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New Podcast: The Stand by Stephen King – Part 1

TheStandCover1With his fifth published novel Stephen King went big–a tale about God and demons with the backdrop of a dystopian future. Involving fears both realistic and fantastic, many King fans cite this as the author’s best work to date. Now Arnie continues his reviews of all King’s works with this multi-part podcast series reviewing The Stand.

In the first part of this podcast series Arnie reveals the history of the stand and how it was inspired by Patty Hearst and some dead sheep. He also provides an analysis of the original, iconic cover art, and how George Lucas and J.R.R. Tolkien factor into this 1978 novel!



January 5, 2015 Posted by | Books, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on New Podcast: The Stand by Stephen King – Part 1

Stephen King’s The Stand Revisited in Books & Nachos Multi-Part Podcast Series



For more than a year the above-pictured copy of The Stand has been my constant companion.

The way Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory never when anywhere without his copy of Catcher in the Rye, wherever I went this paperback, becoming ever-more battered and torn, went with me.

For this copy was the first of three versions of King’s seminal fantasy novel that I read in 2014.  This copy contained the text found in King’s 1980 paperback printing of the book, which varied slightly from the original 1978 hardcover and the 1990 “Complete and Uncut” version of the novel.

It was in this book that I took my primary plot notes on the novel, writing on the pages with pen and highlighter.  Then as I next read the 1990 revised Stand, and then the 1978 hardcover version, it was this paperback I constantly returned to for comparison.

Now I can put this book in a drawer for my review of Stephen King’s The Stand is complete and starting the afternoon of Monday, January 5th, 2015, you can hear it at

The Stand is an epic tale broken down into three books, as well as a prologue and an epilogue.  Likewise my podcast review will be broken into multiple parts and released one per day during this week.  (Though the review of The Stand will be released in fewer parts, and have a shorter run-time, than the sum of all 20 reviews for the short stories in King’s Night Shift collection).

Leaving this book behind is bittersweet.  While I have enjoyed spending so much time in King’s post-apocalyptic universe I’m also really happy to finish this, the most difficult and involved review I’ve ever done.

I hope you’ll join me for it!

While you wait for the Books & Nachos review of The Stand, you can hear our review of the TV Mini-series posted now at Now Playing Podcast’s web site.

January 5, 2015 Posted by | Books, Movies, News, Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

Books & Nachos THE STAND Review — Update

The Stand


Stephen King’s writing of The Stand was fraught with delays.  He suffered writer’s block, lost his way with the story, and ultimately had to release Night Shift as a stop-gap so his publishers had something to release.

It feels appropriate, then, that my Books & Nachos review seems to be going through the same cycle.

As host of the Books & Nachos podcast I’ve reviewed over 50 novels, short stories, comics, and non-fiction works.  I’m aware of the work involved, which includes not only reading the work but researching its history and truly contemplating the meaning of the book.  Yet, even with this experience the review of The Stand is unlike anything I’ve undertaken thus far.  As my review of The Stand is delayed, I’ve received several e-mails asking about the release and I felt it important to update you, the constant listener, on my progress.

When I look back on 2014 the dominant memory I’ll have is King’s epic novel.  I have read this book three times, both the originally published 1978 version, the slightly revised 1980 Signet paperback, and then the 1990 Complete & Uncut Edition.  I took copious notes on each.  I read several accounts of King’s writing of the novel, both major and trivial.  I watched The Stand mini-series (which we reviewed at Now Playing Podcast) and heard King’s commentary, which also added light on his prose work.  I’ve even read the Marvel Comics adaptation so I can review it as well.

But trying to take this information and distill it into one podcast has been daunting.  I did, for quite some time, suffer from writer’s block–my introduction was written, rewritten, and rewritten again but I couldn’t bring myself to tackle the analysis.   I had hoped to have my review of The Stand done by November 1, ready for release around Thanksgiving with our review of the movie.  Needless to say, I missed that date due to the writer’s block.

Now, I’m excited to say, the review is written, but due to the Thanksgiving holiday as well as illness I have been unable to record.   With a holiday schedule growing ever-more-hectic as we approach Christmas, the time I hoped to record has been taken by other more immediate, personal concerns.

That said, progress is being made!  While I cannot provide an exact release date for this review, it will be out before the Christmas holiday (barring more illness).

In the end, my thought is this:  those anxious for this review may be frustrated by the delay, but that will be forgotten.  This review will be online for people to hear for years, and I’d rather put out a product I can be 100% proud of rather than rush to meet a deadline and have a review that doesn’t satisfy me or you.

Additionally, this delay is not going to impact the reviews coming down the pike.  I am well into reading King’s next work The Long Walk and that review will be out in early January, followed quickly by my review of The Dead Zone which will coincide with the Now Playing Podcast review of that movie the week of January 12th.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll join me at Now Playing Podcast for our current series.  On the main feed we have reviews of the horror movie Maniac and, coming tomorrow, the review of the 2012 remake.  And on our donation feed we have reviews of all Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit films, as well as reviews of all seven Leprechaun movies!  Plenty of content to keep you entertained while I record and edit The Stand.

Thank you for your patience, and I will update again when the review is ready for you to hear!


December 8, 2014 Posted by | Books, Now Playing Podcast, Podcasts, Reviews | , , , , , , | 2 Comments