MovieChat Forums > The Stand Discussion > Once you get past the first half about t...

Once you get past the first half about the plague, it becomes a pretty small story. SPOILERS


Usually, epics start small and grow bigger and BIGGER until you reach a huge climax. In The Stand, King starts with the end of civilization, and then it all just fizzles out once the good guys reach Boulder... We end up with basically two small towns in a Cold War, lots of small-town politics and a handful of guys sacrificing themselves in a contrived Deus ex Machina ending.

King was trying to write a modern American Lord of the Rings, but it's very unbalanced. Nothing about the conflict between Boulder and Las Vegas lives up to the opening half. After the huge drama of the plague, the ending was a big let-down. You close the book and think "Jeez, is that it?"

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Agreed. The setup and early portions set my expectations sky high. I enjoyed the Captain Trips the most and wanted more of that. I believe he edited quite a bit of that out from the original version.

I continued through it losing interest along the way, but anticipating something epic. I was caught off guard when the climax takes place with almost a quarter of the book remaining. Again I anticipated another big reveal with so many pages remaining but it was more of an extended denouement.

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SK doesn't know how to write an ending to anything.

I mean, IT ends with a tween gangbang....da fuq?

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"SK doesn't know how to write an ending to anything" LOL I loved The Stand. It was a great read. But I must admit, I expected something more at the end.

I felt the same way about 11/22/63, his novel about the JFK assassination and time travel. Of course he couldn't really alter the past, but the ending was a real "WHAT the heck?"

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It looks like I'm going the odd man out here. I did not mind the ending. It was as though things were set up that way from the start. Could it have been better? Possibly; but I still don't think this was a bad finish.

The novel and the film, too for that matter did far more than to simply chronicle the pandemic. They told the story of the restart of civilization. That part and the conflict between the two camps was the real story. Captain Trips was the prelude.

The essential part was that everything led up to the climax and tied in nicely, from Trashy to Tom Cullen and at the end, you saw the result.

And FWIW, 'IT' does not end with a 'tween gangbang'. I am forced to wonder if this poster has even read the book.

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Actually I liked the book's ending better than the miniseries. Sometimes I think my disappointment is that the book ends and I want it to go on. I want to know what happens to all the surviving characters. That would not be possible unless King wrote a sequal.

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Yes; I know what you mean. I really enjoyed the novel as well. Just curious: have you read the complete and Uncut version, set in 1990, or the one set in 1980?

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I have the uncut version. I never even knew there were two versions. It was actually a Christmas present. I don't know if I would've read it otherwise.

It turned out to be a great gift. I remember thinking that the first chapter was slow, but then it picked up speed and I couldn't put it down.

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The backstories of Harold and Larry were what really dragged for me. I have read the book so many times that when I re-read it now, I usually just skip over those parts. My favorite parts are the journeys to Boulder and Las Vegas and the setting up the new America in Boulder and after.

If you don't mind my tootin' my own horn a bit, I have a story on kindle that can be described as The Stand without the supernatural stuff. If you want, PM me and I'll get a link to you.

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I actually enjoyed reading the background of Larry to me. It made an enriching experience (at least for me) to witness his transformation to selfish opportunist during the novel to selfless sacrificial lamb at the end of his lark.

He was always my favorite character in the novel anyway. It's just a shame that a lot of his story from the novel got short-changed in the mini-series. Still enjoy his role in the show as well though.

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That sounds interesting, I'd like to read it. But I don't have a kindle. Would it work on computer?

I liked Harold and Larry's back stories. The one that sort of dragged for me was The Kid. I thought Glen Bateman was a fascinating character. I wish there had been more of his insights.

Something that I didn't care for was the actor portraying Harold Lauder. It's not an indictment of Corin Nemec's performance. It's just that Harold started out as a chubby, candy eating teen. And as he got thinner, he turned to the dark side. The whole transformation was lost by using a slim actor. or so I thought.

Like everyone, I "cast the movie" in my own mind. I always pictured the actor who played Skippy (Mark Price) on Family Ties. He wasn't fat, but they could've padded him up a little to look chubby. The actor himself played Skippy as silly and harmless. But I always detected an underlying note of oddness. I could easily see the actor as Harold. His Skippy had that weird, overly friendly vibe. He had a major crush on his neighbor Mallory Keaton.

I could see that translating into Harold's obsession with Frannie. Of course it didn't help that the weakest performance was Molly Ringwald's. Frannie is deeper and more complex in the book. The actress just didn't bring that across in her portrayal of Frannie.

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Skippy is pretty close, but THIS is the real, genuine Harold Lauder right here: https://bdn-data.s3.amazonaws.com/blogs.dir/40/files/2016/10/KING_83-1181_1394809.jpg

It's Stephen King's high school picture.

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That sounds interesting, I'd like to read it. But I don't have a kindle. Would it work on computer?

You can, if I'm not mistaken, download the free kindle app to your PC.

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> You can, if I'm not mistaken, download the free kindle app to your PC.

I'll confirm this; I've got it on my PC. Also on my iPad. And I used to have a Macbook, which broke a couple of years ago and I never got around to fixing or replacing. I'm not quite sure, but I think I had a Kindle app installed there too.

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> SK doesn't know how to write an ending to anything.

Naah ... John Grisham deserves that accolade far more than King does. I haven't read everything he's written, but in the books I have read he drones on and on for far too long after the final climax, when it's time to just wrap things up and say "THE END."

I agree with the OP that the ending was a huge deus ex machina ... maybe intentionally so, on King's part, as a laugh? ... but since God is already a player in the story anyway (guiding Mother Abigail; making the immunes immune with no scientific plausibility at all; etc), it works. Well, kinda.

Although I couldn't help wondering, if God was willing to directly intervene like that at all, why didn't He kill The Kid just for being repulsive in His (and everyone else's) sight? ;)

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