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The Stand
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Archived 2010 Group Reads > The Stand 06: Chapters 29-34

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Andrea Hi guys, I apologize for the delay in posting this weeks thread. I hope everyone has a great week :)


Nathalie (natjen29) Guess I'm the first to have finished this section, or at least comment on it.

My first thought were that it focused more on the bad side of surviving. The baddies that didn't die.

Lloyd entered the scene again, and he got me wondering if that rat is going to be tasty. I felt no compassion for him, only contempt for him maintaining that he wouldn't be in this kind of sh*t if Poke hadn't been there.

Another fragment of Randall Flagg, the one who haunts dreams and the first one to have side-effects from the pandemic, rather scary side-effects.

Then a new guy. Trashcan. Seemingly the uncontrolled factor, the crazy roaming the street, a stray bullet of some sort.

I loved the escape of Stu and I felt horrible for Nick. He has gone through so much and still his ordeals aren't over yet.

I'm straining myself to not read quicker than our schedule.. luckily I've got other books to divide my attention from this one. :)


Andrea Nath, I keep going ahead and then putting the book down and going to another book.

I was so thrilled that Stu escaped and I strongly agree with him that he was going to be shot if he spent another minute there.

The rat thing with Lloys had me feeling sick! The new addition of Trashcan has me wonderinghow he is going to fit into the story.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Just finished this section, and like Nath said, I am wondering why so many baddies are surviving. I wonder if they will turn out to be good guys in the end, or if King is setting up so that there will be good and evil left.

Definitely did not like the scene with Lloyd and the rat. It was a little too gruesome.

Not liking Trashcan Man either, for some reason. I get the feeling that he is supposed to be a misunderstood and sympathetic character, but he just doesn't seem that way to me.

Glad that Stu finally got to escape.

I also felt bad for Nick, the poor guy. He is definitely an illustration of how sometimes life is just not fair!

In fact, there was a lot of bad stuff happening in this section. It was a bit harder to get through for me, there were so many gruesome scenes. Not just Lloyd and the rat, but Randall Flagg and Kris, Nick and Ray. The detail with which King paints these gruesome scenes is more what I expected from him. He seems to be really good at them, but they can get to be a little much for me.

I'm still enjoying the story,though, and wondering where it is going to end up!


Andrea Lyn, I agree with you that this sections was a little much for me too. If the whole book was similar to this type of action I wouldn't like it at all. I think as long as it stays in little parts I can take it and will continue to like the book.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I think that if there's good, there will also be bad. They go hand in hand, so to have a world of all "good" isn't very realistic.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I finally got around to this section--packing and hunting for an apartment took up soooo much of my time, and I also allowed myself to be completely distracted by another set of books.

Anyway, my thoughts:

- Damn, life just loves to take a crap on Nick, doesn't it? I can't believe he might have (probably?) lost an eye due to the same ass that beat him up earlier. If anyone in this novel deserved a more gruesome ending than a bullet in the side, it was that guy.

- I agree that Lloyd's statement that he would never have gotten into so much trouble without the influence of Poke is complete and utter BS. I actually felt much worse for the rat than for him in that scene.

- Glad Stu was able to make his escape.

- The electricity and other utilities are finally going out. It will be interesting to see folks adapt to living without those.

- The Trashcan Man chapter seemed to go on foorrreeevvveeerrr.... I found that chapter a struggle to get through, and thought it could have been tightened up quite a bit. I hope he doesn't become as prominent as some of the other characters, though I'll admit the final image of a fire spreading through the Midwest was pretty haunting.


Nathalie (natjen29) Now that you mention it, I found Trashcan moment in the sun also a bit sluggish. A lot of background being forced upon you at once.

If you find fire haunting, might I suggest Under The Dome by Stephen King as a possible read, to supply you with fresh nightmares ;)


Andrea After watching Graveyard Shift with Brian I slept in the middle of the bed smashed against him and I kept think I could hear rats!!! I have too much of a vivid imagination to watch stuff like that, for some reason reading it doesn't bother as much.


Nathalie (natjen29) Andrea.. don't read Gerald's Game by King then. There are some scenes that make my stomach turn, and my stomach is made of iron, no kidding.

Under The Dome isn't so scary, it mainly made me cry. I really shed some tears in the end.


Andrea Maybe we can nominate Under the Dome at some point. Right now I think a lot of people read it too soon so they wouldn't want to read it again so quickly.


Nathalie (natjen29) True.. and maybe after this epic tale most would want a break from King. He's awesome, but less is more in many many scenario's.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I love Stephen King! He's my fave, but I always tend to need to spread things out. I can't read multiple books by the same author or even in the same genre. I need to mix things up.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) The Trashcan seen did seem to go on forever, although I agree that you have to have the bad with the good, but I still don't like them!!


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I don't like them either, but the Trashcan Man really makes me feel sympathy for him. He is totally unbalanced, but is that his fault? Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of that character...but he makes me feel really sorry for him. :(


Andrea He was super creepy , but he must have some sort of mental illness and that makes it okay and interesting. I'm waiting to see how he is going to come back into the book...


message 17: by Amy (last edited Nov 28, 2010 08:23PM) (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) Y'all forgot about Christopher Bradenton and his encounter with Richard Fry (a.k.a., Randall Flagg). He was a new character. I don't understand the introduction of this character, as he obviously dies. I guess, it was so we know how Randall Flagg ended up with a vehicle? I don't know... I love King, but, sometimes, he could really do with some major editing, you know?

I liked the Trashcan Man chapter. A lot of his chapters were cut from the edited version. I'm glad King put him back in the story.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) You are right, Amy. The Richard Fry and Christopher Bradenton encounter really doesn't seem to have a point to the story as a whole. Maybe just to show how Fry/Flagg operates?


message 19: by Amy (last edited Nov 29, 2010 01:47PM) (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) That's what I was thinking Lyn. There are many more aliases to come...


Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Lyn: Yes, I don't think this encounter had much of a point, and I think Amy was correct in saying that King needs a more assertive editor who is willing to say that some parts need to be cut. I'm enjoying the Stand (up to 80% done this week!) but I think it would have been a stronger novel if it were tighter.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) This is my 3rd reading and I have to disagree Amy and Loretta. I think he knows what he's doing and everything has a meaning. All the more reason for the Complete and Uncut edition. Everything was put back in as it needed to be. But, I am one of his "Constand Readers", so I may be biased.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I have to say, I am a first timer. I have only read one other book by King and that was in 1978 (I kid you not!). But I am ready to read another after this one.


Andrea I read the Green Mile years ago when it came out in little books. From more experienced King readers I hear that this was not King-like at all. Like Lyn, I'm also looking forward to my next King!


Loretta (lorettalucia) I don't think this is a problem for all of King's work. I don't remember The Shining, for example, feeling like it needed to be edited. The Stand just feels a tad bloated to me, personally.


Andrea Bloated?...hehehe Well said Loretta :)


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Well, to each their own. Maybe you guys would've prefered the cut version. Unfortunately, it's not available anymore.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Although, I have to agree that there are items in this version that don't seem to be integral to the story, I don't know which are ones that were not in the original and which are ones that were. It's all good to me.


Kathy (bookgoddess1969) It's all good to me, too, Lyn! That's why I keep coming back to it!


message 29: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) I too am a Constant Reader Kathy, and I am a big fan of SK. Perhaps I was slightly misunderstood. I figured the Richard Fry chapter was all about giving us a taste of Randall Flagg and his evil ways. King was showing us how he operates. I get it. However, I just felt it was not really necessary, especially in a book that is already so long and epic. Much as I love him, I stand by my statement that he could use some editing (no pun intended). Richard Fry/Randall Flagg using a sleazy car salesmen to obtain a vehicle... not important enought to write a whole chapter about. I'm just sayin'

;o)

P.S. The Stand is NOT my favorite book by SK, BTW.


Loretta (lorettalucia) Amy, which is your favorite?


message 31: by Amy (last edited Dec 01, 2010 10:47AM) (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) Hmmm...

I'd have to say The Talisman still holds that spot. However, he cowrote that one with Peter Straub and there is a sequel to it, The Black House, which I haven't yet read, so...

'Salem's Lot is a fave because it is old school horror, about old school vampires. There are some truly scary scenes in that book. It had a lot of atmosphere and imagery. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.

Also, I quite enjoyed his latest one, Under the Dome, which had quite a strange ending, one I wasn't expecting at all. I see a common theme in a lot of the SK books I've read, a lot of religious undertones, good vs. evil, for instance. This one, however, smacked humanity in the face without that, in such a way that left it up to the reader to interpret. It's hard to explain without spoiling the story.

Really, though, I've enjoyed all of the SK books I've read, but only a few get that 5-star rating.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I've only read about 5 or 6 myself, but I'd have to say that The Stand is one of the best, though it seems to be less traditional horror than much of his other work.

Otherwise, I really enjoyed The Shining, just for how creepy and scary it was, and the Dead Zone was really good too.

I hear good things about the Dark Tower series, but I've also heard that the first one is the best, so it seems quite a commitment when you consider that the highlight of the series comes so early on. I haven't decided whether/when I'm going to read that one.


message 33: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) Yes, The Dead Zone is really good. I love The Dark Tower, can't believe I left that out! Many would disagree about the 1st book being the best, but it definitely sets the pace of the series. If you like fantasy, you'd probably enjoy it. Stephen King doesn't just write horror novels. So many people fail to realize that.


Loretta (lorettalucia) I don't read fantasy as often as I probably should, considering I do really enjoy it. I've actually promised myself that I'll be reading at least the first book in the George R.R. Martin Fire and Ice series, A Game of Thrones, before the series starts on HBO (I think in March?).

I'm assuming Dark Tower is more contemporary fantasy though.


message 35: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Dec 01, 2010 12:42PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Amy wrote: "Hmmm...

I'd have to say The Talisman still holds that spot. However, he cowrote that one with Peter Straub and there is a sequel to it, The Black House, which I haven't yet read, so...

'Sale..."


Amy, I am laughing because of your description of Salem's Lot. I have to totally agree!! In fact, Salem's Lot is the only other Stephen King book that I have read, and I read it when it first came out. It scared me so badly, that it took me this long to read another book by him! Just goes to show you how good he is at what he does.

And I am one of those people who did not realize that he wrote fantasy books as well as horror. I have heard good things about the Dark Tower series, and want to read that series at some point.


message 36: by Amy (new) - added it

Amy (bibliocrates) LOL Lyn! I definitely want to re-read 'Salem's Lot very soon. There is a short story about a couple people whose car breaks down, during a winter storm, I think. Anyway, their car breaks down at the exit to Jerusalem's Lot, and, well, things happen ;o) I believe it is the 1st story in Night Shift, but I could be wrong.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I have actually been toying with the idea of re-reading Salem's Lot, just to see if it is still as creepy!


Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I enjoyed Stu's escape as well, but the encounter with Fry was very disturbing. I actually didn't mind the trash can man section. I kept thinking of all the times Mythbusters does a big explosion and when he blows up the oil towers, I thought "what an awesome explosion!" (Not in the evil "I wonder who all it's going to burn up?" kind of way that the trashcan man does, just that it probably looked really cool).

Lloyd still disturbs me, although I don't like the idea of ANYONE starving to death locked in a cage, no matter who he is. And the creeper who tried to blind Nick after all he's already done to him? Glad he's out of the picture. And glad Nick was able to kill him in self-defense, knowing he chose to let him out and not make him die a horrible death. Better for his conscience.


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