Back in April my husband and I got back to our crappy hotel room in Denver after one of the various wedding activities we were in town for and we turned on the TV which was playing Stand by Me. It was then, after seven years of life together, that I leaned my husband had never seen Stand by Me.
Anyway, The Body is the novella on which Stand by Me is based and it is a very strong “coming of age” piece of literature without being compared to the film (which is hard for me not to do). I think the only part I really (really) didn’t like was the Chico story, and I can see why that didn’t get filmed while the pie-eating story did, but that was a pretty small part of the overall story.
In the summer of 1959 Gordie Lachance and his friends, Teddy, Chris and Vern , hear about the dead body of a boy from a nearby town who was hit by a train. They mislead their parents about their plans, claiming to be camping closer to home, and embark on an adventure that takes them from childhood to adulthood in less than 48 hours. These are adolescent boys so there is a lot of swearing and foul jokes but it all seems very realistic.
It is a short journey, both the time they’re out in the woods and the length of the story, but the boys encounter plenty of mishaps. They get caught breaking & entering the town dump, Gordie gets in an argument with a store clerk while buying food and they nearly get run over by a train themselves. The foursome manage to get to their destination but run into a gang of older boys who want to “claim” the body themselves.
“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them. It’s hard to make strangers care about the good things in your life.”
I think I will always like the movie more than the novel but I did enjoy reading the source material.
OH and few months after the Stand by Me discovery I learned hubby had never seen the Goonies before watching it on HBO while in China of all places!