Friday, July 30, 2010

every dog has his day

I do not have the benefit of having just completed the book, thus I'll take a more retrospective view of it.

I think Anthony's conclusion that the book was good, I am happy to have read it, but it never completely pulled me in. I would recommend the book to some, but not universally. I also am not inclined to read other novels by King.

I think in some ways King bit off more than he could chew. It was incredibly long and had a real epicness to it (although grounded by the Jane Doe characters), which can be an ambitious undertaking. Truth be told, I suspect the editor was right to cut out lots of text. There were large chunks of pages that I kind of ground through (like lvl 6 boars) to get to better parts.

I liked the characters a bit more than Anthony did, although there we no Ignatious' to be sure. Although now as I go to list the ones I liked most it was the gimmicky ones - like "the Kid". Unecessarily vulgar to be sure, but his lines like "don't tell me, I'll f*ing tell you" somehow really made me laugh. And I was a huge fan of Trashcan man also.

Aside from the stunt characters though, I liked Harold a lot. He was one character tthat put me under constant suspense. To be fair he had a serious Smeagol/Gollum complex, but it was nonetheless done really well. In fact his demise is one of the parts that I remember most vividly from the story.

One thing I was not impressed with was the ending. The epilogue type thing about how the dark man comes back in another place. I think one of the best parts of the stand is that it most definitely takes place in our world. The characters fondly refer to popular culture throughout and that sets the reader up to think of the book in our own world. But then, of course, an amazing amount of magic is imparted into the world. Now I was willing to give him lots of leeway on this and enjoyed the fantastical nature. But in the end the dark man comes back which lends to the cyclical nature of good vs. evil, which makes me think that in fact the abilities of the dark man have probably repeated in the past, which was a stretch for me. I know of no roving eyes (a la Sauron, as admitted by King himself) or those things that Randall Flagg did to those who weren't loyal and the spies that have occured in the past.

So in all I think it was good, and at moments superb, but I wouldn't put it on the list of books I really like.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, I like your comments and I agree with all of them. Sounds like we had very similar takes on the book.

    One thing I particularly agree with is that Harold was the best character. He had a voice of his own and played a cool role in the story.