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The Stand – final thoughts

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So we’ve come to the end of The Standalong (by the way Trish…totally brilliant idea!). If you missed it, here’s my post on my thoughts for the first half of The Stand. I also rewrote three songs for the occasion: Throat On FireI’m Still Stand-ing, and Dark Man.

Even though parts of the story were kind of cheesy, The Stand was a pretty compelling read. I didn’t think I’d end up liking King as much as I did. Now I know why he’s such a popular author. And because I finished the book early than planned, I watched the whole movie (actually, it was a made-for-tv mini-series, but movie is easier to type). All 15 episodes on youtube. Holy crap was it ever bad. In an “I can’t stop watching” sort of way. So here are my final thoughts on the book (THIS MEANS SPOILERS AHEAD!), with a few movie moments thrown in:

After a strong showing in the first half, Nick seemed to fade into the background in the second half (even though he was considered one of the leaders of the Boulder Free Zone). Maybe King was preparing us for the big kaboom that did away with Nick? Which was pretty much the low point for me in the book. Well, that and Larry, Gene, and Ralph in Las Vegas.

And speaking of kabooms, what is with the killing off of people by bomb?? All my favorites survive Captain Trips only to get blown up in the end? Or, in the case of Glen, shot. Boo.

I loved Glen’s exit, though. He was one of my favorite characters, especially for his mouthiness at the end. He was one of the few good things in the movie, too, although he was older than I imagined.

Why did Mother Abagail make them WALK all the way to freakin’ Las Vegas? Did anyone figure that out? Because it made NO sense to me, other than to up the page count and give Stu a chance to break his leg. Okay, so in the movie Ralph makes a point about empty bodies, empty minds, implying that Flagg couldn’t track them that way. But he still knew they were coming, so really…why did they have to walk???

Stu. *sigh* I loved Stu.

Except what was up with that goodbye kiss that Stu laid on Dayna? Like he had to prove that he was such a manly man that he could un-lesbian Dayna? Wasn’t too fond of Stu in that scene. And yes, later it’s made clear that she’s bisexual, but I’m pretty sure Stu just saw her as a lesbian challenge.

Oh, and Stu had a Jim Morrison sighting?? What was up with that story?

Harold and Nadine. Holy shit! What a couple! Their stories were what made me finish the book much quicker than originally planned. I just had to keep reading to see what Harold was going to do. And to see just how much Nadine was going to lose her shit (and boy howdy, did she ever lose her shit). There are also some hilarious scenes in the movie with the two of them (they are both over-the-top bat-shit crazy in the movie). Remember when Harold is building the bomb and Nadine interrupts? In the movie she turns off the radio and Harold says “Don’t screw with my disco, Nadine” and then he tells her to “make like a library and book.”

The Kid. Pure genius, in a totally fucked up sort of way. Too bad he didn’t make it into the movie. Although the movie might’ve ended up with an X rating.

Dear Boulder Free Zone Committee: That whole spy bizness didn’t work out so well, did it? I’d say maybe you should rethink that plan, except wait…most of you are dead.

Every time a Slim Jim made an appearance I wanted to gag. Just gross.

Did anyone else end up kind of liking Lloyd, even though he was on the wrong team? Except he does turn into Mr. Obvious with his final line: “Oh shit we’re all fucked!”

Thank god for Tom Cullen. M-O-O-N, that spells hero. (And I can’t believe I just did that, since I was sick of the whole M-O-O-N thing by the end of the book.) Also, Tom is one of the better characters in the movie.

Also, Kojak. He was one of the better actors in the movie, too.

Did Joe just drop off the face of the earth?

Larry. Just as I was starting to like him, he had to freakin’ die?!? Figures.

Dear Frannie: You travelled all the way from Maine to Boulder, only to want to go BACK? What’s up with that?

Dear Stu: You should consider leaving Fran for Lucy. She’s much more likable. If you don’t believe me, go watch the movie. I mean really…how could you fall for Molly Ringwald??? She’s a whiny, clingy twit with no common sense (for god’s sake, during the entire motorcycle journey across the US, she looked like she was dressed to have tea with queen).

Dear Dark Man: DO NOT come back in a sequel. Just don’t.

And a final note on the movie. Towards the end, when the Dark Man started freaking out and losing control, his face would morph into a scary monster face. Like we needed to be reminded that he was a bad guy. Please, give us some credit. The man was obviously whacked. There was no need for bad special effects.

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Written by softdrink

July 27, 2012 at 6:00 am

Dark Man

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After I posted Throat On Fire (which I must confess, is one of my all-time favorites), Tasha suggested that I keep going and turn The Stand into a musical. I honestly had no intention to do that, but after I heard an old Elton John song, I had to do I’m Still Standing, because, well, how could I not??

But I swear this is the last song I’ll do for The Standalong (hey…I heard that sigh of relief), and it’s in honor of the Dark Man (aka the Walking Dude, aka Randall Flagg, aka who the hell knows what else). I wrote this one for Heather, in an attempt to entertain her out of the creepiness that is the Dark Man and to keep her reading…

“Dark Man” (to be sung to the tune of the Commodore’s Brick House*)**

Oww, he’s the Dark…Man
He’s creepy creepy, man he’s freakin’ us all out
He’s the Dark…Man
His eyes glow red, he’ll kill you dead
He’s waitin’ just ahead
Owww, he’s the Dark…Man
Well, he’s the one, the only one,
That thinks this is all good fun

He thinks he’s got the best men
He’s got Lloyd to run the show
Yeah, yeah, and Trash Can Man to torch and fan
Nadine, Harold, Julie…but thank god not Fran

Ohh, he’s the Dark…Man
He’s creepy creepy, man he’s freakin’ us all out
He’s the Dark…Man
His eyes glow red, he’ll kill you dead
He’s waitin’ just ahead
Owww, he’s the Dark…Man
Yeah, he’s the one, the only one,
That thinks this is all good fun

The boots he wears, the flowing hair
And most of all, that sexy red glare
Yeah, yeah
He thinks he’s got the sturm und drang
Enough to blow away the pesky Free Zone gang***

Oww, he’s the Dark…Man
Yeah, he’s creepy creepy, man he’s freakin’ us all out
He’s the Dark…Man
His eyes glow red, he’ll kill you dead
He’s waitin’ just ahead

Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up up up

Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it uuuuup

Dark. Man.
Yeah, he’s creepy creepy, he’s freakin’ us the hell out
Owwww. Dark. Man.
Yeah, his eyes glow red, he’ll kill you dead
He’s waitin’ just ahead.

Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up, blow it, blow it

Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up now
Blow it up, blow it up, blow it

Ohh, a Dark…Man.

********************

*Did you know that there is a Rob Zombie/Lionel Richie version of Brick House (seriously, they are on stage together and if that isn’t the weirdest combo, I don’t know what is). Go watch it (pleeeeeeeease!!!!) and tell me that Rob Zombie wouldn’t make one kick-ass Dark Man in the upcoming movie. (I know! it’s a totally brilliant idea. Obviously, they should hire me as a casting consultant.)

**It was a toss-up between this and Super Creep (he’s a super creep, super creep…he’s super creepy), but this one somehow seemed easier. Have I mentioned Hamburger replaced motorcycles with bass guitars? I have listened to both Brick House and Super Freak more times than I can count in the past 6 months.

***And yeah, this part doesn’t quite work with the tune. Oh well. Hamburger’s the musician in this relationship. I just write bad lyrics.

Written by softdrink

July 19, 2012 at 6:00 am

Are you still Stand-ing?

with 7 comments

I actually promised Heather a new rendition of “Brick House” (He’s the Dark…Man/He’s creepy creepy, man he’s freakin’ us all out/He’s the Dark…Man/His eyes glow red, he’ll kill you dead/He’s waitin’ just ahead) to try and keep her reading The Stand, but I can’t post the rest of that one until she’s further on in the book. Not that it has blatant spoilers, but it does have some bookish innuendo.

So in the meantime, I offer up Elton John’s I’m Still Stand-ing, because someone mentioned on twitter that they were still Stand-ing and it made me think of this song. So for all of you Standalong participants who are still reading, sing along with Elton…

I’ve been reading since June the first
I’ve been sick, I think that this book is cursed
But there’s something about this book that calls to me
Maybe I should just keep reading instead of watching Glee

I wonder if this book will ever end
But hey, at least my cold is on the mend
I got a thing for Stu, Harold’s such a goob
Wonder what they’d say if I just quit and watched it on youtube

Okay, fine…I’m still reading, slower than all the rest
Reading through the 78 chapters, how many do I have left
I’m still reading and now it’s July
Will Frannie ever stop philosophizing about that damn pie

I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah

I never thought I’d read this book
It’s taking me away from my crochet hook
I’ll soldier on through characters galore
I’ll read all night and it’s Trish’s fault I’m a Standalong whore

Okay, fine…I’m still reading, slower than all the rest
Reading through the 78 chapters, how many do I have left
I’m still reading and now it’s July
Will Frannie ever stop philosophizing about that pie

I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah

Yeah, yeah…I’m still reading, slower than all the rest
Reading through the 78 chapters, how many do I have left
I’m still reading and now it’s July
Will Frannie ever stop philosophizing about that pie

I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah

I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still Stand-ing yeah yeah yeah

Written by softdrink

July 2, 2012 at 7:00 pm

Thoughts on The Stand (the first half, that is)

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Even though I went ahead and done did read it all already, I’m being faithful to The Standalong and posting my thoughts on the first half of the book only (all 700 plus pages of the first half).

Here is just some of what went through my head during that first half (which I’d just like to point out is still the equivalent of 2 good sized books!):

Snot. Lots and lots of snot.

People tend to get sick when they read this book. It’s true. Lucky for us, it seems to stop just short of Captain Trips (although it didn’t feel that way when I was sick).

You will also notice every sneeze, sniffle, and cough in your vicinity while reading this book. And every time you hear a sneeze, sniffle, and cough, you will think OMG THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH! This is the scariest thing about this book. Really. I was expecting to be hiding under the bed (although that’d be a real trick, considering our bed sits on the floor) because the monsters were after me, but it’s not scary like that in the least. Unless, of course, you hear a sneeze, sniffle, or cough, and then whammo, it’s scary in an instant end-of-the-world worldview kind of way.

The Passage is a total rip-off of The Stand. Which might explain why I liked it so much.

If I never hear (read?) “Baby Can You Dig Your Man” again it won’t be soon enough. Stephen King sucks at lyrics. Although I’m willing to forgive, since Shawshank Redepemption is pretty much the best movie ever. Still, no more lyrics, ‘kay Mr. King? (And yes, I realize this is pot calling kettle territory, since I’m the one who thought Throat On Fire would make a damn good theme song).

But King is Da Man when it comes to characters. I love them all (all 1, 479 of them), especially the asshats who you just want to see turn it all around (I’m looking at you, Larry). Oh wait no. Frannie’s mom…I definitely didn’t love her. Total bitcharooni, that one. Oh, and Poke. Holy shit.

But Nick? Oh my…favorite character of the first half, hands down. But could he have maybe kept his teeth? I don’t think that it’s too much to ask that the poor guy could at least have his teeth.

Stephen King has a thing for pie. Also, Sarah Lee cheesecake. Because as much as Frannie loves her pie, I’m pretty sure I saw her admit to loving Sarah Lee best of all. Also, I think it was the dessert Larry’s mom bought for him when he returned home?

Yes, Mother Abagail (did anyone else notice it’s spelled both Abagail and Abigail in the book?), I get that you’re One Hundred and Freakin’ Eight years old. Perhaps if you refrained from telling me that 10 gajillion times the book might’ve managed to be less than 1000 pages.

What’s happening in the rest of the world? Not that I want the book to be any longer than it already is, but isn’t anyone else just a wee bit curious as to what’s going in ooooh, say, Europe, or Asia, or Africa…or heck, even Mexico?

I used to like tunnels. You know, you drive through them, you go “beep beep” with the horn, and it’s all echoey…good times! Now? Creeeeeeeepy. And gross. Really, really gross.

Does anyone else have the version with the totally unnecessary drawings? I swear, they’re creepier than the story!

I’m also watching the mini-series that was on tv back in the ’90s. (It’s available in 20 minute segments on the youtubes). I’m currently on part 6 of 15. In some ways it’s completely faithful to the book (Project Blue, Stu’s story) and in other ways it’s totally wrong (Frannie’s mom is totally absent, they left out Rita and instead it’s Nadine that Larry meets in the park in NY). Still, it’s pretty entertaining to see the characters on screen. Gary Sinise is perfect as Stu, although Molly Ringwald is so not working for me as Frannie. In fact, she SUCKS. Also sucking? Rob Lowe as Nick…he looks (and acts) like a total goober.

Written by softdrink

July 1, 2012 at 6:00 am

Throat On Fire

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The unofficial theme song for The Standalong (to the tune of Sex On Fire, by Kings of Leon)…

I see what you’re reading
Looks like The Stand
The Dark Man is watching
He’s watching

Too much confusion
Captain Trips is loose
Has people coughing
Coughing

Owww -owwww
My throat is on fire

Stu is immune
And Frannie is too
Too bad Harold’s not
Harold’s not

Did you just sneeze?
I heard a sneeze
Why is everyone is dying?
They’re dying

Owww -owwww
My throat is on fire
And now
It all seems so dire

Hot as a fever
Hacking up phlegm
Not gonna beat it
Won’t beat it

This book is addictive
Been reading all night
Oh King’s a genius
A genius
A genius

Owww -owwww
My throat is on fire
Owww -owwww
My throat is on fire

And now
It all seems so dire

Owww -owwww
My throat is on fire
Ohhhhhh nooooooooo
We’re all gonna expire

Written by softdrink

June 22, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Gulp

with 26 comments

Because I am sooooooo successful with readalongs lately (that was heavy on the sarcasm, in case you missed it), guess what I’m going to read next?

Yep. The Stand. (Why do I do these things to myself??)

Trish is hosting a summer readalong of The Stand (check out this post if you want read up on the details) and this is my official commitment post. And also my Standalong Get to Know You post.

Standalong Get to Know You 

1. What makes you want to read The Stand? Hell if I know.

2. Describe your preconceived notions of The Stand. It’s long. Really, really long.

3. What was the last scary(ish) book you read or movie you saw? Um, I usually avoid the scary shit.

4. Which version of the book will you be reading from? The doorstop version. Behold:

Doesn’t it look all ominous sitting there next to those innocent little Peter Rabbit books?

5. What are your previous experiences with Stephen King? I’ve seen “The Shawshank Redemption” 50 gajillion times. And “The Secret Window” twice (but only because of Johnny Depp). And I’ve read On Writing. I am woefully unprepared for this readalong.

6. Anything else you’d like to add (bonus points for being extra random). I need a hug.

Written by softdrink

May 28, 2012 at 3:54 pm