You hope that they will grow up and mature as they get older, but in this situation.....where survival is the focal point....they are forced to do that quickly if they want to survive!

Andrea Well said Kathy!

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I am getting caught up, I finished sections 3 and 4 last night. I never thought I would hear myself say this about a Stephen King book, but I really like this book. I am hooked. I am on my way out the door, but will come back later tonight or tomorrow and post my thoughts.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I'm glad you're enjoying it, Lyn M! Welcome to the club!

Nathalie (natjen29) Yep. .welcome.. Another convert Kathy!! :)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Whoohoo!!! :)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Nothing new for me to say, but a couple of thoughts

I, too, liked the fact that Stu faked a cough and that the other person flipped out. Interesting that the nurse has started coughing and sneezing. I guess the suits did not protect. I am really curious as to why some people are immune.

I think Nick is a cool character. The jury is still out for me on Frannie and Larry.

I did not like either Poke or Lloyd, but particularly Poke.

The recurring corn dream has me really intrigued.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I wanted to cheer for Stu when he faked a cough! They deserved to get freaked out for a moment after all they were putting him through! It's definitely an interesting question as to why some are immune and some aren't. Epecially when some people seemed so healthy before this. Interesting thought.

I don't want to say too much about Poke and Lloyd or the dreams. It's so hard having read this twice before, to bite my tongue and not say too much.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I know, you and Nath have to be really careful not to spoil it for the rest of us. Just want you to know we appreciate it and that you both are reading this with us!

Nathalie (natjen29) My pleasure Lynn.. reading the Stand is like meeting up with a great friend you haven't seen in a while. You feel comfortable yet you seek what has changed since the last time you've read it. I definitely got a whole other frame of mind this time.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I'm always catching little tidbits I missed previously. And there is always something new! :)

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Amy (bibliocrates) Okay, so I read Week 3 last night, as I slept all day with this dang head cold!

I don't remember this Poke and Lloyd business from my last read. I do remember the shooting scene in the mini-series though. Poke died, so we know we won't see him again. However, I know we will see Lloyd again...

So, basically, in this week's reading, we saw the introduction of some bad people, we got a little behind the scenes information from the military and the scientists who drug many infected people out to Atlanta, and, still, more people are getting sick!

We already knew that some good people were going to survive this "Captain Trips" virus (Stu, Frannie, Larry) and we are getting the sense that some bad people are going to as well.

Right? Did I miss anything?

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) No, Amy, you got it! :)

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Amy (bibliocrates) There was one part that I still find confusing. The part where someone named Starkey was in a lab and talking to some people in Sipe Springs. Was it a military thing? Did they "close" that town down, i.e., shoot everyone or something, because the press was there? This was Chapter 17 BTW if anyone wants to help me understand it better.

Andrea Amy, I think your thought are on the right track. I went back and read over that first section of the chapter and we know that Starkey looks in some kind of manual and it says that he should order "Troy" We don't know what that stands for but it's safe to assume that it means kills those who will cause trouble (or all). Right after the reporters are killed and the down becomes empty.

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Amy (bibliocrates) That's what I got from it. So it's an indication of more to come then. They are trying to keep captain trips a secret and will do whatever it takes... Scary!

Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments Ok so the Poke and Lloyd scene was incredibly disturbing to me, but then again, I freak out about things with not breathing. Anyhoo, Frannie is likeable enough, but so young and childish that it's a bit annoying. I get that she's being all modern woman, but frankly, if her boyfriend helped make the baby, why shouldn't he be allowed to be involved in its life, should she choose to carry it to term? He's just as fact, in many ways he's being far MORE responsible than she is.

I'm sure the Starkey thing is foreshadowing quite a bit, so I'm sure we'll see lots more of that.

Still trying to decide what I think about Larry, but I think he's mostly just a young kid who got a lucky break too early, before he was really ready to handle it, and thankfully had someone to make him see the light before it went too far, and now he's having to learn to take responsibility for a few things. I think we'll see a lot of good growing up in him by the end.

And yes, I'm amazed at how far I already am into this and how much I'm enjoying it, despite the sheer number of characters. He really does know how to develop his characters and story and I'm looking forward to the rest of it :)

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