In 1990, King rereleased his epic tale of a superflu that wipes out 99.9% of the world’s population. The new version of the book (1,153 pages) is some 400 pages longer than the original, published in 1978.
King: It sort of nagged me a lot that those pages had been cut. [My publisher] Doubleday had a physically limiting factor in those days because they used a glue binding instead of a cloth binding, and the way it was explained to me was that they had so much of a thickness they could do before the glue just fell apart. And that meant issuing a book in two volumes, and they didn’t want to do that. So my editor came to me and said, “We have to cut this book by 400 pages. And that’s the reason why. It doesn’t have anything to do with quality.
I [later] showed those cut pages to an editor and he said, “You know, we could redo this book, we could reissue it as the uncut Stand. And I actually sat down and wrote the book again. I had the manuscript on one side of an IBM Selectric typewriter and I had the pages of a book that I had torn out of the binding on the other side. And I started at the beginning and I updated the dates and wrote new material. But when I think about it, I think to myself, “Jesus, that was a lot of work.”
When Robert Bloch died, the only thing that anybody really remembered about him was that he wrote Psycho, which became the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie. And whenever I’m introduced, I’m the guy that wrote The Stand. When my name comes up in the blogs these days, it’s usually in relation to H1N1: “He was the guy who thought about the flu!”