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View Poll Results: Who Is Your Favorite "The Stand" Character?
Susan Stern 0 0%
Whitney Horgan 0 0%
Judge Farris 0 0%
Harold Lauder 1 10.00%
Charles Campion 0 0%
Dayna Jergens 0 0%
Glen Bateman 0 0%
Barry Dorgan 0 0%
Ralph Brentner 0 0%
Major Len Creighton 0 0%
Kojak 0 0%
Trashcan Man 0 0%
Lucy Swann 0 0%
Stuart Redman 4 40.00%
Lloyd Henreid 0 0%
Mother Abagail 2 20.00%
Julie Lawry 0 0%
Nick Andros 0 0%
Randall Flagg 1 10.00%
The Kid 0 0%
Tom Cullen 0 0%
General William "Billy" Starkey 0 0%
Frances Goldsmith 0 0%
Bobby Terry 0 0%
Larry Underwood 2 20.00%
The Rat Man 0 0%
Nadine Cross 0 0%
Jenny Engstrom 0 0%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-2017, 04:50 AM   #1
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THE STAND (Favorite Characters Poll) Stephen King

An Editorial/Review/Poll - (Not req'd reading for the poll...but it might help to refresh your memory)

The Book:
In 1978 Stephen King published what is widely recognized by his fans (and most "Top Ten" sites found on the inter-web) as his most cherished work. I won't say best work, as I by no means wish to imply that it's all been "downhill" since. Far from it...as one of the most prolific and successful scribes in his lifetime, fans of both his written word and screen adaptations can easily point to other tales such as The Green Mile, The Body (Stand By Me), Rita Hayworth And The Shawshank Redemption (you all know what THAT adaptation was) and so many others.

But The Stand...well, there's just something about THAT story that resonates deeply by not only King fans, but by readers of all genres. Speaking of genres, King is famously known as the "Master Of Horror" which I can appreciate may turn some readers away (as well as draw readers towards) but, like Green Mile, The Body and Shawshank, The Stand is far removed from "horror". Wikipedia is one of the few sites that (properly) does not classify The Stand as "horror". They use the genre "Post Apocalyptic"...which is as good as any since there is no genre entitled "Perfect Character Development" or "Flawless Story-Line".

The premise is startling intriguing...the rapid de-population of the planet and thereafter the journey, future and development of the 1% that remain. It is the incredible character development of that 1% that draws us in like few other books ever have...and continues to hold us in a state of empathy 'til the end. No small feat for a book that, from a physical distance, could appear to be War And Peace...or (on more than one occasion) has been substituted for the "kiddie table" when your relatives come over with their runny-nosed, walking-talking-bacteria-factory little darlings for Christmas dinner. Yep, it's a BIG book...a REALLY big book.

With characters such as Stuart Redman (a stoic, intelligent Texan), Randall Flagg (the forever omni-present figure who haunts us all), Abigail Freemantle (the giver of hope), Trashcan Man (the blind follower..."My Life For You!"), Francis Goldsmith (the independent - yet still dependent young woman), Lloyd Henreid (another blind follower...but not so blind), Larry Underwood (the Pop-Rock musician who is "coming of age" far later in life than he should - or wants)...and so many other deeply developed characters.

You are now being asked to vote on your favorite! All in all, it really WOULD make for a great movie. Which brings us to...


The Movie:
Yes, obviously there was a movie (and another currently in development so we hear) of this literary masterpiece. The original movie was broadcast as a television mini-series in 1994. King fans swarmed around T.V. sets to watch this story come to life. Some recoiled in utter horror...not at the content, but in the "what have you done to this book?" sort of fashion. Sound familiar? Well, like so many great books, the film adaptation did not live up to the original in the minds of some readers. BUT...something happened along the way.

Over time, the film gained a massive following (I refrain from using the word "cult"). I don't know if this is due to the excellent performances given by actors such as Gary Sinise, Ray Walston, Jamey Sheridan, Miguel Ferrer, Adam Storke, Rob Lowe or "Kojak"...or (perhaps) it's popular because it's the "only one we got".

It is now hard NOT to imagine Gary Sinise as Stuart Redman, or Ray Walston as Glen Bateman, or Adam Storke as Larry Underwood...it might even ruin the "in development" movie that is planned for us at this point only because those characters and their respective actors are so ingrained now. It's like a really great "B" movie that people rave over.

Also, the soundtrack may seem a bit aged now but there is no doubt that (at the time) it didn't hurt the Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear The Reaper resurgence (great tune) in the opening credits but, then again, Crowded House's Don't Dream It's Over is thrown in seemingly at random (incredible song...but huh?). And finally, after all, let's not forget about the best song of all, Baby Can You Dig Your Man! I'm in the camp of "I love the mini-series...finally". Which leads us to...

Poll Voting:
Pick your favorite CHARACTER from this story. You can choose from either the book or the movie...whichever one influenced you the most...but you can only pick one. (Those are the poll rules...we don't make the rules, but we delight in your agony...know that you're not alone). The characters are listed in random order so as not to influence anyone. Cast your vote, leave as many comments/explanations/reasons as you wish...this thread is now yours...go vote!

Last edited by Cherry Picker; 03-10-2017 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 03-10-2017, 08:16 AM   #2
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I love the book ... but not sure I love the idea of trying to pick a favourite character.

In some respects Harold is a favourite, so well drawn by King (in the mini-series you miss a lot of the background and development of this character), and he's a character that got a raw deal by everyone (good and bad). A much more ambiguous character than most - except perhaps poor Nadine, who never really stood a chance.

Someone like Stu Redman is an easy pick for favourite, the obviously intended main hero of the story. Easy to like but he's not so interesting as many of the others (which is often the case with heroes).

The Larry Underwood is a wonderfully sleezy character that Kings paints and develops so well through the story.

Trashcan Man is fascinating but I find it hard to call him a favourite. Same goes for Lloyd Henreid, bad with brains, so rich a character in the book.

Nick Andros and Tom Cullen would come near the top of my list - particularly when I remember the interactions when it's just the pair of them.

Glen Bateman, the conscience of the good-guys, is an easy character to overlook (because who really wants a conscience?), but wonderfully well painted by King.

My favourite would come from that set, but I have no idea how to cut that back to one. ... I think I might go with what I think is the best written, the best developed (rather than most liked) character: Harold Lauder, he's such a wonderfully and easily dislikeable character, and yet you end up feeling sorry for him (well, I did). (ETA: But ask me again tomorrow and you might get a different answer. )


... I do find it interesting, looking over it, that those are all male characters - except my brief mention of Nadine. I can only say that none of the other female parts left such strong impressions. (I know Frannie, in particular, was probably supposed to, and early on she does, but her character sort of fades into the background as the story progresses.)


The Mother Abigail and Randall Flagg characters are, for me at least, not so much characters as they are story props: to keep everyone pointed in the desired direction.

Last edited by gmw; 03-10-2017 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:11 AM   #3
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Very funny this poll should pop up this week, as I was just thinking about characters from "The Stand" this week, for what may be one of the few times I've thought about them in the 25+ years since I read the book.
But I can't recall any of the character's names.

I remember there was:
Spoiler:
a smart, "uncool" fat kid, who liked Chocolate Payday bars, and there was this other "cool" guy who followed the trail of PayDay wrappers across the country, and admired how brilliant the "uncool" kid was.


That guy who followed the kid was my favorite character. Mostly because of his attitude of admiration for the kid's intelligence.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ApK View Post
Very funny this poll should pop up this week, as I was just thinking about characters from "The Stand" this week, for what may be one of the few times I've thought about them in the 25+ years since I read the book.
But I can't recall any of the character's names.

I remember there was:
Spoiler:
a smart, "uncool" fat kid, who liked Chocolate Payday bars, and there was this other "cool" guy who followed the trail of PayDay wrappers across the country, and admired how brilliant the "uncool" kid was.


That guy who followed the kid was my favorite character. Mostly because of his attitude of admiration for the kid's intelligence.
Harold Lauder and Larry "Baby Can You Dig Your Man" Underwood.

I always had a soft spot for Stu Redman, 'specially after Gary Sinise played the character in the mini-series. I have that on VHS, not that it does me any good without a working VCR in the house!

ETA: It doesn't take much to one-click - the DVD will be coming to the house soon!

Last edited by copyrite; 03-14-2017 at 05:35 PM.
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