Books, Again

Frequently, when I am working on something like weeding, raking, washing dishes, doing simple paperwork, folding clothes or piecing quilts I listen to books on tape. Our public library has an extensive collection of them, so I can listen to old friends or visit with new books I’ve never met.
Right now, I have Stephen King’s “The Stand.” It’s the unabridged version, and there are about 22 tapes. I have to return it on Monday, so the race is on to see if I can hear the entire book this week!
I’ve read “The Stand” at least twice in the past 25 years. Personally, I think it’s the best book King has ever written, although I have to admit that I stopped reading his work after “Pet Sematary.” He willingly admits that he goes for the most gross as he sets up the books, and his work lost his appeal at that point.
The interesting thing about hearing “The Stand” on tape is that it makes it scarier, if that’s possible. I have always thought that it was better to read a book than to see a movie of the book. When you see a movie, you see someone else’s interpretation of the book, altered by the time and money constraints of the film making. Generally, I’d rather have my own vision of the book playing through my mind.

If you haven’t read the book, it’s the quintessential story of good versus evil. A virus escapes containment at an Army facility and it’s spread throughout the USA (and ultimately, the world), with a 95% fatality rate.
One by one, survivors begin to find each other and experience dreams that draw them either to Mother Abigail in Nebraska, or to the Walking Dude in Las Vegas.
King explores human weakness and strength as he develops the characters, and shows how little it takes to make a person strong, or to have them fail. One of the characters is a deaf-mute. Another is a retarded man. There’s a singer/songwriter who wants to be good, but keeps finding the bad in himself, and a man who exists to burn things. And there’s a girl who is pregnant, who doesn’t know if her baby will have her immunity when it’s born.
Ultimately the good guys end up in Denver, and there has to be a showdown between them and the people who have been drawn to Las Vegas. People you’ve had faith in loose their way, and others find strengths you didn’t know for sure they had. There’s a surprise in every chapter.
You already know I recommend this book, or I wouldn’t be taking the time to listen to the unabridged version. It’s a LONG book. Ask for a copy for Christmas, stock up on wood for the fireplace, make a hot toddy, and pick up the book. I’m sure you’ll find it absorbing.

7 thoughts on “Books, Again

  1. Other books that you’ve recommended, I’ve tried/will try; however, you can have all of the “chill factor” stuff such as King’s books. That sort of stuff just says “boring” to me. I must be missing a gene. It takes all kinds, doesn’t it, and I’m glad you enjoy what you’re reading.

  2. I picked up “Flight Lessons,” by Patricia Gaffney when you said you were reading it. It was pretty good, and I’d read a few others that she’s written, but there’s one set in the Regency era that has the male lead forcing himself on the female lead, repeatedly, and I don’t think I’ll waste any time with that book. Yeah…it takes all kinds. It’s nice to know that I share some of your tastes and some of Bogie’s (like Lucifer’s Hammer).

  3. You may as well know more about your adopted family: Bogie and I have similar hair/eye colorations and similar (though, not the same) tastes in fiction. Dudette and my Hunky Husband have the same hair/eye colorations and similr tastes in fiction (not to mention that her first word was “da-da”!) I love it that Bogie and Dudette are so different (and yet so alike in some ways–they are both generous and caring). You (and your roomies) add more richness (as in depth of generosity and caring) to our family.

  4. Cop Car and I may have similar tastes in fiction, however, I am a Stephen King fan (especially the Stand – I’ve lost count how many times I have read it).

  5. Thanks for the lovely comment about my roomies. I know they will appreciate it!
    I have four siblings, and we are all very dissimilar. Occasionally you catch a glimpse of a feature that shows a resemblance to one of our parents, but as people, we are very different. Although I didn’t have children, my coloring has shown up in a niece and a nephew from two different siblings. I got the auburn/coppery hair and redhead’s skin from my maternal grandfather.
    You find similarities in our work ethic and religion, our attitudes about family, some of the books we read, and favorite foods. We seem to thrive on variety.
    It’s interesting….Dear Husband’s father was German and his mother was Sicilian. Two of his children look like me (the German heritage from my Dad), and two of them look like him (the Sicilian part of the family). When people commented on what lovely children we had, I finally learned not to say that they weren’t mine, but to smile serenely and thank them.

  6. Bogie, I used to be a Stephen King fan, but “Cujo” bothered me and “Pet Sematary” was worse, so I stopped reading his work at that point. Is there something he has out that I really need to read?? I think “The Stand” may be his greatest book.

  7. …the stand is just perfect as a book…however, I prefer stand by me as a film to the novella the body – I think it is one case when a film is better than the book :^)…actually, now I think about it – misery was a darn good film as well (and at least I could close my eyes – I actually read some of that book with one eye closed):^)…
    …personally I enjoyed firestarter and the dead zone as my next faves…but haven’t read any of his later stuff – I stopped round about the dark half and needful things :^)…

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