As a youth in school I was assigned books to read, just like everyone else and probably some of the same books as you, but I was never able to read any of those books through to completion. I skimmed them and when I didn’t find anything of interest I put them away. As you can surmise, I did not fare well on book reports!
However, as I got older into my late teens I found myself spending a lot of time sitting around being bored. I have the non-hyperactive type of ADD, so I wasn’t always in the mood to seek a thrill. Often I would just sit around in the late afternoons staring out of the window daydreaming or just thinking things. I didn’t have too many friends and when the friends I did have were busy or didn’t have time, I just sat around at home doing nothing of particular interest. Some might think that’s sad and perhaps it was for an outsider looking in, but the truth of the matter is that I enjoyed being alone and just thinking. I have a very vivid imagination and when I daydream it is like watching a live movie with my eyes closed. I can do that with good books just as well. I wanted to fill the void with something new…
The only reason I decided to pick up “The Stand” is because of the cover. I had no idea of the complex story within. And oh my, what a compelling complex story indeed, I was captured from the first page until the last and that’s saying something with my inattentive and distracted traits! The story is a grand gesture and nod to the fact we must live with both good and evil. King does a fantastic job of describing the conflict from both sides and never allowed my mind to become bored. The story constantly changed back and forth from good and evil and character to character from chapter to chapter. All of the chapters are expertly interwoven, but you could always expect to travel a different route in a next chapter, learn new things, and experience random emotions and oddly enough, fear was never one of the emotions that I felt. I was excited—“The Stand” is not a horror story, it’s a basic, yet very complex story about life.
After I read “The Stand” I continued to read Stephen King’s work and became a loyal reader and fan. If I were asked what I like most about King’s work, I would have to say his ability to tell a story of life and death in the most basic common sense manner possible and yet have the story be rich in detail and complex in philosophy. For a while I thought I read Stephen King for the tension, the horror, and the fear, but it’s not about that at all. I have tried to read several other “horror” writers, but none has ever been able to capture my attention the way King does. Actually, my second favorite book by Stephen King is “The Eyes of the Dragon” which is a fantasy novel that is also about the fight between good and evil, but is the furthest thing from a horror novel he has ever written.