Discussion Group Read for June 3, 2020------ The Langoliers by Stephen King

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fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
It's been a long time since I read this and I enjoyed reading it again. I'm not sure I'd call this a novella. I guess compared to some of Stephen's other works, 320 pages is a novella. :)

The story has a great cast of characters, except for the sleeping guy. I thought it would have been funny if the sleeping guy would have woke up when the plane was flying backwards through the rip. He would wake up just in time to get offed going through the rip. :)

The Shop made an appearance when mentioned by Bob describing a novelist's view on what he thought happened.

I liked the idea of the past being eaten away and liked how Stephen made the comparison with the strips Toomey was ripping to the strips of the past being eaten by the Langoliers.
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
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71,642
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
I highlighted this passage describing a pilot's job. I thought it was a good description.

He remembered a pilot telling him once, "They pay us a hundred thousand dollars or more a year, Brian, and they really do it for just one reason. They know that in almost every pilot’s career, there are thirty or forty seconds when he might actually make a difference. They pay us not to freeze when those seconds finally come.”
 

cat in a bag

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2010
12,038
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wyoming
I have always liked this story. I always see the black pac-man like blobs from the movie now, I wish I didn't. They are much scarier in the story.

I found it interesting how different SK treats time travel in The Langoliers as opposed to 11/22/63.

"I think we've gone into the past and discovered the unlovely truth of time-travel: you can't appear in the Texas State School Book Depository on November 22, 1963, and put a stop to the Kennedy assassination."

"Take a good look around you, fellow time-travellers. This is the past. It is empty; it is silent. It is a world-perhaps a universe- with all the sense and meaning of a discarded paint-can."

The whole 11/22/63 book could not have happened in The Langoliers level of the Tower. It is a scary thought that yesterday and all yesterdays are just systematically disposed of. Nothing left to even show you were there. It hurts my head to try to wrap my head around.

Then, the opposite...

"Why shouldn't it be beautiful? This is the place where life- all life, maybe- begins. The place where life is freshly minted every second of every day; the cradle of creation and the wellspring if time. No langoliers allowed beyond this point."

Everything is possible, everything brand new. Fun to be had, mistakes to be made. I just really liked that paragraph.

I remembered Toomey of course, and the pilot and Dinah but did not remember how they got back, or even if they got back. Very enjoyable reread for me.
 

Dana Jean

Dirty Pirate Hooker, The Return
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
53,633
236,696
The High Seas
I have always liked this story. I always see the black pac-man like blobs from the movie now, I wish I didn't. They are much scarier in the story.

I found it interesting how different SK treats time travel in The Langoliers as opposed to 11/22/63.

"I think we've gone into the past and discovered the unlovely truth of time-travel: you can't appear in the Texas State School Book Depository on November 22, 1963, and put a stop to the Kennedy assassination."

"Take a good look around you, fellow time-travellers. This is the past. It is empty; it is silent. It is a world-perhaps a universe- with all the sense and meaning of a discarded paint-can."

The whole 11/22/63 book could not have happened in The Langoliers level of the Tower. It is a scary thought that yesterday and all yesterdays are just systematically disposed of. Nothing left to even show you were there. It hurts my head to try to wrap my head around.

Then, the opposite...

"Why shouldn't it be beautiful? This is the place where life- all life, maybe- begins. The place where life is freshly minted every second of every day; the cradle of creation and the wellspring if time. No langoliers allowed beyond this point."

Everything is possible, everything brand new. Fun to be had, mistakes to be made. I just really liked that paragraph.

I remembered Toomey of course, and the pilot and Dinah but did not remember how they got back, or even if they got back. Very enjoyable reread for me.
Fantastic observations and insights, cat.