Monday, January 14, 2013

Changes In Stephen King's The Stand 1978-1990 Part 8

Chapter 17 in the 1990 edition is an all new chapter, which features Billy Starkey observing the carnage in the military compound that unleashed the superflu and deciding the government should cover up the flu's existence and origin by killing anyone who stumbles upon the truth.  The chapter cuts to another scene where a Houston reporter and photographer get murdered by undercover military personnel.  In addition to fleshing out Starkey a bit, the chapter makes the handwringing about government and authority in the later Boulder Free Zone scenes more thematically powerful.

Chapter 18 picks up the storyline from the earlier edition again and features Nick Andros becoming the new sheriff by default  in Shoyo, Arkansas.  Oddly enough, the expanded chapter seems to be missing a paragraph from the earlier edition where Nick lowers his head to avoid lip-reading insults from the prisoners.  Otherwise, it seems to have the usual fiddling and minor expansions until the end of the older chapter, to which King adds a few more pages in which the sheriff and most of the town dies, saddling Nick with taking care of the men who assaulted him.  The doctor who treats Nick also notes that the town appears to be blockaded by the army and all the phones are dead, which continues the storyline from the previous chapter about the government trying to cover up the superflu, or barring that, its victims.

Chapter 19 moves to Larry Underwood and New York, and I'll pick up there next.

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