March 2012's SK Flavor of the Month - Desperation
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Also as a pastor, I enjoy reading King's interpretations of God. I always joke that when I get older and the kids are grown, I'm writing a book called "God is Cruel: The Theology of Stephen King." I think that phrase and this book sum up a lot of how God's been presented in King's books. It is an interesting presentation all together, at least for a theological/King dork like me.
I've been looking forward to rereading this one too. The one/two punch of Desperation and The Regulators make up one of my favorite Stephen King reading experiences.
My details about the book are a little hazy. I remember the first time I read Desperation/The Regulators I had jury duty. In those days you were expected to sit in the jury pool room all day if you weren't called on a case and were expected to keep doing that until your jury time ran out. Reading these books really made that break from work seem welcome.
That sentence sounds really confused itself!
Anyway, this time I had less of a problem with that, which was a bit of a relief.
I love the opening of the book. The immediately nasty detail of what's on the sign, the heat and desolation of the desert and the description of the towering cop, visible only a little at a time through the car window...
King was on fire here and it is so refreshing to see him write in a setting that is so different from his usual stuff.
#1 - I remember seeing the beginning of the TV adaptation, but not the rest. I think I had to leave before watching the rest. I'll have to Netflix it after I finish the book.
Anyhow, I am an irreligious person and don't spend much time discussing theology. But I have to say that so far, I am siding with David's mom. I know her personality is grating right now, but her points seem awfully valid to me.
When David was discussing God's cruelty with the pastor, the pastor mentioned how forgiving God is. But within what has been discussed in this book, there seems to be precious little forgiveness.
I had very similar feelings with God's actions in The Stand.
Sorry. I don't mean to turn anyone off. But the theological angle is so much a part of this book.
As I see it, God for King here and in the Stand is the general in a war. Like generals in WWII. Yeah, they sent millions to die on all sides, and sacrificed men in some heartless ways in order to win the war. But you as a soldier had to follow orders and die doing it if necessary, even if you think it's a load of crap. I don't think that's a full accurate picture of God, but one that King likes to explore. God as Supreme Commander.
I'm really looking forward to rereading The Regulators and seeing how King connected the two stories.
#6 You (and further reading) have convinced me to tone down my dislike for God (in the book). Which is more than I can say about His actions in The Stand.
I do think Johnny's transformation came a little too easy though.
Really looking forward to starting The Regulators. I'm hoping to be a little more chatty this month.
I think the casting was excellent, but the movie felt too middle-of-the-road to me. It was like all the things Mick Garris attaches his name to. A very good idea, but Garris is just too lackluster a director.
I've always hoped a director with vision would adapt both books and film them back-to-back with the same cast.
I had a hard time giving a voice to the bad guy cop. If the dialog was more menacing, it would have worked for me. The "YEE HAW" "GOSH DARN" phrases disrupted the story. He reminded me of Andy the Robot in Wolves of the Calla. That is favorable, as Andy's cool. Once the cop's story line finished, and the new bad people took over, I thought the story worked better. Reading reviews and this thread has made me want to read the Regulators.
This is a good book, but doesn't break into my top 10 King books.