Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Stand-Along


Way back at the beginning of the year I got excited about the The Stephen King Project, and committed to reading at least one book by the famous author.  I am not a Stephen King virgin, although I am still what one would probably call a novice, only having read two of his books (Misery and Cell).  One I loved and the other, well, I was at least entertained even if perhaps not in the way the author intended.  There are certain King books I will likely never read (Pet Sematary and Cujo being among the top two) and others which are on my must read list (The Stand, The Shining, Carrie, the Dark Tower series, Dolores Claiborne and Dead Zone).

When I discovered Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity, was hosting a Stand-Along from June 1st to July 27th, I went back and forth: to join or not to join.  Every second of reading time I get these days is precious and I seem to have committed myself to probably more than I should have as it is.  But.  Try as I might, I am unable to stay away.  Besides, I did commit to reading at least one Stephen King novel.  Might as well be The Stand.  And if I don't finish the novel by the Stand-Along's deadline, that's okay.  Trish isn't likely to draw blood or beat me with a stick (at least I hope not). 

So, here goes nothing . . .

1. What makes you want to read The Stand?

Ever since I heard the story about The Shining, the one in which it's so scary it's worthy of hiding away in the freezer, I have wanted to read it.  Even though it's really not my usual type of book to read.  I am not opposed to horror novels by any stretch.  I've read my share of them, especially early on.  I tend to prefer a certain kind over another though (which is why I laughed my way through Cell and sat on the edge of my seat and felt the intensity of Misery).  My suspension of disbelief isn't so wide as to encompass everything, after all.  Still.  I want to try The Shining even though I have a feeling it will test the boundaries of my imagination--and maybe tickle my funny bone (although, I really hope not).  Honestly, I'm not sure where my preconceived notions about The Shining come from.  It has many elements I love and look forward to in a book.  Maybe it is because it's Stephen King.

There's also the fact that Jack Nicholson stars in the 1980's movie version.  And I really want to see the movie.  I can't do that, however, without reading the book first.  I made that rule a long time ago.

What does The Stand have to do with The Shining, you ask?  For some reason I have it in my head that I have to read The Stand before I can read The Shining. Someone somewhere must have told me to read one before the other. I couldn't even tell you who or why.  All I know is the reason I haven't read The Shining yet is because I need to read The Stand first.

2. Describe your preconceived notions of The Stand.

I am not even sure what The Stand is about.  A super virus, I think.  I worry that I won't find it very original, but I expect it will be suspenseful and intense as that's Stephen King's trademark.  The suspense and intensity being his trademark, I mean.  Not the originality part.  Most likely it is very orginal and others have followed in King's footsteps; only, it won't seem that way to me since I'm reading the book so late in the game.  For the record, I haven't seen the movie either.

3. What was the last scary(ish) book you read or movie you saw?

I currently am reading a book called Hide Me Among the Graves by Tim Powers.  It features ghostly vampires, which are actually quite intimidating.  The vampires aren't anything like what you find in most vampire literature today--it truly is more of a horror novel.  The jury is still out on what I think so far, being as I'm only about half way through. 

As for movies, I barely remember the last movie I saw.  One for the Money, actually, but that doesn't count as a scary movie.  Well, maybe to some.  I mean, the casting did scare some people away.  I rewatched the movie Hotel Rwanda, which was all too scary--even more so since it was based on real events.  I don't think that's the type of scary meant though.

4. Which version of the book will you be reading?

I can't resist reading the uncut version. I have a paperback copy that has really small print.  I think the page count comes out to 1120 or something close to it.

5. What are your previous experiences with Stephen King?

As I've mentioned before, my experiences with Stephen King have been hit and miss so far.  I really enjoyed MiseryCell, on the other hand, I found it to be predictable and on the ridiculous side.  I had fun reading it, but when all was said and done, I was disappointed.

6. Anything else you'd like to add (bonus points for being extra random).

I got a subscription to Entertainment Weekly solely because of Stephen King's column.  I was so disappointed when he was no longer a regular on their staff.  I barely read the magazine now.  Of course, that could have something to do with my attention being elsewhere, but I like to blame it on the lack of Stephen King factor anyway.  Thank goodness he still writes something for them every now and then.

Are you participating in the Stand-Along?  What Stephen King books, if any, have you read?



© 2012, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved. If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.

22 comments:

  1. The Stand is one of my all-time favorite books. Yes, it's long but so worth it. I'm making my way through Under the Dome right now and liking it but it's not anywhere near the beauty of The Stand. I wish I was you and had so many King books ahead of me! I don't like all of his, though; I hated Cell and quit about a third of the way through.

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    1. Linda - I've heard it's a really good book. I can't wait to dive in and see for myself.

      Glad to hear I'm not the only one who wasn't a big fan of Cell. I'm guessing maybe it wasn't one of his best efforts?

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  2. I signed up too, but who knows what will happen next month to distract me! I've actually read it, but it was a really really long time ago.

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    1. Lisa - It's worth the try, at least. That's what I keep telling myself. :-) I am not going to worry too much if I don't get it read within the Stand-Along time frame. We will do the best we can and finish when we finish! Did you read the original version or the uncut version initially?

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  3. Enjoy it. It's one of my favorites.

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    1. Ti - Thanks! I am looking forward to reading it. I'm actually one section in--not sure if it counts as a prologue since it wasn't labeled as such but that's what it seemed like given I'm about to start reading Book 1. It sure starts off with a bang.

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  4. I remember my dad reading and loving this one when I was a kid, and I have never forgotten it sitting on his bedside table. I wish I had the time to join you guys. It sounds like a thrilling read.

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    1. Heather - I'm not sure I have the time either. My husband and friend think I can do it though, so I thought I'd give it a try. :-)

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  5. I'm in for The Sand, but I absolutely refuse to read The Shining. Or see the movie. Jack Nicholson scared me in A Few Good Men...I can't imagine what he's like in The Shining!

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    1. Jill - Jack Nicholson is scary, I agree. I'm trying to remember if it was The Shining that turned my mother-in-law against clowns. Or was that something else? Not that you'd know.

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  6. I am happy to see so many people joining in! I really think I should participate, too, but I am terrible with chunksters.

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    1. Kelly - Yeah, the size is kind of daunting. I'm trying not to think about the page count. LOL

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  7. I haven't read one bad review about The Stand and I cannot wait! I signed up for the readalong as well, which will fit nicely with The Stephen King Project. I actually just finished listening to the audiobook of The Shining narrated by Campbell Scott and it was absolutely wonderful. I heard that Stephen King wasn't too pleased with the Jack Nicholson version of the movie and I think he mentioned that in the Intro of the book. I read somewhere else years ago that he much preferred the TV version made in the 1990s. I've seen both versions and while the Jack Nicholson version is much more "jump out your seats" scary, the TV version I recall to be much creepier. I'm going to have to watch both again now.

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    1. I don't think I've come across a bad review either, Natalie.

      How interesting about Stephen King's take on the movie version of The Shining. Do you know what he thought of The Stand mini-series?

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  8. Happy to see you join the fun too! It's been years since I have read any Stephen King novel - my last try was Lisey's Story and I couldn't finish it, so I'm curious to see how I'll enjoy this one!

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    1. Thanks, Kay! I am looking forward to reading the book! We'll have to compare notes.

      I am not too familiar with Lisey's Story. It might be one of those I skip, I think.

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  9. I'm SO SO glad you've decided to join and I promise no sticks or blood if you don't finish with us. From what I've heard, this will be a relatively fast read, so I'm banking on that. I'm actually cheating and will listen and read as my reading time is sorely limited as well. Probably not a good bedtime story for Mouse or Chickpea. ;)

    Interesting about The Shining being read after The Stand. I've seen the movie (couple versions) a few times and whew!!

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    1. Yay! I'm excited about reading The Stand. I am already behind schedule, but I am making progress.

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  10. I'm super excited that you are joining in on the fun! I haven't read either of the two King books that you mentioned but I really want to read Misery as well. And I want to read The Shining but I'm too much of a wimp to try it :) I love that Friends episode!! I sure miss that show sometimes :) Good luck with the read-a-long!

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    1. Samanatha, Mouse had a runny nose the other day and my first thought was of The Stand. Haha! I hadn't realized it had already gotten to me.

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  11. This is so exciting. I can't wait to hear what you all think of the book. It is one of my favorites and I am way overdue to reread it. I'm reading King in chronological order and this is the next one for me to read so I might unofficially read The Stand with all of you, depending on how my other reading obligations go.

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    1. I hope you do decide to pick it up and read along! I have set it aside for a little while--hopefully just a week or two. Now is proving to be a not so good time for me to read it unfortunately. I really want to enjoy it, but I've having such a hard time with it so far, sad to say.

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