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Stephen King: The Stand

September 22, 2008

As I mentioned before, I’ve been listening to The Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  Almost halfway through book 7 and it’s awesome.  Although I had listened to the first few books of the series in the 90’s, I never listened to the last three when they were released.  Something I was always meaning to do but never got around to.  The publication of The Dark Tower comics prompted me to finally do it.  I’d listened to the first couple of books a few times already, even the expanded first book, and remembered them very well, so I started on book 3 and have been working my way through ever since.  When I’m done I’ll start on the comics.

I’ve had a similar sort of relationship with The Stand by Stephen King.  I have the 1987 “unabridged” audiobook from Books On Tape, but never listened to it.  One reason is that King released “complete and uncut” version of The Stand in 1991.  Apparently, at the time the original was to be released, the publisher determined that the book was so long that it would be too costly to print, compared to what they deemed consumers would pay for a novel.  So King cut out about 400 pages.  Always preferring to read what the author had originally intended, I was therefore hesitant to commit to the incomplete audio version.

An uncut audio version had never been released.  Why that is I can’t fathom.  Probably something to do with the rights to it with Books On Tape or some nonsense.  And I’ve “read” most Stephen King stories through audiobooks, because there are quite a few of them and they are read by some excellent narrators like the late Frank Muller.  So quite a few years back I picked up the 1141 page uncut version of The Stand in paperback and started reading it.  I probably got about 40% into it and then, as is often the case, got distracted by something else and put it down and never went back to it.  I watched the tv mini-series once and that was it.

So when I heard that they were going to produce a comic version of The Stand, I dug out my paperback and started reading it again, from the beginning.  I’m about 80 pages in right now.  And this month, Volume 1 the first chapter of Stephen King: The Stand hit store shelves.  UGO.com has an online preview of the first 6 pages of the first issue.  I have to say that having just read through the beginning of the book, so far the comic is spot on with characters and situations and dialog from the book.  If the rest is done that well, it will be a long, excellent and very faithful series.  Check it out!  Marvel has also posted some interior page views of issue #2 here.

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