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The Stand
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Archived 2010 Group Reads > The Stand 12: Chapters 51-52

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Andrea I almost forgot to post this weeks thread!

Nathalie (natjen29) You're forgiven :) and cute new pic!
I might be running a little late. It's moving week + I will have no internet connection in the new house until the 22nd. :(
I'll try and post from work, which requires some trickery.

I'm set on reading this section though and commenting before I go on an internet sabbatical.

Loretta (lorettalucia) I'm almost done with this section... just a few more pages of the second chapter to go, but I couldn't keep my eyes open last night.

Loretta (lorettalucia) OMG, Kojak!!!!!!

I was so, so, so happy to see him again, even if he did have to go through so much to get to Boulder.

He's actually only the second character, after Mother Abagail, that has faced and vanquished representatives of the Dark Man, right? Unless you count the sudden tornado that Nick and Tom escaped from. I'm so proud of our little canine friend. I hope he's not the last of his kind.

Other big events seem to be:

- Harold has truly gone over to the dark side. I was so holding out hope that he'd switch back in the end (didn't he originally dream of Mother Abagail? I can't remember. It seems to me that, if he did, he was originally intended not to be so terrible).

- Interesting that Leo couldn't even bring himself to go into his house. I guess some people are even more sensitive than others.

- I can't help but feel that Mother Abagail is being too hard on herself (or that God is being too hard on her) for her sin of pride. The poor woman has worked so hard, for so long. It seems like sending her out on some survival/meditation mission is just asking too much. :(

Whew, finally caught up. I still have tomorrow to read Week 13, and then I'm totally caught up. :)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Oh! I almost forgot...

I have to say that I agree with Fran that sending a spy in Tom who doesn't really understand what he's doing over in Las Vegas is a tad unethical. I understand that it's necessary, but since this is shaping up to be a fight of good against evil, I guess I want the good guys to be really, really good.

message 6: by Andrea (last edited Nov 21, 2010 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Andrea I'm caught up to this section and I have to say that I couple times I almost had to put the book down because I was creeped out.

The first time was when Fran climbed into Harold's basement, I thought for sure she was going to get caught! Then hearing about poor Kojak I was so sad to hear about what happened to him and his brutal attack.

Like Loretta, I'm still holding out a smidgen of hope that something will happen with Harold to make him turn back to being a good person. I think he has the potential he was just so hurt by what he read in Fran's diary that it flipped a switch in his head and made him crazy. I'm not saying he wasn't crazy before, but I think he walks the line and he could go either way. I also think that way Stu talked to him was the first step in turning him back to the good side. So I will continue my vigil that he may still turn!

I'm really nervous about the plan to send people to Las Vegas. If the dark man is an powerful as we are lead to believe then there is no way that he will not see through this as a ploy and bring harm to the people. I couldn't help but picture poor Tom nailed to the cross outside some posh hotel. I also was shocked by the unethical treatment of a person who is disabled.

I'm off to the gym before I jump into week 13!

message 7: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Nov 30, 2010 03:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Finally finished this section and started on section 13.

I was on pins and needles the whole time that Harold, Stu and Glen were looking for Mother Abigail. A part of me kept saying that Stu is too major of a character to be killed off, but I'm not really familiar with King's writing, so I don't know if he would kill off a major character for emphasis.

I was really upset that Frannie got interrupted and didn't find Harold's ledger. I am hoping Harold gets caught before he does too much damage. I just do not like the boy. He creeps me out. In fact, I wanted to hit Stu upside the head when he started thinking that maybe he was being to hard on Harold. I wanted to yell at him "HE WANTS TO KILL YOU, YOU IDIOT! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!" lol

Also, what do you think the significance of Nadine Cross visiting Harold is? It seem ominous to me. Maybe foreshadowing?

I was glad to see Kojak show up, and to read the story of how he fought the wolves of the Dark Man and won. Interested to see what his role will be in the story to come.

As far as sending people to the Las Vegas to spy. I'm not sure. We are always hearing about how the Dark Man is watching the good guys, so it would seem to me that he would know that they were spies. It just seems a little too easy to me for it to work. As a result, I am really upset that they are planning to send someone as naive and trusting as Tom. The others can understand the risks and decide whether or not to take them, but I just don't see Tom being cognizant enough.

Well, on to Section 13

Loretta (lorettalucia) Lyn, I had the same question you did re: the Dark Man figuring out who the spies were, but I'm wondering if that's not an indication of his limited powers. Mother Abagail calls him the Devil's Imp, which would indicate that he's a servant to the Devil, and doesn't hold all the powers that a traditional understanding of the Devil would.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Good point, Loretta. So maybe the eye that sees is the Devil, but the Dark Man is only his mercenary?

Loretta (lorettalucia) Maybe. It's hard to say. Even up to where I am (I've finished Week 15, so I'm current), his powers still seem a tad opaque.

Nathalie (natjen29) Finished this section.

I agree with most of what has been shared of these chapters already. Sending the spies is truly a step in some direction and I'm not sure whether it's the right one or not. Even with knowing the outcome, I can't make up my mind. For some reason I believe that sending the spies tells me more about the society the 'good' guys are setting up, instead of the information they will probably extract. Even when Tom got safely back, what could he possibly be telling them of importance. M-O-O-N spells that it's the wrong thing to do. I was surprised (and had forgotten) that Nick selected him. Of all people, I would think Nick to be his friend. Somehow this lowered Nick in my esteem of him. He seems to not have so much trouble to go over bodies when it comes to the greated good. A wise decision in the long run, but it doesn't make good friends.

Harold, Harold, Harold, what to do with you? Seriously, he sends out so many mixed signals, I'm not sure he belongs on either side. He seems someone always caught in the middle, not good enough for Boulder, but not evil enough for Las Vegas. He seems more like a puppet than anything else. To his own hurt feelings and might not the influence of the dark man strenghten the wrongness that he feels has been done to him.

Another thing popped into my mind while reading this. The battle between good and bad seems to be going on, on American soil, but what happened to the rest of the world. Surely there must be survivors in Europe.
We know that the world suffered alongside America, from the early chapters when they deliberaly freed the virus in other countries so the origin couldn't be found.
Just something I wondered about.

Well into the next section, but The Woman In White is distracting me immensely. :)

Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Nath: I was also very disappointed in Nick for this decision. To be honest, he seemed disappointed in himself as well.

And I wondered about the same thing! I think I said so in my comments for this section or the next one... What is really weird to me is why we're not hearing about the Americas, generally. Like, I understand with no planes, etc, we wouldn't hear from Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, any of a number of islands. But North and South America are just one huge land mass, and there are no physical barriers preventing Canadians from coming down, or Mexicans from coming up. Why haven't we heard more about these folks?

message 13: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Dec 01, 2010 02:45PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) The thing with Nick picking Tom is that I think that Nick sees him as someone who could not be swayed. He is just too out of touch with reality. I do agree, though, that picking him makes Nick, who has so far been the best of the "good guys" seem quite mercenary. Therefore it does tarnish his otherwise exemplary behavior.

I was wondering the same thing about the rest of the world, Nath. What has happened to them? Although, I assume they are having their own struggles, but King is focusing on America as that is where his story started.

Wouldn't it be cool if King wrote a sequel, or companion book, that dealt with what went on in Europe and Asia?

Andrea I also have wondered if it was limited to the US or did it impact the whole world.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I think it had to impact the whole world. Otherwise another country would have moved into America to fill the void, it seem like.

Andrea Lyn, I think that is true as well.

Loretta (lorettalucia) Well, I think we all know the superflu affected the whole world. But I know what I've been curious about is why people from different countries haven't been pulled in these directions--Mother Abagail's side and Flagg's side.

Like, I kinda want to know if anyone in, say, Brazil dreamed of Mother Abagail. That would make a good sequel, you're right Lyn.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Wouldn't it, Loretta. It would be awesome.

Loretta (lorettalucia) I think a collection of short stories would be really interesting. Like, just a small selection of countries. One Western and industrialized, like France or Germany. A South American country, maybe one of the major cities. An island nation, because they'd be totally isolated, maybe in the Pacific. Maybe two African tales, Northern and Sub-Saharan. There are so many possibilities...

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Maybe we should send him this idea, lol. I would really go for it, and short stories would be good.

Nathalie (natjen29) Andrea wrote: "I also have wondered if it was limited to the US or did it impact the whole world."

It is mentioned that America deliberately set the virus free abroad so the blame couldn't be put with them. It was mentioned under a codename.. (I'm suspecting Trojan but I'm not 100% sure)

Nathalie (natjen29) If you're interested, in his newest book (Full dark, no stars) is a novella related to Mother Abigail in the slightest manner, but still, for those interested :)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I have heard that it is really good, Naths. I have it on the horizon at some point.

Loretta (lorettalucia) Nath, is that the first time Stand characters have been used in King's other work? (With the notable exception of Flagg, who I know is in the Dark Tower series, as well as elsewhere I believe.)

Andrea Oh wow, I will be adding that one to my list Nath!

Nathalie (natjen29) He has created a complete universe where books bump against each other. Commonly known as his Castle Rock books. Characters who are the main in one book, can be put in little roles in other books, and it all ties in beautifully.

This book, however, ties in with the Dark Tower. Randall Flagg, for instance, is a bad guy who initially appears in the Dark Tower. Another book where he is amongst the leads, is The Eyes of the Dragon
You've got Duma Key, where it is speculated that the main character is descended of Abby Freemantle.

If you want to know more about the intranet that is the oeuvre of Stephen King, I might suggest reading The Road to the Dark Tower: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus. It's a complete inside work of the ties between his novels. (Well, the dark tower theme)

Sorry I was so late in answering, but the upcoming holidays have made my schedule insane!
But feel free to ask questions, I think I might qualify as a King dictionary. :P

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Thanks Nath. You are a King dictionary,which is great. I think the next King books on my list are going to be the Dark Tower series as I have heard so much about them.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Lyn M, you won't be sorry! That series is great! I'm actually planning a reread soon of the entire series. Good times! :)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) They are on my 2011 list.

message 30: by Nathalie (last edited Dec 19, 2010 01:22PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nathalie (natjen29) Lyn.. I can only add to the positive feedback you've gotten.
The dark Tower series have a prominent place in my bookcase with being in ready acces in case I want to get reacquainted with what have become friends.

Although I give a little advice. Don't give up on the first novel (The gunslinger) It's a bit of a struggle to get through (I thought so and I've heard others complain about it as well) but his prose changes dramatically in the next. Much easier to read and so compelling.. I've read them all in little over a month and some of them can apply to be chunksters.

You won't regret it. :)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I completely agree, Nath! I had to read The Gunslinger a second time and liked it even more the 2nd time. Then flew threw starting w/ book 2! But it's sooo worth it! :)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) That's funny, Naths. I was just going to ask you about that. I have heard from a lot of people that the first one is a bit hard to get through, so I was going to ask your opinion. I have been aptly warned, so I am expecting it, but it is nice to know that both you and Kathy concur with what I have heard from others.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) You can definitely tell that the first book was written quite a bit earlier! He went back later and worked on Gunslinger a bit to make it a smoother transition, but it is what it is.

Nathalie (natjen29) Luckily it's not the size of the others.. :) That ought to be some comfort.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Very true. It's like half the size of the others. lol

Loretta (lorettalucia) Was it originally intended to be a series, or did he write the novel and decide to write the sequels later? That could probably account for the differences...

message 37: by Kathy (last edited Dec 22, 2010 09:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) As far as all I've ever read about the Dark Tower series, it alway was going to be a series. But he wrote the first in the late 70's and the rest were written over 10 years later. The last one was just written in 2004, so that's a huge gap.

Loretta (lorettalucia) Huh, I wonder why there was such a large gap between the first and second one. I guess he was distracted by everything else he wrote in the early '80s?

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) I don't know. According to him, The Dark Tower series was always in his mind, waiting to be written. Who knows how a writer's mind works. Maybe since he knew this was a big project it was easier to work on and publish the stand-alones as he worked on it. Who knows?

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) That seems to be a trend that is forming. Jean Auel just wrote the last of the Earth's Children's series, after a gap of almost 15 years. Katherine Neville took 25 years between The Eight and The Fire. Nelson DeMille has done something similar. Maybe they just get tired of the current series and decide to take a break?

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Well, as far as Jean Auel goes, from what I've read about her, she spends the time in between doing really in-depth research and visits caves and whatnot. Her characters might be fiction, but the world is real and that's how it was. She's very thorough and knowledgeable. I'm looking forward to the last one.

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Same here, Kathy, although it has been such a long time since I read the others in her series, I was thinking I might re-read the last couple, at least, to prepare.

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Theres so much in them, that thats a really good idea! I might too. :)

Alana (alanasbooks) | 456 comments I was surprised that Nadine showed up at Harold's as well. I think it shows a great deal more about her character than his. And the whole thing with sending Tom to Flagg's group made me sick to my stomach. Why did Frannie change her vote? It's one thing to send an old man who can make his own choices, but to hypnotize a mentally challenged man? Despicable. What's to separate them from the group in Las Vegas? Using people is using people, no matter which "side" you're on.

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