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The Body

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In 1960s America, four young boys go on a journey to search for the body of a boy killed by a train. As they travel, they discover how cruel the world can be, but also how wondrous.

80 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1982

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About the author

Robin Waterfield

104 books402 followers
Robin Anthony Herschel Waterfield is a British classical scholar, translator, editor, and writer of children's fiction.

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5 stars
20,806 (49%)
4 stars
14,253 (33%)
3 stars
5,838 (13%)
2 stars
1,018 (2%)
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262 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,329 reviews
Profile Image for Peter.
2,789 reviews500 followers
April 14, 2020
Interesting novella showing the lives of four young boys growing up in the early 60s. Teddy, Chris, Vern and Gordon ("Gordie", the narrator who later becomes an author). You'll find typical small town life (Castle Rock), references to other King works (Cujo) and see the boys gradually loose their innocence and childhood. They are looking for the body of Ray Brower (of course I had to think about Henry Bowers from It). You'll read a lot about violent fathers, how to get acquainted with women and bed them, bullies, what books formed the kids' minds and which direction their lives took when getting older. Brilliant coming of age tale. Melancholic and sad in some parts but vibrant and full of life. Absolutely recommended!
Profile Image for Nayra.Hassan.
1,259 reviews5,630 followers
March 19, 2022
لا يوجد من يكتب عن الصبية في سن 12افضل من ستيفن كينج..سوى تشارلز ديكنز..و ربما كانا متساويين
في رائعة موجزة و راقية؛يقدم لنا كينج ابطاله الأربعة الصغار على لسان احدهم :جوردي
الاخ الذي يعاني من فقدان أخيه و تجاهل والديه له بعدها..و هي تيمة مفضلة في أدب كينج

يقرر ان يصطحب أصدقاؤه الثلاثة في رحلة لإيجاد جثة زميل لهم مختفي..و اثناء الرحلة يجدون انفسهم بالطبع..
نتعرف على الأسر المفككة العنيفة التي تعج بها البلدة الصناعية النائية ..
ستجعلك تتساءل مرارا..لماذا تحظى تلك الأسر المتهالكة..بالأبناء الافضل دائما؟ ام ان الظروف
البائسة هي ما تصنع الرجال؟

فهل سيجد الأصدقاء الجثة؟
هل سيصيبهم فضولهم بلعنة ما؟
هل ستنتهي رحلتهم باكتشافهم لانفسهم جميعا؟

اسلوب"ضمير المتكلم"منح الرواية رونقا خاصا
رواية نفسية مثيرة عن أثر القهر على نفس الطفل و دوره في رسم قدره مستقبلا..و هي ضمن مجموعة "فصول مختلفة" المنتشرة في مصر كتسخة مقلدة .. وصنع منها فيلم رائع شهير يدعى
Stand by me
Profile Image for BookHunter محمد.
1,432 reviews3,350 followers
October 31, 2022

مجموعة من الأطفال في بداية المراهقة يذهبون في مهمة مثيرة ألا و هي أن يكونوا أول من يرى جثة صدمها قطار قرب الغابة و جار البحث عنه منذ عدة أيام. يعرفون مكان الجثة مصادفة و يسعون لأن تظهر صورهم في الصحف لأنهم أول من وصل إليها و أبلغ الشرطة.
قد تبدو قصة عادية لا مغامرة فيها و لا إثارة و هذا ما جعلني أقيمها في البداية بنجمتين حتى شاهدت الفيلم فارتفع التقييم نجمة أخرى مستحقة. الكينج يكشف نفسية الأولاد في هذا السن و ما يفكرون فيه و يتطلعون إليه. يكشف ميولهم و رغباتهم و احساسهم بحياتهم و تطلعاتهم المستقبلية.
هي القصة الثالثة التي تمثل فصل الخريف في مجموعة فصول متنوعة
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
August 19, 2018
Well what can I say? What a great coming of age drama. King at his absolute best. When this story was made into a film Stand By Me with River Phoenix and Keifer Sutherland I thought there is no way they will make the movie as good as the book. Well I was wrong, the film is brilliant too.👍🐯

"So darling, darling, stand, by me, oooooooh! Stand, by me..."
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,157 followers
September 20, 2015
I really liked the movie Stand By Me so I knew going in to expect a great read, but what I found was so much more.

The Body is a timeless coming-of-age story. Set in late summer of 1960's Maine, four twelve-year-old buddies, all with strangely abusive and dysfunctional families, take a longer than anticipated walking trip in hopes of seeing a dead body rumored to be hit by a train. As their many harrowing adventures and touching personal stories unfold, they run into big trouble with some older dudes, but rein victorious......or so they think.

In the end, the boys discover many tough, but important lessons about life, and the narrator (unlike in the movie) reveals how three of the lads sadly meet their untimely demise. The only downside for me is wishing I would have skipped the five plus hours of audio and opted for a good old ordinary book. 4.5 Stars.

Profile Image for Blaine.
782 reviews658 followers
September 9, 2023
Love isn’t soft, like those poets say. Love has teeth which bite and the wounds never close.

The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that’s not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It’s hard and painful for you to talk about these things ... and then people just look at you strangely. They haven’t understood what you’ve said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it.
I listened to the audiobook of The Body last week. I remember first reading this book in my late teens. Obviously, there’s a dark element to it (four boys are going off to find a dead body, after all), but my memories of that long-ago reading were of the plot lines, the stories the boys tell each other, and being drawn into the adventure in the story.

Listening to The Body now, in my middle age, I found the story much darker. These boys are neglected, abused, and—other than the narrator—on their way to an early death. There’s a desperation, and a sadness, that lies beneath the choices being made by these boys. It’s a great story, seemingly simple, but with depth and emotion. And it shows off Stephen King’s amazing talent generally, and specifically with writing believable children. A must read, and a great entry point to Stephen King if you’ve never read anything by him.
Profile Image for Emily B.
442 reviews440 followers
February 8, 2021
I decided that in 2020 I would try harder to read some Stephen King. After reading The Body I wish I had started with it.

I didn’t really care for the two short stories within the novella. When the first one began I was wondering if I had a weird electronic version that mixed two separate novels together.

What I liked most about the novella is the idea that the most important things are the hardest things to say.

‘The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that's not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It's hard and painful for you to talk about these things ... and then people just look at you strangely. They haven't understood what you've said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it’
Profile Image for Sandeep.
88 reviews55 followers
September 30, 2020
This story is a journey of young boys growing up, loss of innocence, and friendship. This is probably the most authentic coming of age story I've experienced. These kids feel like REAL kids. They act and speak like actual 12 year old boys would, which I'm thankful for because I think a lot of adults who write about young kids or teens have forgotten what it's actually like to be one.

Stephen King can definitely write the best child characters. The amount of depth he installs in his characters and development of them is amazing. They feel real, the feel like actual people. Also, what great story telling! I flew through the pages without even noticing. I was totally immersed, and that's always a good sign.

This story had funny moments, relatable ones and the final few pages, I read with tears in my eyes. Brilliant story, great unforgettable characters and what good writing! Perfect read! 5 glorious stars and more.
Profile Image for Helga.
965 reviews152 followers
December 10, 2018
“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.”

Besides Charles Dickens and Ruth Hogan, Stephen King is one of the few authors I admire who has always been able to stir so many different emotions in me in a single book.

Any other author could have written the simple story of 4 adolescents, who decide to embark on a journey to see the body of another youth, who has been killed by a train. But not anyone could have conveyed the senses of pleasure, misery, horror, rage, decency, camaraderie, wonderment and sympathy embedded throughout the story.
Profile Image for Mark Lawrence.
Author 72 books51.7k followers
June 14, 2023
This short story (novella probably) on which the film Stand By Me is based, was one I read in the collection of King's shorter work titled Different Seasons. I guess this might be a version tailored to more accurately track the film.

I've seen the film and read the story. I'll review this as if it were the story from Different Seasons.

The truth is that I can't remember an awful lot about it, except - and this is the reason I wanted to talk about it - that it showcases Stephen King's greatest strength, as far as I'm concerned. And that is his character work, especially when focused on children/young people around the time that he himself was a kid. We see it in It, and we see it here in spades.

I have to believe that the children we're shown here, the boys that are the closest friends of the main character, are modelled on or strongly inspired by kids that King hung out with as a lad. They are written with such fierce lack of compromise, show warts, weirdness and all, along with their homelife, siblings, parents, bedrooms, dens, treehouses and what have you. It's impossible to read about them hanging out and reading comics, swapping stories, ambitions, lies, worries, and to not believe in each of them entirely as a human being.

And having worked that particular piece of magic, when King puts them in danger - the rest falls into place. Our emotions are wrung. Our adrenaline pumps. And, even if you were born and raised in an entirely different era and geography ... the nostalgia just grabs you by the throat and squeezes until your heart hurts.

This isn't a good story. It's a great story.

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Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews431 followers
August 13, 2016
This early Stephen King story was adapted into the 1986 movie Stand by Me. The setting is 1960s Maine where four young teens take a walking adventure trip looking for a dead boy's body. If you grew up in the 50s and 60s, this is the kind of stuff you would do, damn the consequences. Great story telling by a master story teller.
Profile Image for Kerri.
989 reviews368 followers
May 7, 2018
This my second reading of The Body, and its just as powerful this time round, at times even more so because knowing how it ends changes how it reads, if that makes sense. It's strongly linked in my mind with the movie (Stand By Me), which really captured this story, I think. I picture Chris as he was portrayed by River Phoenix for example (the same goes for the rest of them). For me the movie blends perfectly with the book (in my mind at least). I think it is a story I'll return to many times, both in book and film form. It really captures something beautiful and special. A firm favourite.
Profile Image for Jonathan Dunne.
Author 15 books1,261 followers
January 3, 2021
Forget writing courses. Read 'The Body' by Stephen King and you'll learn all you need to know.
Profile Image for Jaclyn.
243 reviews66 followers
June 11, 2020
The ways in which kids feel pain, and love and loss are distinct. The Body is an adventure from the outset, a tale of friendship and a coming of age novella about the loss of four young boys innocence. Do the people you surround yourself with hold you up, or do they hold you back? Will they stand by you? This theme is questioned throughout the book, notably from the wiser than his years Chris Chambers. One of my favorite scenes in the book comes near the end, when the boys are making their stand against Ace Merrill and his crew. Vern and Teddy abandon Chris, but Gordie stands with him.

"Stick with me, Gordie," Chris said in a low, shaky voice.
"stick with me, man."
"I'm right here."

This scene solidifies Gordies decision to stick with Chris, because Gordie realizes without him, Chris will drown. This is followed through at the end of the book, when Gordie discusses studying with Chris for college, while Teddy & Vern goof off and get high. This novella is as much about friendship as it is about growing up, and I love it for that. Friendship isn't always easy, and it doesn't always last. Friends are like seasons – they come and go.

This is a poignant novella to read as an adult, and would be a wonderful introduction to SK for a younger audience, despite all the swearing. The themes here are important, relatable, and prominent.

Castle Rock Story
Chamberlaine, Maine is the town that Ray Brower is from - same town Carrie is set in
Possible The Shining reference pg 41 "A Gordon Lachance halfway along in the process of losing the shine" most likely indicating a loss of innocence, but interesting wording for constant readers
Bannerman - not present but discussed - Character in Cujo & The Dead Zone
Ace Merril - Pop Merrill's nephew. mentioned in The Sun Dog , Needful Things , Skeleton Crew: Nona
Vern Tessio - Skeleton Crew: Nona
Teddy Duchamp - Character w/ same name mentioned in Carrie , as it is established in The Dead Zone, that Carrie is a fictional story with in the SK universe, possible that Gordon Lachance is the fictional writer of Carrie? A stretch but fun hypothesis
Emporium Galorium- owned by Pop Merrill The Sun Dog
Shawshank redemption mentioned (and coincidentally where Ace Merrill eventually ends up) Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons
Possible Night Shift reference on pg 75 "We knew about the night shift" when talking about a book of scary stories
The Dead Zone reference pg 110 "The Wheel of Fortune"
Mentions Derry, Jerusalem's Lot & Lewiston - all locations used in SK's works
Aunt Evvie Chalmers - referenced in The Sun Dog , Cujo , Needful Things

Literary References
The Invisible Man

review to be updated
Profile Image for Raghav Bhatia.
313 reviews82 followers
September 22, 2021
There's a special kind of magic in this story. The kind that not only defies words but steals them from you.

Everybody should read this: children and adults; aspiring writers and literary snobs alike.
Profile Image for Henry.
669 reviews34 followers
January 25, 2020
A moving account of four twelve year olds in 1960 embarking on a ridiculous adventure that is beautifully written and incredibly moving. One of King's best: no ghosts, vampires, horror or supernatural things or beings (of which he is a master). Just four boys doing the kind of thing that 12 year old boys do. The very successful movie "Stand by Me" is based on this novella.
Profile Image for Ahtims.
1,488 reviews125 followers
December 21, 2020
Stephen king is one of my favourite authors, and I never let an opportunity pass when I can read his book. This book was chosen as the weekend read this past weekend, and I plunged right in. Though most of his books are a hit with me Some are a miss. Fortunately this one was a hit.
This is almost a growing up story,, the story of four boys from a poor neighborhood you come to know of another that boy lying further off atah riverbank miles from where they are. They plan to walk up to the body to see how it is and to report the body. This whole novella is about their journey, what glitches they overcame and how their life turns afterwards.

The descriptions were beautiful I almost lived in the story and Derry, Cujo and Shawshank ware mentioned, references from his previous books.
Profile Image for Marie.
57 reviews
September 22, 2023
The straightforward, but somehow magical recount of four boys looking for a body, sounds like it should be so much less than it is. The harsh reality of life, leaking out of a would-be romantic childhood adventure, lulls you into the wonder of youthful friendship, then slams you hard with the realization that life happens to everyone, and nothing about that is fair.
You wouldn't need to read between the lines for this to be a great story. King lays everything out for you, gut-wrenching but heartfelt, take it or leave it. I've always liked it when a story had the power to make me cry, and this one did far more than that. Nothing that bad happens though, it isn't epic and romantic, not at all, but it's real and it feels real. It made me angry and sad, gasping for breath and tears rolling down my cheeks, slamming my head down into my pillow, at the unfairness of it all. I've cried over many a book before, but I have never felt quite like this before, satisfied, but snubbed. Any story that can illicit that response from me is all right in my book, and I give it my recommendation with the highest regard.
Profile Image for  Δx Δp ≥ ½ ħ .
385 reviews152 followers
July 10, 2010
With a Little Help from My Friends by The Beatles

What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song
And I'll try not to sing out of key

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

What do I do when my love is away
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do I feel by the end of the day
Are you sad because you're on your own

No, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I need somebody to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love

Would you believe in a love at first sight
Yes, I'm certain that it happens all the time
What do you see when you turn out the light
I can't tell you but I know it's mine

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends

Do you need anybody
I just need someone to love
Could it be anybody
I want somebody to love

Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends
Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends
With a little help from my friends

An amazing and remarkable story about friendship. what is a friendship? Friendship is like the sun above thats always shining bright, Friendship is like a golden smile that warms the coldest night, Friendship is a priceless gift of faithfullness and grace, and nothing in this world could ever take true friendships place...

The story is so sobering but touchful, u'll learn more about how to be a good friend, to be a good man for your brother even he was dead. how to be a meaningfulman in short life.

Gosh, I love this short novel so much. Unforgettable characters and absolutely magnificient story. something in this book will make me read it again, and again, and again. haunts me by a warm feeling.

and... this book has made me remembered my old friend who's dead :(

Wonderful people are carefully created by God
Wonderful moments are carefully planned by God,
Wonderful friends like you are carefully gifted by God
Hundred words does not give pain.
But a true friend silence makes more tears in heart.
Make your life a house your heart can live in.
With a door that is open to receive friends.
And a garden full of memories.... of many good things
But friendship is precious,
not only in the shade,
but in the sunshine of life;
and thanks to a benevolent
arrangement of things,
the greater part of life is sunshine

Profile Image for Kelsey.
275 reviews26 followers
March 31, 2015
I don't know why, but I just couldn't get fully into this. I really wanted to as the film is one of my favourites. But I just couldn't. I found myself skimming a lot of it and even skipping large chunks. It was still really well written and I know the story is a good'un, so I really have no idea why I couldn't get into. Maybe the film overshadowed it too much or something? I don't know.

But I did like the fact that the ending gave you more details on everyone's futures. I'm still not really sure what to rate it as I know for a fact that the storyline itself is great, but seeing as I really struggled with it, I don't feel like I can give it anymore than a 3 or 4.
Profile Image for Olivia.
250 reviews
October 21, 2019

Reading this book reminded me of how much I love reading books that are either narrated by a children or feature children in them as the main characters. This was a great coming-of-age story. It made me smile, laugh and, feel sorry for the kids. It's a great story of friendship and childhood. This is my third Stephen King novella and something I've noticed is that all his books seem to have references from the other books. For example, in this book the fictional prison of Shawshank is mentioned. That was a reference to Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption. Really cool! All in all, it was a quick and fun read. Would recommend.

Going to check out the movie to this!

Profile Image for Peter Derk.
Author 25 books353 followers
September 28, 2018
When we visited my grandma, she had one VHS we watched all the time: Stand By Me.

It was like a ritual. Every time we visited, when it was time to find something to watch, that's what we watched.

It was like a ritual because I don't know how it started, and I don't remember the last time. But for years, it's what we did, and just the look of the movie reminds me of visiting her house.

It made a great movie for this sort of thing. When you're a kid, Stand By Me is just a little...advanced. Or it feels that way. It feels like something that's not totally outside the stuff you should be watching, but it's not like watching Nick Jr. either. And then you get older, and it's still pretty great.

The book and the movie are very close. The events are very nearly identical, for the most part. If you're familiar with the movie, the book doesn't hold a ton of surprises. But there's a little more depth, and the ending wraps things up more. The movie ending is really good, and so is the book ending. Different, but both worthwhile.

The only knock on the book, it contains a couple short stories. The one is clearly designed to give us some insight into Gordon's relationship with his older brother. It's not bad, but it feels like it's just kind of in there. I don't know that I needed it, or maybe that I needed as much of it as I got. Stories within stories are tough. The pie-eating contest really works because it's exactly the kind of story a kid that age would make up, and it has the feel of lore that a kid that age passes around. But the brother story, I dunno. I think it's supposed to be from an early "professional" writing of Gordon's, which is fine, but it's the only time in the book we really get into this period between childhood and the present, and bridging those times with a story written by a 20-something(?) Gordon, as being re-read by an adult Gordon, detailing events from childhood Gordon, it's a little complicated.

That said, that's a nitpick on a really good book, and a book that I'd recommend to folks who want to try out some King but aren't big horror buffs. If you liked the kids in the 50's business of something like IT, this is a great choice.
Profile Image for Himanshu Karmacharya.
949 reviews105 followers
August 18, 2019
"The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller."
This is what I thought about when reviewing this book. Words cannot describe all the feelings it made me feel. It left me with a hole in my heart, as I cannot fathom how to cope, now that the book is over.
Profile Image for Nicholas.
553 reviews62 followers
July 1, 2015
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them - words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked up within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.

I was twelve going on thirteen when I first saw a dead human being. It happened in 1960, a long time ago… although sometimes it doesn’t seem that long to me. Especially on the nights I wake up from dreams where the hail falls into his open eyes.

If you can’t recognize the profound truth in those words and you don’t feel compelled to keep reading, you probably haven’t spent more than a span of seconds contemplating anything heavier than whether or not Charlie Brown is always going to fall for Lucy’s football gag. The Body eloquently captures the coming of age experience of Gordon Lachance, big-shot writer, but one time wet end skulking around Castle Rock in the 1960s - suggesting and completing dares, playing cards, avoiding home and thinking about the changes coming in the future while generally trying to avoid melting into the blistering pavement under that late August Summer sun. In short, it captures what it was like to be a young boy in America “back then” without glorifying it. There was nothing to glorify. You couldn’t really leave your doors unlocked (even in a sleepy burg like Castle Rock) and middle-class small towns harbored just as many demons and just as much dysfunction as our bustling and complex inner cities. It’s relateability across generations is a testament to the novella’s staying power and the staying power of the American experience - at least of males - and I can see parts of my own childhood in parallel twenty years and a continent away basically unchanged in sentiment and psychology. This shouldn’t be a surprise given King’s obsessive fascination with childhood. One gets the impression that he’s spent years mulling over his own experiences and extracting from it the very essence that’s at the core of the American experience and then lays it out in ways that are able to reach your bedrock unlike anyone else in the world.

The Body is sentimental, but pulls no punches. The underlying subtext is one of closing, finality, and loss and in spite of the financial and personal success that lay in store for Lachance (the story’s narrator), there’s a definitively dark and hopeless tone to the experience that makes the word nostalgia not quite fit the bill. It’s not an experience that he has any desire to return to. It just is. The death of childhood (or the Fall from Innocence, as the novella is subtitled) is a tragedy that some people never recover from and attempts to recover it often end in more pain than the initial separation, but there’s a strong compulsion to sometimes like feeling out a cavity with your tongue or poking at a cut to see if it still hurts.

For me the center of the story isn’t Gordon Lachance’s maturation, it’s the tragedy of Chris Chambers. All of the characters are from dysfunctional homes and suffer on a spectrum ranging from neglect to abuse, but none have it worse than Chambers. There’s a beauty to his struggle agains the grasping hands of poverty, genetics, and small town politics that makes you root for him on a profound level. He’s what charismatic and tough guys like Ace Merrill could be if they weren’t swallowed whole by their own selfish desires and self-centeredness. He’s the hero of the story and his friendship with Lachance and his protectorship of the gang is so mature and admirable that it tugs pretty strongly on your heartstrings. Nowhere is this more apparent in his seminal advice to Lachance. Prescient, wise and selfless, it’s one of the most poignant statements of friendship in fiction.

”I wish to fuck I was your father!” he said angrily. “You wouldn’t go around talking about taking those stupid shop courses if I was! It’s like God gave you something, all those stories you can make up, and He said: This is what we got for you, kid. Try not to lose it. But kids lose everything unless somebody looks out for them and if your folks are too fucked up to do it then maybe I ought to.” …

“Those stories you tell, they’re no good to anybody but you, Gordie. If you go along with us just because you don’t want the gang to break up, you’ll wind up just another grunt, makin C’s to get on the teams. You’ll get to High and take the same fuckin shop courses and throw erasers and pull your meat along with the rest of the grunts. Get detentions. Fuckin suspensions. And after awhile all you’ll care about is gettin a car so you can take some skag to the hops or down to the fuckin Twin Bridges Tavern. Then you’ll knock her up and spend the rest of your life in the mill or some fuckin shoeshop in Auburn or maybe even up to Hillcrest plucking chickens. And that pie story will never get written down. Nothin’ll get written down. Cause you’ll just be another wisely with shit for brains.”

Chris Chambers was twelve when he said all that to me. But while he was saying it his face crumpled and folded into something older, oldest, ageless. He spoke tonelessly, colorlessly, but nevertheless, what he said struck terror into my bowels. It was as if he had lived that whole life already…

And it’s reciprocation later in life, after the choices have been made, the lumps have been taken, and the die cast seems to fall tragically short. It’s almost there, but remains forever incomplete; it’s a scar that Lachance carries around for the rest of his life. It’s a scar we all carry when we look back on the past and think of the debts we owe to those people in our lives at that pivotal moment.

Sit back and let the master take you back through your own childhood by taking a tour through his.
Profile Image for Madeline .
1,676 reviews126 followers
June 16, 2020
This audiobook takes me back to the movie.

Stephen King’s words are so strong, so clear, so vivid, they make me weep with emotion.
Profile Image for Hafsa Sabira.
224 reviews47 followers
October 30, 2017
This short story is beautiful beyond description. Where do I even start?

At first,I must put a few words about the cover and the title. In our literature classes we were often required to analyse the cover pictures and the titles and were asked to find their relation with the content of the book. If that's the case with this book, it's just about 100% perfectly matched with the context. See how it's 4 boys walking along a railway track? That's pretty much the whole story right there.

If there's ever a good short story about friendship, preteen psychology and life in the wild, this story should belong in that list. The boys growing up in a small town, recently discovering the taste of whatever is prohibited, jumps at the opportunity to run into the wild to see a dead body. The sudden urge to prove themselves and become heroes turns into something more than just a journey into the jungle. This is where the boys will discover themselves more, feel the true form of friendship and set their destinies.

To be honest, loved every single part of this story. There are parts where I cried. There are parts where I felt scared. This is a story that can make you feel so many things. I am glad that I decided to give it a try.
November 1, 2020
I was surprised as a teen to learn the movie Stand By Me is based on this novella by Stephen King. I've never been a huge King fan (I'm aware of what it means to admit this; please don't send hate mail) but added this to my TBR years ago because I loved the movie so much.

The Body is a coming-of-age story set in 1960s America following four twelve-year-old boys on their adventure to find the body of Ray Brower along the train tracks in the fictional town of Castle Rock, Maine. Full of nostalgia for the time period and what it is to be a kid becoming aware of the world around you, this is an endearing look at friendship with fully realized characters (definitely not an easy feat in the page constraint).

What I found is that the film is faithful to the novella but I have to admit this is a rare case where the movie is actually better than the book! Gordie including two of his stories in full felt random and didn't work for me in the novella; it didn't add anything to the story and honestly felt like filler on the page though it translated well to the screen.

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Profile Image for Cat.
281 reviews5 followers
October 14, 2017
"'I'll see you."
...'Not if I see you first...' He walked off, still laughing, moving easily and gracefully as though he didn't hurt like me...Even if I'd known the right thing to say, I probably couldn't have said it. Speech destroys the function of love..."

The Body made me feel nostalgic for summer experiences me and my friends never got close to having. Adult Gordie's reflections were so honest and heartfelt I could picture myself in the novel walking alongside the railways with Gordie, Chris, Vern and Teddy.
To me the conversations between the characters and the revelations about their personal lives was far more interesting then the plot line of discovering a body. These twelve years old boys had suffered greatly and had both mental and physical scars and I found it incredibly endearing their ability to find solace in one another and their friendship.

I have never felt so attached to a character or wanted to protect them so much than I did when we are told about Chris Chamber's life. He is the leader of the group, the reliable friend, the peacemaker and, in my opinion, the greatest 12 year old around.

This book is no different to King's other novellas in that by the end of the novel you're left feeling quite somber and as if you've just stepped of an emotional roller coaster! For example:
"I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, did you?"
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