There are plenty of pitfalls that drag epic, amibitous novels down; plots that don't hold up for a thousand plus pages, characters that grow tiresome, repetitive themes that feel like a broken record halfway through the book.
The Stand avoids all of these. The cast is large and varied enough to keep multiple plot threads going, but not too large to become confusing. And as many as there are, none are superfluous to the plot, all serve a purpose that is revealed before the finale. The plot is intense and ambitious, but divided into segments it is managable and sustainable. Daunting certainly at 1200+ pages, but always building towards the inevitable conclusion. The theme is as old as storytelling; the ultimate battle between good and evil, the eternal cycle of death and rebirth. But King manages to present these timeless themes with mythic, Biblical imagery melded with a down-to-earth humanity that makes them fresh and exciting.
This book is a chilling, thrilling home-run. At the end of the book (and at many places throughout) I felt as though I'd been completely wrung out. The amount of emotion the reader invests in this book is one of the greatest of any book I've read. Its exhausting and exhilirating at the same time. One for the ages, truly not to be missed.
This is my favorite Stephen King book, and one of my top 10 books of all time. My first copy literally fell apart from re-reading. If you read the original version, make sure you pick up a copy of the Uncut verison, which contains almost 200 extra pages and several storylines (such as that of The Kid) which were left out of the shorter, original publication.
A word of warning; I don't suggest reading this book when you're not feeling well. I got caught in a flu epidemic several years ago that landed me in the hospital on two occasions. I was bored and started to re-read, and ended up practically giving myself a full blown anxiety attack. *L*
"The Stand" is my favorite book of all time. I love books dealing with the end of the world, and this, in my opinion, is the best one. A "super-flu" kills 99% of the world's population, and the remaining one percent gravitate towards either Mother Abigail, an old woman, or Randall Flagg, basically the devil. The book is very much good vs. bad, with a definite religious tint to it overall. Admittedly, the book is longer than most (1200+ pages), but it is full of detailed characters who will stay with you long after you finish. This is one book you will want to read again.
Excellent read. I'll never look at a row of telephone poles the same way again! One caution: I took it on vacation and it was so good I didn't want to put it down. Became a source of conflict on my vacation!
In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookstores and beg them not to buy it.
The Stand is like that. You either love it or hate it, but you can\'t ignore it. Stephen King\'s most popular book, according to polls of his fans, is an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus is accidentally released from a U.S. military facility and wipes out 99 and 44/100 percent of the world\'s population, thus setting the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil.
\"I love to burn things up,\" King says. \"It\'s the werewolf in me, I guess.... The Stand was particularly fulfilling, because there I got a chance to scrub the whole human race, and man, it was fun! ... Much of the compulsive, driven feeling I had while I worked on The Stand came from the vicarious thrill of imagining an entire entrenched social order destroyed in one stroke.\"
There is much to admire in The Stand: the vivid thumbnail sketches with which King populates a whole landscape with dozens of believable characters; the deep sense of nostalgia for things left behind; the way it subverts our sense of reality by showing us a world we find familiar, then flipping it over to reveal the darkness underneath. Anyone who wants to know, or claims to know, the heart of the American experience needs to read this book. --Fiona Webster
The epic #1 bestseller, and the \"book that has everything.\" (The New York Times)
The Complete and Uncut edition has some added text that was, according to the author, edited out of the original release. He also updated some of the cultural references and moved the story forward in time a few years. The changes do not diminish the story.
This is one of my favorite books of all time. I have reread it several times -- which is something that I rarely do. A must read for all Stephen King fans. There are wonderful characters that you become quite attached to as the story about the survival of mankind in the face of pure evil unfolds.
I read this book every five years or so. It never ceases to scare me. The movie of the same name follows the main storyline although one does not always understand the motiviation behind some of the decisions the characters make in the movie. I found the movie to be a good supplement to the novel since it allowed me to "see" places I otherwise did not have a "visual" of. The novel is based on an earlier short story written by Stephen King.
The story runs parallel to the plague epidemic of the Middle Ages or flu epidemic of the early 1900's but with a major twist. Like those epidemics, this one kills off most of humanity. The book, however, came out about the same time as the AIDS epidemic was made public in the United States. However, like AIDS, plague and flu, there are some who do not "catch" the disease despite repeated exposure. Although King explores, very creepily, what could happen to modern society in such a situation, he does provide additional characters with knowledge to bring back some of the modern technology in order to keep the story going. For example, it is a bit unbelievable to see only one or two people bring back electricity to a fairly large area - and keep it running - when it generally take several people to keep a plant running. There are other parts that are suspiciously unbelievable when viewed according to reality however, the main characters are believable and fairly well-rounded while many of the secondary charaters could be better fleshed out. But this is a work of fiction - could happen - but fiction just the same.
This is also a classic battle of good versus evil. As always, evil seems to have the upper hand although good struggles to prevail. In a way, this story is circular, having returned to the beginning when it reaches the end. Evil triumphs, then good, then evil and so on. What exactly Randall Flagg is remains a mystery but one is left with the impression that the battle between good and evil is not over.
I couldn't stop thinking about or talking about it constantly. The uncut version is worth the extra 500 pages, since the parts which were previously cut add so much more to the story. I do wonder why Stephen King has some things in most of the story (for instance, Nadine) and then end that part so abruptly. Unless he leads the reader on, allowing them to think they know how the story will end, only to twist it down a different path.
This book is definitely in my top 10 books to read and re-read. I have a paper back copy and a hard back copy. The paperback copy is held together with rubber bands. I probalby re-read this book every other year. It is the only book(s) from my original Stephen King collection that I kept!
Awesome read and re-read!!!!!
Reviews I have read in newspapers and online seem to agree that readers either love this book or absolutely hate it. I am one of those who 'love it'. It measures 1,141 pages, so anyone who doesn't like the first couple of chapters probably will never finish it. All those pages are needed, though, to tell this truly epic, wide-ranging story. King's characters are so well-drawn, even ones that only appear on a page or two just so you'll know how they died. The main characters in particular are really interesting, and do grow and change with the events of the story. If you can get your book club to wade through this (and mine so far won't) you'll probably get some great discussion out of it. Science, politics, spirituality, religion, sociology, etc. all are a part of the story.
The book describes a plague - a man-made virus - that kills over 90% of the world's population. Survivors (in the U.S.) are lead by dreams to one of two places - Boulder, Colorado (the good guys) or Las Vegas, Nevada (ruled by The Bad Guy). Events lead to a 'final' stand between the two. Obviously, there's too much to tell here, but King does a great job of interweaving the lives of dozens of characters and overlapping events. I recommend it!
Melissa B. reviewed The Stand: Complete and Uncut on
Helpful Score: 1
I am a huge King fan and have never, suprisingly, gotten around to reading The Stand. The Uncut Version is definately the way to go. I more than enjoyed this book! My brother and I both read it and are still bringing up interesting/fantastic scenes. King is an artist, you will love this book!
A harsh plague devastates the Earth and an evil from beyond appears to tear the survivors apart. One of King's best books. This is a long read, but if you like King, or even if you don't, you'll probably love this one.
I have read this book before and wanted to get a copy to keep. I watch the movie everytime it comes on TV. I believe that there is a constant battle between good and evil and I believe that in the end good will win. This book talks about that battle and about how good has to suffer the good with the bad in order to win. That is a description of everyday life. We were never promised it would be easy and this book shows that the decisions we make may be the outcome of the world. The book is long and takes a while to read and the movie helps you understand what it is trying to tell. The book is well worth the read sometimes being too descriptive but it needs to be read. Even though it is fiction you can apply it to today. If you don't believe when you read the book you might reconsider afterwards.
Although long, this book is fabulous! I love King's narrative voice in many of his novels, but the ever-changing of the characters' points of view in this novel and King's way of developing and evolving them is brilliant at the very least. Let's not forget, too, that the plot is fascinating and well, let's just say, frightening because it's plausible with the exception of "the Walkin' Dude". This is a must-read - I have read it again and again over the years, and I still love it!!!
Very good, as you would expect from King. I understand it has been made into a miniseries. The writing is excellent, the premise unfortunately very believable, especially if one felt lied to by our previous president about why we needed to go to Iraq. A biological weapon escapes its control base and wipes out many Americans and it seems the rest of the world. Evil then wants to take over and wipe out those who were immune to the virus. The are led by dreams to meet with Mama Abagail (an old black woman) on her farm in Nebraska then migrate to Boulder Colorado; evil gathers in Las Vegas. If you don't mind all of the leaders of the good being white male and the cliche's inherent therein, go for it.
This is BY FAR my favorite Stephen King book I've read so far. I was so engulfed in it while I was reading it and when I finished I didn't know what to do. This book has DEFINITELY changed my whole perspective on life & everything about it.
This is an excellent read. Although it is long, it is well worth the time. Actually, if you are like me, you will devour it! I loved the way King developed the characters, and told the story from their own voice. It is a classic story of good vs evil as only Stephen King can tell it.
This is the 4th time I have read this book and it just keeps getting better and better. It is the classic story of Good vs. Evil, with that special Stephen King twist.
If you have not read this book in years (like me) now is the time to do so again, I am sure you will see things that you did not the first time around. If this is your first time, put on your seatbelt you are in for an incredible journey.
This was a great book when I read it in its original form 30 years ago, I think I was happy with that, it got a little confused in its expanded form. Maybe my brain has shrunk since I have gotten older. Anyway, it's always good to know that evil arose in an army base just down the road from me.
One of my favorite King Novels. A Little on the long side, but that's great because it is so much story. The characters are so personable you definetly get attached to them. And the story of a plague wiping out much of humanity triggering an epic battle between good and evil, really makes the mind work overtime.
A typically chilling Stephen King novel, about the aftereffects of disease that kills 99% of its carriers. The way that King sets up his story as a battle between good and evil makes this novel an exciting, if long, read.
King's writing style is unique and the amount of psychological detail he can pack into a book is astounding.
That being said, I feel t his book was more about shock value than it was about suspense or thrill. That's not to say it was poorly written, but it's the book equivalent of B Movie Horror.
It's one of the few books I simply could not get through. (Made it halfway, which I feel was a fair attempt). It's a slog. The action isn't just slow, it builds by the smallest increment possible, which would be great portioned out over, say, 500 pages. This book goes for 1100, and becomes predictable about halfway through (I guess that's why I got bored).
With utmost respect to Mr. King, unless you are an avid fan or piles of dead bodies are your thing, I'd skip this and read four or five books off your list in the same amount of time.
This was a good book, but man was it dreary. Not sure why I'm surprised! I found it hard to get through all the gruesome stuff, to be honest. This particular version of the book includes original text that ended up getting edited out because the publishers determined that it made the book too long.
This is not a re-hash of the 'original' version... it expands upon it and brings forth a more detailed focus on the characters with new insights to the original. The base plot remains but now with greater insight.impact and detail to the plot with some new characters and deeper insight of those in the original book. It's more haunting and darker. Is it just a dream or a nightmare,maybe both. But possibly it will, if your imagination will allow it possibly determine our survival. King at his best at full throttle. Let your mind open to a brilliant darkness only King could imagine and you can enjoy. Open the book,read it and enjoy it. Your about to take a journey that is as plausible as the sun rising every morning and before it begins to turn to darkness and I mean a deep darkness.
Imagine America devastated by a vast killer plague that moves form coast to coast. Imagine the countryside destroyed and great cities decimated as the entire population desperatly and futilely seeks safety. Imagine then an even greater evil rising to treaten the survivors-and a last embattled group of men and women coming together to make a last stand against it.
Here is Stephen King's most terrifying vision, his most stirring story, his most magnificent cast of unforgettable characters, and his most supreme triumph.
Imagine America devastated by a vast killer plague that moves from coast to coast. Imagine the countryside destroyed and great cities decimated as the entire population desperately and futiley seeks safety. Imagine then an even greater evil rising to threaten the survivors -- and a last embattled group of men and women coming together to make a last stand against it.