Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Being stuck inside an egg

"I am not a religious person, but if I was I would call what has happened a judgment of God. In a hundred years, maybe two hundred, it will be ours again."

"Those trucks won't be gone in two hundred years."

"No, but the road will be. The trucks will be standing in the middle of a field or a forest, and there will be lousewort and ladies' slipper growing where their tires used to be. They won't really be trucks anymore. They will be artifacts."

"I think you're wrong."

"How can I be wrong?"

"Because we're looking for other people," Larry said. "Now why do you thing we're doing that?"

She gazed at him, troubled. "Well . . . because it's the right thing to do," she said. "People need other people. Didn't you feel that? When you were alone?"

"Yes," Larry said. "If we don't have each other, we go crazy with loneliness. When we do, we go crazy with togetherness. When we get together we build miles of summer cottages and kill each other in the bars on Saturday night." He laughed. It was a cold and unhappy sound with ho humor in it at all. It hung on the deserted air for a long time. "There's no answer. It's like being stuck inside an egg."

— from The Stand, by Stephen King.

Came back from Cuba yesterday, and this brick of a book only half read. My first Stephen King. It's good and all, and I'm interested to see how it all unfolds, but really, I would've cut a few hundred pages. Still, all-round good and thoughtful storytelling, some nice literary allusions, too much dialogue for my taste. We'll see how the next 700 pages go.

"Being stuck inside an egg." A quick Google search proves that it's not an expression original to this novel, but not exactly common. I'd never heard it before, and still can't quite pin down its meaning. Any interpretations on offer?


Sam Frederick said...

I remember that King later brought out an abridged version of this book that some fans liked better.

Isabella K said...

Hi, Sam! I'm reading the "complete and uncut edition," which King released several years after the initial publication. Apparently it was an accounting decision to keep the original page count down, but King was later able to publish it as he's intended it, and fans demanded it.

I don't know how the reception of the two versions compare, but I suspect I might like the shorter version better. (But I'm 1300 pages in now, thoroughly enjoying it, and anticipating the end.)