The Stand - Stephen King For me, there are two kinds of Stephen King books: those he wrote before 1990, and those he wrote after. For some reason, I've never really been keen his works in the former category. For example, It. Nope, couldn't do it, got tired of the way it dragged on and gave up about halfway through, too bored to even be scared.

Don't get me wrong, King is a master storyteller who you can tell by the way he writes that he just loves to spin a yarn, but at the same time he has that tendency to go and and on and on. I believe he admits this freely too, and over the years I think his writing has become more focused if his recent works are any indication.

Although I read the complete and uncut version of The Stand, I knew the original was first published in the 70s so I guess it technically falls into the pre-1990 category. So as such, I'd already anticipated what he himself calls his "Diarrhea-of-the-Word-Processor". This monster of a book is more than 1100 pages, so I knew what I was in for.

Anyway, to get right to the point, I enjoyed this book immensely but as I expected, some parts definitely did drag. I'd get really drawn into a thread of the plot, and then the book would switch tack and follow someone else's point of view that I don't care about for a good long while (never skimping on even the tiniest details) which would distract me and break a good run. A part of me wishes I'd read the original published version instead. After I finished, I did some research into the differences between the two editions. Though the 400 or so pages cut from his manuscript were due more to the publisher's financial reasons rather than editorial reasons, I think King had made the right call in what he decided to cut out. Unsurprisingly to me, a few of the parts I felt were slow ended up being the ones that were left out in the original published version.

I also didn't really see the need for the "updates", i.e. making this take place in 1990 instead of 1980. Sure, pop culture references were thrown in to make the setting more modern, but all it did was create a lot of contradictions, like the technology described or the slang or sayings that would come out of the characters mouths immediately betraying when this book was written and when it actually takes place. In my opinion, they should have just left everything well alone.

Still, this was a very epic tale of the battle between good and evil; I can now see why so many consider it a Stephen King classic.i