Wednesday, November 2, 2011

King, Stephen (The Stand)

Argh. It really stinks when you don't bother reading the fine print on the Kindle store edition, explaining that this particular version is the unexpurgated version, meaning absolutely everything King blarfed up and put on the page for this tale. I really like his stories, so this was a sad trudge. And Amazon? Why in hell's name do you only make the unedited, uncut version available on the Kindle??

So, the first bit was great, i.e., Act I in which you meet all the important characters and everyone starts dying. Then-- poof!-- you're not in a flu epidemic fantasy, but in a Christian fantasy, i.e., Act II in which all the important characters travel far distances and start getting freaked out about good vs. evil. And lastly, you see what happens to evil and what could happen to good, i.e., Act III in which the same characters travel more distances and learn more about themselves and humanity.

Act II is where you want to smash your Kindle into tiny itty bitty bits. I really liked Acts I and III, they made sense and they were exciting, but in Act II all you get is what my choir director would call noodling: "Yo, altos, here you're noodling because you're unimportant and we really want to listen to the tenors!" So you get quieter and listen harder to the tenors. The problem with Act II is that EVERYTHING in it (and it goes on for about 500 pages) is noodling-- why do we have to listen to our favorite characters worry themselves about whether the town of Boulder is going to be okay with their 7 person committee, and how well Stu Redman can talk at an assembly, him being a hick and all, and... Blah blah blah blah. Get to the POINT. We know what's going to happen in Act III because we are not idiots, for heaven's sake, so get there. Sooner than later would be good.

So all that blather about King's books always being page turners? That's only when he has an editor.

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