GROUP DISCUSSION #2 - “The End of the Whole Mess”

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Marty Coslaw

Low-BDNF Gork
May 19, 2018
148
595
33
DC
When I was reading this, I was wondering about the timing of this story and the Waco incident. This book was released in 1993 and the Waco siege happened that year. It was just a coincidence because the story was written well before the Waco siege but I did wonder for a bit, if Waco being the center of calm had any meaning.
I had the same exact thought! If anything I was expecting that King was referencing the incident in a sort of ironic, parallel universe kind of way. Or maybe just evoking the cult-imagery. That's really interesting to know.
 

Marty Coslaw

Low-BDNF Gork
May 19, 2018
148
595
33
DC
I think it feels a little rushed because this story is a technically vague as Dolan's was technically explicit. The bit with the volcano doesn't seem very well thought out. I think that diminishes the story somewhat. I like relationship between the brothers but the execution of the plan is not very believable.
That's a fair assessment for a discerning eye. It worked for me I think because of the airplane in the park scene. That part alone was so rich, I just believed they could do anything after that. I briefly wondered why the money appeared so quickly, but as far as the volcano, I really didn't want to read page after page convincing me of the empirical validity of their plan. Plus--a supergenius who uses a volcano to save the world--it's just so James Bond. Loved it. Especially the scene in the park.
 

Marty Coslaw

Low-BDNF Gork
May 19, 2018
148
595
33
DC
Sorry I missed the live discussion! I think that the frustration you guys are mentioning about not explaining the details better is mirrored by Howard. He keeps saying "I have so much I want to tell you." But after the injection, he runs out of time and brain function. Someone asked who he was writing the notes for. He mentioned he had a special container with "good air" in it, in case anyone was around in the future to read it.

I have to say that I really enjoyed the love between the brothers. Bobby may not have been a relate-able character, but he truly felt that this was the only way to save the world. It was going to he!! anyway, so his reasoning was, this would cure it or it would be like giving a terminal patient enough drugs to end "the whole mess."

Look forward to Suffer the Little Children!
I actually really liked Bobby. I thought it was very realistic that a kid who's that smart, growing up in a loving family, would be deeply disturbed and disillusioned by politics and wars; all the ugly things you're exposed to once your world isn't curated by your parents. Seems like the incident at the park could even be a subtle metaphor, using his intellect to soar above average people, but eventually meeting a catastrophic end caused by the limitations of his knowledge.

I was wondering, though, whether the narrator's deterioration at the end was meant to convey weakness. Like, maybe if humans are wasps and not bees, we're not supposed to stop stinging. We have to keep our aggression in order to maintain ourselves. That kind of thing. Seems contrary to the rest of the message in the story, but I wondered.
 
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