Discussion Group Read for May 6,2020......The LIfe of Chuck by Stephen King

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Spideyman

Uber Member
Jul 10, 2006
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Just north of Duma Key
I really enjoyed the layout of this story.... Chuck's life in reverse. The middle part brought back his feelings/ love of dance and music. Loved how Steve described the contagious outburst Chuck's memories brought about. The secret that was exposed in the cupola .
One quote touched me......"the seeds of his end... have lately begun to awaken". Mortality! And the acceptance of his universe in the end ( beginning).
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
15,859
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
I really enjoyed the layout of this story.... Chuck's life in reverse. The middle part brought back his feelings/ love of dance and music. Loved how Steve described the contagious outburst Chuck's memories brought about. The secret that was exposed in the cupola .
One quote touched me......"the seeds of his end... have lately begun to awaken". Mortality! And the acceptance of his universe in the end ( beginning).

I liked this one too. One thing I found interesting was how Chuck's story in act III and Act II was mostly told from the stories of people that didn't know him. It starts out as Who's the guy on the billboard? and gets more personal as the story goes in reverse.
 

Dana Jean

Dirty Pirate Hooker, The Return
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
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The High Seas
Good observations guys.

I also connected to this. I always take books and movies and people's personal stories to heart because we aren't alone in this world. We experience similar things.

I like the end to the beginning format. And I found some personal satisfaction that Chuck was so important, the world was just....black.

How could the world go on without him?

When my dad died, it was a bright sunny day. And I remember walking out of the hospital and looking at life happening around me. THe golf course across from the hospital was packed, people were at the park, biking, laughing. Enjoying company.

I was so angry! Did these people not realize a very important person just died? How dare they continue to play golf! How dare they laugh! Can't you see that the world is changed now? The very air was different.

That's what I took from this. A real tribute to a life. And by God, it was going to affect everyone.
 
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fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
15,859
71,642
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
After reading it I wondered if it would have as much impact if you read it chronologically? Part III, Part II and then Part I. Backwards I guess is what I mean. It was a unique story. I liked it alot.


I don't think it would work as well in chronological order. I think the mystery of the billboards is vital to the story and that would get lost in chronological order.
 

Kurben

The Fool on the Hill
Apr 12, 2014
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sweden
I think this was a very metaphysical story. We all have a world inside us and when we die that world die. Although metaphysical in nature it is very well told and you go from wondering who the heck this chuck person is (all the billboards) and when the story progresses you get to know and also to like him. A good story that i liked and also a story that makes you think.
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
87,651
358,754
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Cambridge, Ohio
Good observations guys.

I also connected to this. I always take books and movies and people's personal stories to heart because we aren't alone in this world. We experience similar things.

I like the end to the beginning format. And I found some personal satisfaction that Chuck was so important, the world was just....black.

How could the world go on without him?

When my dad died, it was a bright sunny day. And I remember walking out of the hospital and looking at life happening around me. THe golf course across from the hospital was packed, people were at the park, biking, laughing. Enjoying company.

I was so angry! Did these people not realize a very important person just died? How dare they continue to play golf! How dare they laugh! Can't you see that the world is changed now? The very air was different.

That's what I took from this. A real tribute to a life. And by God, it was going to affect everyone.
.....those of us who have lost a loved one, know that feeling intimately Deej, and I agree with your view.....to expand on it just a bit, this story puzzled the hell out of me at first, but then I thought-"Hell, this is Steve and Chuck's world could well be one of those "other world's than this" and a world within worlds".......when he leaves the mortal coil-the universe around him ceased to exist.....the second portion with the dance was the sweetest and I believe this is another of those "literary" pieces that Steve drops every so often....it is by far the most striking of any in the book....
 

Dana Jean

Dirty Pirate Hooker, The Return
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
53,633
236,696
The High Seas
I think this was a very metaphysical story. We all have a world inside us and when we die that world die. Although metaphysical in nature it is very well told and you go from wondering who the heck this chuck person is (all the billboards) and when the story progresses you get to know and also to like him. A good story that i liked and also a story that makes you think.
.....those of us who have lost a loved one, know that feeling intimately Deej, and I agree with your view.....to expand on it just a bit, this story puzzled the hell out of me at first, but then I thought-"Hell, this is Steve and Chuck's world could well be one of those "other world's than this" and a world within worlds".......when he leaves the mortal coil-the universe around him ceased to exist.....the second portion with the dance was the sweetest and I believe this is another of those "literary" pieces that Steve drops every so often....it is by far the most striking of any in the book....
Both you and Kurben touched on something there. There are worlds inside each of us and when we die, those worlds are gone even though no one realizes it.

In this story, we are shown that. It was just one life, but think about multiplying that by every life. Every single person we lose. Just like the butterfly effect, our absence changes things too.
 

cat in a bag

Well-Known Member
Aug 28, 2010
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wyoming
This is my favorite story in the book. I loved the way it was told. I was a little in love with Chuck by the end.

You guys are more eloquent than I could ever be about the first part and what it means. I just thought to myself, Ooooh. Poor Chuck. Poor people in Chuck's universe. I felt it and it made sense and it made me sad.

The second part is where I fell in love with Chuck. The impromptu music and dance session, I grinned my way through it. I love those types of scenes in movies or tv, whatever. They just make me happy.

The third part was just sad because now we see the effect Chuck's passing will have on the people in his immediate universe. People who love him. But at the same time, beautiful. Because he had people who love him.

I really loved this one. I think it will stay with me and always be a favorite.
 

mal

content
Jun 23, 2007
4,714
27,243
58
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I loved this read but had trouble understanding it. What made sense to me is that the people who started seeing Chuck's ads everywhere were only the people in his head, when he died they would all cease to exist. What made this tough for me were the people who didn't know Chuck and had an independent life and thought from him. For example, when Chuck dies, the couple dies, but the couple also exist in their own world as we,ll and they did not die. After reading this I see I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, but I still loved this story. :)