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The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,358297119 (4.33)485
Title:The Stand
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 1200 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Stand by Stephen King (1990)

  1. 310
    It by Stephen King (mwfnwa)
  2. 223
    The Passage by Justin Cronin (Jacey25, drweb, smiteme)
  3. 141
    Swan Song by Robert McCammon (quartzite, infiniteletters, BeckyJG)
    BeckyJG: Dark, detailed tale of post-apocalyptic survivors fighting supernatural evil.
  4. 110
    Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King (aces)
  5. 91
    The Road by Cormac McCarthy (artturnerjr)
  6. 114
    Cell by Stephen King (jman14)
    jman14: It has been said that Cell is somewhat of a 're-make' of The Stand. It's a good book in my opinion, but The Stand is at least three times better. Good for anyone who likes their gory Apocalypses.
  7. 60
    The Shining by Stephen King (shesinplainview)
  8. 139
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (keremix)
  9. 52
    Floating Dragon by Peter Straub (quartzite)
  10. 30
    Watership Down by Richard Adams (sturlington)
    sturlington: Watership Down is referenced in The Stand. They are similar epics about small bands of survivors who go on a long journey to establish a new home.
  11. 21
    A Plague Upon Your Family (Zombie Fallout, Book 2) by Mark Tufo (cmwilson101)
    cmwilson101: Epic, apocalyptic cross-country tale with supernatural elements of good v evil
  12. 10
    Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry (Scottneumann)
  13. 32
    Carrion Comfort by Dan Simmons (Scottneumann)
  14. 33
    Boy's Life by Robert McCammon (Catamount33)
  15. 44
    Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (mamasigs126)
    mamasigs126: Inspiration for King and a wonderful book.
  16. 513
    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand (missmaddie)
    missmaddie: Epic struggles of good vs. evil

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» See also 485 mentions

English (288)  Dutch (5)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (297)
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
One of my top 5 books of all time. I think I've read it ten times. ( )
  Laura_Drake | Aug 19, 2016 |
My Halloween/October read!
My first Stephen King novel.I can understand why so many readers like this book.Great character development,excellent writing and one incredible story! This story kept me turning pages and on the edge of my seat to the very end!
Story of a government induced plague, end of most of the civilised world and the renewal of the new world; and a battle between good and evil tossed in for good measure!
I won't give anything away.If you ever wanted to read King,this is a great place to start.This book will stay with me for a very long time.It left me breathless.I loved Stu and Nick and Kojack,Franny,Tom and so many others.
Now excuse me while I go stock up on supplies!

( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
OK, we've pretty much established that Stephen King drives me batdung insane, but one of my best web-sisters loves him,* and insists that, since I liked Randall Flagg in all those Dark Tower books I read last year, I'll like The Stand. Even though the miniseries was kind of risible.**

So did I? Well, yes and no. Mostly yes, but not for the reasons most people like it, I suspect.

Once again, I am in complete awe of King's ability to create amazing characters and to write about them quite beautifully, even lyrically. Even in his mid-book series of slapstick vignettes in which a series of people who have survived the apocalyptic "superflu" (aka "Captain Trips") which is King's chosen instrument of world-ending destruction turn around and succumb to more banal and stupid ways to die like drug overdoses, electrocution, getting locked in a walk-in freezer, etc., the characters he kills off with such hilarious glee are vivid and believable and sometimes even sympathetic, even though some of them only live and die in a single paragraph. This is totally remarkable.

And his more important characters, whose stories he spins out over a good thousand and some pages, are just as stunning a set of creations. Trashcan Man, Frannie, Stu, Larry, Nadine, Lloyd, Glen, Ralph, Harold, Tom... they're all people you can believe really exist in the world, whole and flawed and trying to get by in the aftermath of the superflu. Watching them (well, most of them) trying to rebuild a democratic society when (again, most of them) finally come together in mid-novel is fascinating, believable and would come over as well-imagined even without the convenient sociological wisdom of Glen, who was, that's right, a sociologist before the superflu. Indeed, the rebuilding of the mini-America in the Free Zone of what used to be Boulder, CO is the best part of the book, for me. I would gladly have read a whole novel just about that. But alas, this is Stephen King, writing for his fans, and Stephen King fans demand horror and gore and big time morality play-flavored Good versus Evil. Which he more than delivers, ruining these great characters in the process in the way I have complained about before -- not letting them be themselves in all their awesome, complicated glory***, preferring to send them dreams and divine/infernal messages and mysterious knowledge he can't narratively justify so just punts and calls "intuition" or "gut feeling." Barf. And telegraphing fates way in advance of their actual occurrence, so we know, hundreds of pages ahead of time, that so-and-so won't ever see such-and-such again. Double barf.

But I knew I'd be running into that going in, since it was, after all, the miniseries of The Stand that first really rubbed my nose in how crassly King characters get manipulated into executing his plots. Fortunately, that wasn't all that was going on in these 1100 pages; what really kept this book interesting for me, in addition to the rough and ready civics, was its status as a complete love letter to the geography of America, from Maine to the midwest, from Arkansas to Colorado, from Indiana to Las Vegas, even when the country is transformed into a giant graveyard of dead cars and deader people, King's love for the landscape comes through on every page. The man has obviously made a joyous, directionless road trip or two in his day.

And I'd love to have someone like him as a traveling companion, with or without the obstacles of a million stalled out cars on the highways. But the second he started talking about how he "just knew" we had to take a certain turn, or to try to talk me into feeling that way, boot. Outta the car. My life is my own, Jack. Er, Steve.

*Who else could I be talking about here but EssJay, the @PopQueenie?

**How risible? We had us one of our infamous drinkalongs recently.

***And seriously, the glory of some of these characters is awesome in its complexity. Two of these in particular come to mind: Larry Underwood and Harold Lauder. Larry, a recovering rock star, spends a lot of the novel wrestling with a dual identity/morality crisis with its roots in a childhood in which he was dismissed as a "taker" who is "missing something" essential to his development into a fully trustworthy, capable adult, in his mother's opinion. Thrust into a positions of ever increasing responsibility, he struggles with this outdated and inaccurate version of himself through early failings right on through his selection as one of the Free Zone's leaders and, ultimately, heroes. Harold is barely out of his teens and still bears all of the wounds of a youth in the shadow of a pretty and popular older sister; a whip-smart nerd blessed with none of his sister's gifts, his own struggle is with an equally outdated self image as the eternal outcast. It's pretty near impossible not to see Harold in terms of Eric Cartman in the South Park episode in which Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan almost succeeds in turning Cartman into a decent human being. Harold has all the potential in the world, and all the opportunity, but his own lack of confidence in himself defeats him. For me, The Stand is a study in contrasts between these two young men; ultimately a lot of what brings about their divergent fates is the quality of the women they encounter on their journeys -- and whether or not they get to leave certain other women behind. Larry's negatively projecting mother dies at the beginning of his journey, and he moves on to meet Rita (a helpless older woman who forces him into a caretaker role early on), Nadine (a troublesome figure with an evil destiny who chooses it over him) and finally Lucy, who loves him unconditionally and believes in him no matter what. Larry is lucky. Harold? Poor Harold is stuck with Fran, his sister's best friend, who knew him when and can't forget his nerdy fat boy origins, won't let him forget them, either, and is not a very nice person anyway (cue Fran partisans screaming for my blood, but dude, she is a popular girl who never got over herself, no matter how she kind of sort of sucks it up and grows up later on).

See? ( )
1 vote KateSherrod | Aug 1, 2016 |
One of the few books I have read more than once. I loved the narrative describing how the plague survivors set up their post-plague societies. I was less enamored with the supernatural good-vs-evil plot line. ( )
  agjuba | Jul 31, 2016 |
I read this book in high school and let me tell you, it gave me nightmares for almost a year. Every time someone sneezed or coughed I was on alert. It really freaked me out big time. I might have to re-read it, because it was that good. ( )
  MHanover10 | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 288 (next | show all)
In short (well, not so short), this is the book that has everything - adventure, romance, prophecy, allegory, satire, fantasy, realism, apocalypse, etc., etc. Even Roger Rabbit gets mentioned. ''The Stand'' does have some great moments and some great lines... But the overall effect is more oppressive than imposing.

» Add other authors (38 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Stephen Kingprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andreasen, Mogens WenzelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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We need help, the Poet reckoned.
--Edward Dorn
Outside the street's on fire In a real death waltz Between what's flesh and what's fantasy And the poets down here Don't write nothing at all They just stand back and let it all be And in the quick of the night They reach for their moment And try to make an honest stand... -- Bruce Springsteen
...And it was clear she couldn't go on, The door was opened and the wind appeared, The candles blew and then disappeared, The curtains flew and then he appeared, Said, "Don't be afraid, Come on, Mary," And she had no fear And she ran to him And they started to fly... She had taken his hand... Come on, Mary, Don't fear the reaper... -- Blue Oyster Cult
Well the deputy walks on hard nails And the preacher rides a mount But nothing really matters much, It's doom alone that counts And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn "Come in," she said, "I'll give ya Shelter from the storm." -- Bob Dylan
For my wife Tabitha:

This dark chest of wonders.
First words
Hapscomb's Texaco sat on Number 93 just north of Arnette, a pissant four-street burg about 110 miles from Houston.
They were standing atop a snowbank nearly nine feet high. Crusted snow sloped steeply down to the bare road below, and to the right was a sign which read simply: Boulder City Limits.
"My life for you!"
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine The Stand with The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition. The new edition contains over 300 pages of new material and includes subplots and characters not included in the 1978 edition.
ISBNs associated with the Uncut version of The Stand include (0340358955 ,0340920955 ,0340951443 ,0385199570, 0450537374, 0451169530, 0451179285, 0517219018, 1568495714, 270961281X, 3404132130, 3404134117, 340425242X, 3404255240 ,840149896, 8497599411, 8573027002, 8789918304, 8845212173, 9021005719, 9024545579 ,9127063631)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
When a man crashes his car into a petrol station, he brings with him the foul corpses of his wife and daughter. He dies and it doesn't take long for the plague which killed him to spread across America and the world.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451169530, Mass Market Paperback)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:36 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Horrific disaster as a plague virus sweeps the U.S., leaving only a handful of survivors.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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