Sunday, September 09, 2012

Books Read in 2012: "The Stand" by Stephen King

This took most of the summer to get through, and I can't help but feel a little underwhelmed.

It's a novel that has a reputation that precedes it, and there are a lot of people who absolutely LOVE it. I can see why: The premise of a super-virus that wipes out 99% of the planet's human population is a strong one. But that may be why it didn't resonate with me, because that premise made me think that the greatest nemesis that the survivors would face wouldn't be a Walkin' Dude out west, but our own savage natures. Despite the looming apocalyptic showdown, the return to normalcy among the survivors who congregate in Boulder comes a little quick.

I've tried reading King on a couple of occasions, and I can't say that any of them have been "Aha!" experiences where I finally, once and for all, understood why he's so popular. My personal theory is that I came to him too late. If I'd read "Carrie" and "The Shining" when I was 12, it would have upended my world. But I didn't, and I guess I'm more critical than I should be when I read his stuff.