Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Changes In Stephen King's The Stand 1978-1990 Part 20

Chapter 77 is the penultimate chapter, and King doesn't change much at all.  He only seems to add two lines of dialogue near the beginning and fiddle a bit here and there.  One might think that maybe King finally got worn out a bit revising and decided to coast to the end.  But, then, you know, there's the end of the novel, which is a new section.

78 also isn't much changed.  One fun change is that King deletes Lowell from the list of Maine cities and adds his own fictional Castle Rock.  78, or 68 to be more accurate, is also where my paperback ends, aside from a brief bio of King and some ads/mail order forms for other books.

The hardback does not stop.  It continues on with a quote from Ed Dorn, and then an epilogue featuring the return of Randall Flagg (only hinted at in the paperback), which perhaps starts with an allusion to "The End" by The Doors (Stuart Redman did mention meeting Jim Morrison once).  Evil, symbolized by Flagg, seems to be eternal, according to King.  And that's the end!  The uncut Stand runs for 1153 pages!

In the next post, I'll provide an overview for folks who are curious about the changes, but don't want to read all twenty posts.  Both versions are good, but I prefer the longer one.  Ideally, King or some scholars might someday set the novel back in its original time setting, delete/replace the 1980s references, and keep the expansion otherwise, as the novel is thoroughly an artifact of the 1970s.  That would likely be the best version of all.

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