Here we are at the third and final installment of my review on The Stand. If you missed Part One or Part two, never fear, you can find them here and here. I’ll keep this portion as brief as I can. I should have known, back in college when I was in that Intro to Journalism class, that I was not cut out for that kind of work. Do you know what the golden rule of journalism is?? Anyone? Anyone? Well, according to Mrs. Whitley it is “Brevity! Brevity! Brevity!” And the second rule….”If it Bleeds, it Leads”. Thankfully, blogging is nothing like journalism….I don’t have to be super brief, it’s ALL my opinion, and nobody bleeds. But in 1990, there was no Major in Blogging.
Part Three here is basically just me listing my favorite quotes, pointing out some cool or fun connections to LOST and then a list of the other books that make an appearance in The Stand.
Kindle has a cool feature that keeps a record of everything you highlight while reading so you don’t have to flip back through the book to find it. Kindle not only highlights the text, but it also records the page number the quotes came from. I highlighted over 35 quotes while reading The Stand. I’m going to scale it down for you and give you ten favorites of my favorites. I may have chosen these quotes for a number of reasons. Maybe I thought they were beautifully written, maybe I found them to be thought-provoking, or maybe I thought they were funny. And believe me, in a story like The Stand, you need to have some funny. And I realize, if you didn’t read the book and you don’t know the context of the quote, it may seem unimpressive to you but trust me, this is all good stuff. I’ll just list them, and try not to comment further. But I can’t make any promises.
So, on we go, my Favorite Quotes from The Stand.
Dad to Frannie when she confesses she is pregnant: “Then I can’t put any blame, unless it’s on both of you,” he said, looking at her closely. “And I can’t do that, Frannie. I can’t lay blame. Sixty-four has a way of forgetting what twenty-one was like. So we won’t talk about blame.”
Re:Harold: “He smiled at her, revealing teeth that had, at best, a nodding acquaintance with his toothbrush.”
Nick and Mother Abigail: If the Dark Man is west,” Nick wrote, “maybe we ought to pick up stakes and move east.” She shook her head patiently. “Nick, all things serve the Lord. Don’t you think this black man serves Him, too? He does, no matter how mysterious His purpose may be. The black man will follow you no matter where you run, because he serves the purpose of God, and God wants you to treat with him. It don’t do no good to run from the will of the Lord God of Hosts. A man or a woman who tries that only ends up in the belly of the beast.”
“What’s he say?” Abigail asked.
“He says…” Ralph cleared his throat; the feather stuck in the band of his hat jiggled. “He says that he don’t believe in God.”
The message relayed, he looked unhappily down at his shoes and waited for the explosion.
But she only chuckled, got up, and walked across to Nick. She took one of his hands and patted it.
“Bless you, Nick, but that don’t matter. He believes in you.”
Glen: “Whenever something overtly paranormal occurs,” Glen said, “the only explanation that really fits well and holds its interior logic is the theological one.”
Mother Abigail’s thoughts: The father of sin was theft; every one of the Ten Commandments boiled down to “Thou shalt not steal.” Murder was the theft of a life, adultery was the theft of a wife, covetousness the secret, slinking theft that took place in the cave of the heart. Blasphemy was the theft of God’s name, swiped from the House of the Lord and sent out to walk the streets like a strutting whore.”
Excerpt from Frannie’s minutes: “Some uproar from the committee, also profanity which, while colorful, does not have any place in this record.” (Ya’ll know I thought that was funny, given the profanity that flew around this entire book.):)
Tom Cullen – Thoughts and Prayers : “Love didn’t grow very well in a place where there was only fear, just as plants didn’t grow very well in a place where it was dark. Only mushrooms and toadstools grew big and fat in the dark, even he knew that, laws, yes.”
“I love Nick and Frannie and Dick Ellis and Lucy,” Tom whispered. It was his prayer. “I love Larry Underwood and Glen Bateman, too. I love Stan and Rona. I love Ralph. I love Stu. I lov-”
“The Lord is my shepherd,” he recited softly. “I shall not want for nothing. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He greases up my head with oil. He gives me kung-fu in the face of my enemies. Amen.”
Re: Trashcan Man, the pyromaniac: “It was Donald Merwin Elbert, now known as the Trashcan Man, now and forever, world without end, hallelujah, amen.
Tom Cullen (learning of Nick’s death): “Yes he was, M-O-O-N, that spells my main man. I miss him awful. But I’m going to see him in Heaven. Tom Cullen will see him there. And he’ll be able to talk and I’ll be able to think. Isn’t that right?”
Stu and Tom: Over breakfast he said, “Tom, how badly do you want to get back to Boulder?”
“And see Fran? Dick? Sandy? Laws, I want to get back to Boulder worse than anything, Stu. You don’t think they gave my little house away, do you?”
“No, I’m sure they didn’t. What I mean is, would it be worth it to you to take a chance?”
Tom looked at him, puzzled. Stu was getting ready to try to explain further when Tom said: “Laws, everything’s a chance, isn’t it?”
If you watched LOST, then you know they told the story in a puzzle like fashion that allowed you, the viewer, to piece together the mysteries using bite sized pieces of information. I enjoy puzzles. I thought I would have some fun and find some things the folks at LOST picked up and carried over from The Stand. I absolutely believe that some of this was intentional, and other stuff, maybe not so much. But fun just the same.
Watership Down – Stu and Larry both read the book previously. For Stu, he bought it as a gift for his nephew, he opened it to read the first page or so and got hooked after page 2. Stayed up all night reading and finished it two days later. Later in the story he has a conversation with Larry about it. They began to recall the characters, (rabbits) and even applied them to their current acquaintances. **For Pete’s sake people, if you haven’t read Watership Down, read it! That book is INCREDIBLE!
“If they stayed alone, they would die alone.” This just sounds like one of the lines Jack Shepherd is famous for: “If we can’t live together, we’re gonna die alone.”
“Boulder itself was a cloned society, a tabula so rasa that it could not sense its own novel beauty.”
Tabula Rasa is the name of a LOST episode. I had never heard the term before. When I came across it in The Stand, I looked it up. It means “A clean slate.”
“They’re coming” – This is what the Dark Man said to himself when he sensed the four leaders were heading to Vegas. It was bad news. This is also what Jacob says to his nemesis-brother, before dying, after Ben stabs him, in reference to the LOSTies who had successfully traveled through time so they could defeat the Man in Black. This was good news.
About the Books
I love a book that talks about more books! I compiled a list of titles mentioned in The Stand. Some I knew and some I didn’t. It was all kinds of geeky fun!
The book of Job
Set This House on Fire
In His Steps
Alice in Wonderland
The book of Acts
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
My Gun is Quick
Lapham’s Law and the Classes of Society
The Scarlet Letter
“A novel by Max Brand”
“Tom Swift books”
Flowers for Algernon
Flowers for Algernon is on my To Be Read list. And I’d like to read Paradise Lost again, since I think I last left it in High School. What about you? Read any of these? Planning on it?
Ok, so that’s it for me folks. That’s what I’ve got for The Stand.
Thanks for reading!