Random Thoughts on The Plant

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Well-Known Member
Jun 2, 2011
The Caribbean
Happily I have all six parts of The Plant in a Mobi file so I can read them in my ereader. The first time I read them it was in print, having made the copy myself, and I enjoyed the experience beyond measure. To paraphrase a Forum member, I found the story "dark and delicious." I was made aware of this work after I read The Stephen King Companion, a nonfiction book edited by George Beahm. In it there is a reference to The Plant in which Harlan Ellison--no slouch when it comes to writing himself—says of The Plant: “... those of us who have been privileged to read the first couple of sections of The Plant . . . perceive a talent of uncommon dimensions.”

Uncommon dimensions? Dark and delicious? OK, yeah, I was game. This gave me pause, and I thought: Man, if Harlan thinks this of Stephen King, then the man's talent must be prodigious. So I sought out the work, found it, read it, and my initial estimation was confirmed. (Imagine, Constant Readers, if Stephen King has started his publishing career with The Plant instead of Carrie. I'm certain that the repercussions, like the big bang, would still be heard.)

I'm aware that Mr. King's epistolary novel made its first appearance in digital form, and for this reason I believe that—if Stephen King ever decides to continue with this work—it should appear in this form, that is, as an ebook, in keeping with the “spirit” of the author's original intended form.

I understand there was (and will no doubt continue to be) a negative reaction by some readers as to the continuation of the work, be it in electronic form or as a printed book. By this I'm referring to those who paid to read it online and never got to finish it. I have no idea how this ill feeling can be assuaged except to believe that all will be forgiven once the work is available in its completed form. Of course, you are free to disagree with me, but I hope, Constant Reader, that you won't.

Having said this, and for purposes of discussion, I would like to float this thought your way.
We are now in the world of Ivy the plant and so far ivy has been contained in Riddley's closet inside Zenith House. This begs the question: What will happen when ivy “breaks out," into the city, the state, the country, the world? Consider a Zenith Ivy Apocalypse or Zenith Ivy Armageddon. The possibilities are endless and gruesome the fun. Thanks for listening.
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Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2007
I haven't read this entire piece, although I did buy all the parts. I think your take on how it could continue is spot on. I can't recall -- was the plant able to control minds? If so, it could definitely cause an interesting apocalyptic scenario via that method. Maybe it could infect corpses and cause them to walk.

One thing I thought just now, remembering some of what I read of the story, is that maybe the plant might have been better told with a normal narrative style. Then again, didn't King cheat somewhat? In other words, the letters and other documents started to sound like book narrations and not so much as documents? I never read Dracula, so I suppose that book probably did the same thing -- ostensibly an epistolary novel, but at the end of the day, no letter-writer or diary-keeper ever sounded like that.