Thursday, April 17, 2008

'Stand' in the place where you live...

• What do you do with a sick 4-year-old and torrential rains on your day off? We try to limit the lad's TV watching, which means daddy's brain gets stretched to the max filling up the time. Lego car death match!

Photobucket• So after several weighty nonfiction tomes recently, I felt the urge for some good ol' Stephen King, like the craving for a big messy cheeseburger and fries. So I'm reading "The Stand" for the first time in many years; all 1100 pages (urk!) of it. It's a fine companion on rainy afternoons. I won't say King's the finest crafter of sentences on the block, but no matter how highbrow my literary tastes might get I still find the man can tell a ripping yarn like nobody else (I've plowed through 500 pages of "The Stand" in a couple days). It's interesting to see how books change when you return to them after a few years – the horror of 99% of the world's population being knocked off in a plague hits home to me far more now that I'm a father and husband than it did when I read this as a single 20-something. Sure, the characters sometimes seem a little more one-note than I recalled, but the essential primal notes King hits in this saga of an empty America still sting, as I read and wonder, "what would I do?" Like many folks, I'm a sucker for "end of the world" tales, and this one in its epic biblical sweep and everything-including-the-kitchen-sink storytelling still works for me. (It's funny to read a story originally written in the 1970s that's set in 1990 while you're in the year 2008, though.)

• Hey, congratulations to reader Lefty Brown, who wins the little contest I offered up a week or so back in honour of my Fourth Blogoversary of Spatula Forum. Lefty gets my "NZ Mx" CD featuring 21 of what I consider nifty tunes by New Zealand musicians including SJD, The Chills, Phoenix Foundation, The Clean, Flight of the Conchords and more! Cheers mate, and email me your address so I can zip that out to you!

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