“Stand by Me – the book”

Nomen omen, the Latins said. And like it or not, Stephen King is the undisputed KING of a literary genre halfway between thriller and horror.

I think I’ve read almost all of them, from IT to Misery, from The Dome to Carrie through The Green Mile

„And I wonder if there is really any point to what I’m doing, or what I’m supposed to make of a world where a man can get rich playing “let’s pretend“ —  Stephen King, book The Body

The Nights of Salem or The Dream Catcher (which left me and my mother very puzzled about some choices and today we still wonder if he wasn’t under the effects of acid while he was writing!).

I had never read the short stories though. So two summers ago I decided to make up for it, taking the collection DIFFERENT SEASONS, discovering only after that I had chosen the assortment including all those the stories that had been transported to the big screen: Rita Hayworth and the redemption of Shawshank (The wings of freedom), A cute boy (L ‘Pupil) and my absolute favorite: The body (Stand by me), which I had seen at my grandparents’ house many years earlier with my cousins, and which I had enjoyed very much.

The fourth story is The Breathing Method.

Four, like the seasons, and each of them links to one. Beautiful phrases that precede each story and explain, in a very poetic style, the correspondence with the season in question. Respectively: The eternal spring of hope, The summer of corruption, The autumn of innocence and A winter story.

Although they don’t quite match the premise, the seasons. The “autumn” is represented by The Body, which however is set in summer.

I liked them all, but The Body[1] stayed right inside me, maybe because it reminds me of the adventures with my cousins ​​at my grandparents’ place, because it was the only one I still remembered, or maybe I just enjoyed the plot more, the matter of fact is that it is the only one that I have reread three times!

I like it because it tells one of the last times when you really feel one step away from growing up. One of the last adventures lived without thinking about the risks and the dangers, lived only for the desire to live it “until the last breath”[2].

We follow the stories of Gordie, Chris Chambers, Vern Tessio and Teddy Duchamp as if we were with them.

We have the feeling to have them next to us, while they talk, shout, play, joke, get offended … Sometimes they make us laugh for their spontaneity, for their extravagant, unconscious way of doing … typical of the age; at other times we are a little t upset by the myriad of swear words blown, shouted, by these four friends, so different in character and yet so close.

„Gordie: Do you think I’m weird? Chris: Definitely. Gordie: No man, seriously. Am I weird? Chris: Yeah, but so what? Everybody’s weird“ —  Stephen King, book The Body

All four more alone than they want to admit to themselves.

It is a book appropriate to those who love to take a dip in the past from time to time and for those who are not afraid of the arrival of a good dose of sadness in remembering the good old days of childhood; or for those who have lived a memorable teenage adventure, with the right people, the only ones you would like to have next to you to feel alive. Or that you would have wanted so much …

„I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?“ —  Stephen King, book The Body

My cousins and I did not go to see a corpse, but we went around the country as if around every corner there was a secret to be revealed, a mystery to be solved, an adventure to be lived. And this has kept us together, despite the different and varied ages.

And although we have been seeing less of each other lately and no longer run here and there to get into trouble, I feel them close. And re-reading The Body, I remember the good times I had with them.

After all, shouldn’t a novel do just that? Immerse yourself to the point that it seems part of our lived life?

King, in his macabre and disenchanted way, succeeds with this every time.

[1] Gordon Lachance, a 13-year-old who lives in Castle Rock, Maine, and his three friends Chris Chambers, Teddy Duchamp and Vern Tessio, find the body of Ray Brower: he is a fellow age of Chamberlain who went out in search of blueberries and probably never returned. hit by a train on the Castle Rock Railroad.
The end of summer is approaching and the kids spend their time in a tree house playing cards and baseball, smoking and reading. During a sultry afternoon, Vern comes running from home: he has just overheard his brother Billy talking to his friend Charlie Hogan about the body of Ray Brower, found the previous evening in a place called Back Harlow Road, but they decide not to tell the authorities about the fact as they were traveling in a stolen car. The four boys decide to go to that place to see the body.

[2] SPOILER: The penultimate chapter describes the future of Gordon’s three friends. None of them live long. Vern dies in a house fire during a party. Teddy, under the influence of alcohol, destroys the car and dies along with the other passengers. Chris, a sophomore law graduate, is stabbed after trying to quell a fight in a restaurant. Gordon is the only one who survives. Keep writing stories throughout college, and publish some of them in small magazines. He is lucky enough to break through with his first novel, followed by a film. At the time of writing this story, he had seven novels, plus a wife and three children.

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