Finished The Stand yesterday at my sub-job. Being a substitute teacher may be a soul killing job but at least if I choose wisely I can spend the day with my nose in a book and be paid $153 a day to do it. I feel that's a pretty fair trade off. And let me tell you yesterday was quite the day. The first four periods of the day I was supposed to have the lil' bastards read chapter 7 and 8 from Night by Elie Wiesel. Since the kids were reading for the first four periods then I could too. I had indeed chosen wisely. And as it happened the first class was rather fun. The kids were a bit chatty but for the most part they just read the book. I had to shush them a couple times but no biggy. Towards the end one of the class one of the students remarked 'This must be the worst class you've had, huh?' I looked at him for a second and it dawns on me. He is being serious. 'No', I tell him 'This is far from the worst class ever.' He asks me to tell the story. I think about it for a minute and then say 'If you guys keep reading silently (so I can continue to read) I will tell you the tale of my worst day ever, the last five minutes of class.'
They all settled in to read. And I regaled them with the fine anecdote of a profoundly bad day. Seventh grade science. Dissection. Sheep eyeballs. A class who hadn't done many dissections. A recipe for disaster? Yes, quite. Started off ok. Then the resident dillhole decides to make fake puking noises. This makes some of the seventh grade girls actually throw up. Gets worse. The same dillhole decides for no reason and completely unprompted that it would be a fantastic idea to LICK one of the years-old-formaldehyde-soaked eyeballs. It turned out poorly for him and the rest of the class when he began projectile vomiting. Now that, friends and neighbors is what you'd call a truly horrific day.
But yesterday was an altogether ok sort of day. The only tiny wrinkle was the third class. They decided Night was a very boring book. (I read it in the eighth grade, it is anything but dull. Stayed with me forever is what it did.) They also wanted to just talk the whole class. They also though I wouldn't do anything. Three randomly assigned detentions later they got the point. After that it was guerrilla warfare. Many kids in the class clearly had read the book Frindle by Andrew Clements. That is another very good book. So is the prank they pull on the teacher. Nicholas Allen reads about the blackbird and how when it chirps it is impossible to tell where it came from. (Doppler Effect I bet). It's true too. It not only works with bird chirps but with loud tongue clicks. So for the last twenty minutes of class I was subjected to loud peeps and clicks and I couldn't be sure who did them. Not the worst thing that can happen. But still annoying. (and also a bit funny).
But the important thing here is that during my tour of hell I was able to finish The Stand and then started Dark Advent by Brian Hodge. I am still only 30 pages into Advent more than 24 hours because well, I spent a good portion of my day punishing my liver.
So a bit about The Stand. I won't talk much about it because I intend (HA) to post about all three books at the same time. This time through I was waiting for the massive trip to Vegas and then the trip back. I remember it being looooong. It was my second favorite portion of the book (the best part is the beginning the filth and chaos). This time it just seemed short. It still has to be the longest dénouement of any book I've read ever. But this time I was able to read it in the time between telling mouth breathers to shut up and read.
Other thing I thought about. Who was the main character? As my college professor friend Gavin Keulks told me in English 101. 'To find the main character ask yourself who changes'. So if I understand it correctly Harold Emery Louder and Larry Underwood share the title. Larry changes from being a real asshole to being an ok guy. Harold Louder changes from being a douche to being an ok guy to being a total asshole. In other words Harold and Larry change places. Just the way I see it.
A side note here. This commitment to read The Stand, Dark Advent and Swan Song is KILLING me. Under the Dome is out. Hard to wait. I guess UTD will wait. Also Advent is great even 30 pages in. Maybe this time the red skinned demon and the flaming grade school children will appear in the book. Or perhaps the cover has nothing to do with the book whatsoever.
More updates as events warrant.