I read Stephen King’s The Stand when I was thirteen years old, a paperback with so many miles on it that it had crossed the threshold from well-worn to disintegrating. The pages no longer held to the binding and would scatter in an explosion of musty leaves if fingers slipped while thumbing for purchase. I would meticulously reorder the pages and go through one by one to ensure that not a one was upside down or missing. I got it at a library book sale and it was in such bad shape that the volunteer perched next to the cash box, who was coasting on a bibliophile contact high from glancing at each book, gave it to me for free instead of charging me the quarter.
You can interpolate then the burning excitement I cultivated leading up to the miniseries interpretation of the novel, especially in those days before the Internet could strangle anticipation in its crib. You can also then interpolate the burning disappointment of watching those episodes on borrowed VHS tapes smuggled home to watch before my parents got home.
And because CBS is on the leading trend of things that might have been relevant twenty years ago, they’re the ones with the miniseries event of summer 2013, Stephen King’s Under the Dome:
Well I guess they didn’t need to bring in Molly Ringwald and Gary Sinise to destroy fantastic characters, since the writing more or less did that for them.
Several thoughts come to mind. First, this was the only Stephen King book I never finished. I’ll leave it at that as others have written at length of the problems with the book specifically and King more generally in his recent career. So it’s sort of mystifying to me why anyone would bother adapting this particular book, other than the fact that at face value the set-up is creative and interesting.
Second, to be fair, while All Along the Watchtower is vastly overused, this is perhaps the only time that it’s lyrics have been so literally appropriate.
Third, there was yet another rumor that a Dark Tower adaptation is now possibly ending up over on Netflix. I put no stock in this rumor, but news about the Tower tweaks my ears like a dog to a whistle, so I thought I’d put it out there for you.