Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Changes In Stephen King's The Stand 1978-1990 Part 16

Chapter 45 has the usual date changes.  For example, Mother Abagail is now born in 1882 and not 1877.  It also is expanded to provide more background on Abagail's past.  For example, in the 1980 paperback, the paragraph that ends with "That year had been a topper." is followed with the one that begins "And little by little . . ."  In the 1990 version, three long paragraphs appear between those two.  The flashback to her music performance is also expanded, and King uses the scene again in a nightmare where Abagail faces off with Randall Flagg.  King adds two pages of Abagail using the outhouse before she looks out at the corn.  Her journey to and from the Richardson farm is also longer by several pages, filled with her memories and more details of the events in that section.  The cooking scene is also a bit longer, and King throws in lyrics to a hymn Abagail sings and plays on the guitar.  Nick Andros is described not just as "The young man with the dark hair" but as "The young man with the eyepatch and the dark hair", continuing the eye injury from Ray Booth.  Maintaining that detail also adds to Nick's almost psychic power.  Not only is he deaf and mute, but he's nearly blind.  Nevertheless, he's often more perceptive than people with all senses functioning.  The aftermath of the meal scene gets expanded a bit, as does Abagail's conversation with Nick and Ralph Brentner and the rest of the scenes in the chapter, including a funny bit where Abagail shows Ralph a letter she received from Ronald Reagan congratulating her on turning a hundred years old.

Chapter 46 gets quite changed, since King adds a storyline featuring two new characters, Mark and Perion.  Mark gets sick and dies, Perion kills herself from grief, and Fran Goldsmith wonders how she will be able to deliver her baby in a world seemingly without medical care.  The excerpts from Fran's diary are longer and more detailed; for example, the visit to Stovington runs for four pages instead of only one.  Some details get changed.  For example, Nolan Ryan is described as playing for the Texas Rangers and not the California Angels, presumably because he switched teams in the 1980s.  Some updates don't work as well though.  King moves the Arab embargo oil shortage from the 1970s to the 1980s, which isn't historically accurate.  There are also more entries.  In the paperback, the diary skips from July 8 to July 19, while the hardback includes entries from the 12th, 14th, and 16th before the chapter ends.  King having apparently decided that the chapter was getting long, split it into two, with the entry from the 19th taking place in the next chapter.  One last interesting bit is that King has Fran misspell Abagail's name as "Abigail" here, perhaps to show that she's only heard it in her dreams and so doesn't know the correct spelling.  He is very thorough!

Chapter 47 continues what in the paperback is just a single chapter.  This time, King doesn't add a new storyline, but he does expand significantly the meeting of Fran and the others with Dayna Jurgens and the other women she travels with.  In the 1990 version, the women don't have an auto accident, but they escape from captivity.  The chapter contains a firefight between the women and their captors with Fran's group in the mix of the chaos (the women use the encounter as their opportunity to escape).  It's a fairly brutal scene, as the women take revenge and kill the men who had been keeping them as sex slaves.  It also serves as foreshadowing for the conflict between the two sides of survivors later in the novel.  As in the previous chapter, Fran's diary entries are expanded (the August 1st entry grows from one sentence to one page) but there are no more of them.  Other scenes get expanded a bit as well.  Oddly enough, the spelling of "Abagail" as "Abigail" also continues this chapter even in the dialogue where there is no logical reason for a misspelling.  Perhaps the copyeditor got confused by King's subtlety because this doesn't occur in the paperback.               

Chapter 48 also is quite different and includes the character The Kid, whom King notes in the preface that he had always regretted cutting.  The Kid is quite memorable, a hotrodder rockabilly type who sodomizes with a pistol and otherwise terrorizes the Trashcan Man.  In the paperback, The Kid is replaced by an old man who gives Trash a ride in a car and only lasts a couple of pages before dying of a heart attack.  The Kid gets twentysome pages.  Other than the major addition of The Kid storyline, the chapter has the usual expansions (Trashcan's arrival in Las Vegas has extra scenes; Hector Drogan's role grows from a couple of lines in the paperback to a few pages, ending in a crucifixion--this scene also shows vividly how different the Boulder community is from that Flagg runs) and changes such as a reference to the fight in the previous chapter.

Chapter 49 and 50 start the chapters in Boulder, which aren't as altered as these last three chapters, though King still expands and fiddles with them a bit.  Some interesting changes from this section include inflation.  In 1980, King priced Nick's house in Boulder at $150,000-200,000.  Ten years later, it's in the $450,000-500,000 range.  The paperback book itself cost $2.95 in 1980, and, from what I can dig up, $6.99 in 1991.  Even with the expanded length, that's quite a jump for just a decade's passing!

I'll pick up with 51 next.              


  1. It would be interesting to have seen the original draft of the chapter with The Kid in it. Among other things, there _was_ no twin-bore Eisenhower Tunnel under the Loveland Pass in 1978. It was a single-bore tunnel that carried both directions of I-15 until the completion of a second bore in 1979, making it "one of the last major pieces of the Interstate system to be completed".


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