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The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Stephen King

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
15,297293121 (4.33)481
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 481 mentions

English (284)  Dutch (5)  Italian (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (293)
Showing 1-5 of 284 (next | show all)
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 |
“He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.”

The Stand is, more or less, a story depicting the end of the world. It begins with an accidental outbreak of super flu from a government facility, which soon breaks free to wreak havoc on unsuspecting humans and animals. Almost everyone dies, and does so considerably fast. The army tries to stop it, but no one succeeds. Those that DO survive are people who have a natural immunity to the bug. Eventually these lucky souls band together to form a sort of community.

But before they form their strong union, they are plagued by horrifying dreams of the same man, who is known to them as Randall Flagg. Not knowing what he is or what he wants, they do know he is planning something truly horrible and forming his own sort of army.

They also dream of a being called 'Mother Abigail', who helps lead them to join in the first place. Once they have come together, they must fight to survive and defeat their enemies.

The atmosphere is bleak and gritty. It's depressing, but at the end of the tunnel they find a light through each other. They try and maintain hope and see it through to the end, while fighting the seemingly impossible at the same time. Not a feel good book necessarily, but then again most horror isn't.

Stephen King is one of those authors who has a natural talent with characterization. The Stand is no different, and although there are several key players to keep track of, I wasn't confused as I have been in some of his other novels. I can't speak of a "main character," because there were several, and each person brought forth their unique traits, their past histories, and their own individual purposes, that were important to the plot. Each one enhanced the tale, and without this important element the story would not have succeeded so well. I didn't like everyone, but thankfully those I didn't care for got less time than the others.

Randall Flagg himself wasn't outwardly menacing; parts of what made him disturbing was he appeared so normal on the outside. In the film version they explained away what he was but in the book the reader is left with their own speculations.

Some may see the page count of this one (817) and fear it would be too slow for them, rest assured it's not. The pace goes along surprisingly well for such a lengthy read. A lot is covered but it's not sped over so quickly the reader is left confused. There are breathers but it's not slow enough to bore.

The style is old-school King but even better. It's not drawn out too much like some of his other works and never bored me. It is to the point enough to where my eyes didn't wander but also King took time to let you REALLY know who the characters were and what they were about. As a result, if they died, you cared. When they were in trouble, you held your breath. Tension scenes were played out well and suspense was built up accordingly.

Is the Stand haunting? Well...it's never fun to imagine that basically the entire world is dead and you are left alone, forced to seek out other survivors and make them your new family because your real ones are dead. It's not fun to go into the street and be greeted with the stench of decaying corpses, or to no longer have electricity and signs of modern times. Getting wrapped up in the story like I did, I was able to imagine what this would have been like, and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. That theme alone was creepy. The end of the world isn't a time I'd want to live in, especially if it goes out this way.

As with most horror, especially King's version of it, there is gore and there is violence. But not too much is covered in detail on the horrible demises. A few of the deaths are different enough, and they all leave that hollow feeling in the chest, one reason being because King makes sure you care about the people being slaughtered. The more disturbing stuff happened "off-page," told to the characters, but they didn't actually experience it. The gore level is minimal enough so that you don't end up having to reach for that emergency "vomit bag" hanging near your reading chair.

In the end, The Stand showed me how horrible the Apocalypse really would be. But it also proved some age-old facts: when humans come together and build a united force, we can accomplish almost anything. A good book, but honestly one I find to be overrated. I was annoyed by some of the less intelligent villains, didn't understand the trash can man, and the too-often-repeated M-O-O-N annoyed me. While the pacing fits the story to where it's not boring, not all of it was fascinating either, and sometimes the head hopping felt too frequent. Overall a book worth reading. ( )
  ErinPaperbackstash | Jun 14, 2016 |
This is how the world ends: with a human-engineered superflu which escapes containment in the form of a terrified guard who unwittingly spreads death over a wide swath of southwestern America in his bid to escape infection. Captain Trips, they call it - until they die, and people die in droves within a matter of days. In almost no time at all, well over 99% of the American population have suffered an agonizing death. Those that are left all alone begin to dream: comforting visions of an ancient black lady called Mother Abigail in Nebraska rising up alongside nightmares of a faceless man out west. Many find their way to Las Vegas to serve under Randall Flag, the Walking Dude of their night visions, but many others flock to Mother Abigail in Nebraska and eventually Boulder, Colorado. As the citizens of the Boulder Free Zone attempt to reform society and make a new life for themselves, they are forced to come to terms with the fact that they are caught up in a struggle defined by their spiritual leader in religious terms. They must destroy Flagg or be destroyed by him - in a word, they must make their stand. I

I could not begin to describe the dozens of richly drawn characters King gives life to in these pages. They are ordinary people called to do extraordinary things in a world reeking of death and fear. Some are not up to the challenge, and betrayal has awful consequences in this new reality - to the betrayer as well as the betrayed. These are real human beings, flaws and all; there is good to be found even among those serving the greatest of evils, and at the same time, the good guys don't always behave in ways you think they should. There are so many points to touch on, I could write indefinitely, but what it all comes down to is this: if you're looking for a novel that will entertain you even as it makes you think, "The Stand" is for you. Oh...don't drop it on your foot. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
I love this book. It was quite a bit slower than I remembered but still a fantastic read. The ultimate good vs evil story. ( )
  LenaR0307 | May 30, 2016 |
I read this so long ago, I cannot really remember, but sometime in late '70s or early '80s. A book that pits the forces of good and evil against one another. Whenever I hear someone say they "never" read Stephen King, I tell them to read this one. ( )
  BookConcierge | May 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 284 (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 (4)

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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