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The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand (edition 2012)

by Stephen King

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1,808315,646 (4.39)None
Title:The Stand
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Anchor (2012), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 1200 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Stand by Stephen King



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An apocalyptic nightmare, told with a distinct style. You can’t have horror without gross and grisly images. You can’t describe people realistically without including their flaws, and depending on the people, their crude, obscene, and gross actions. Many details of the scenes in this book would translate easily into the film version. Just what some people enjoy.
After reading King’s excellent memoir, On Writing, I wanted to see how he actually wrote, as opposed to what he said about writing. I read the extended version with all five hundred pages added, so my comments relate to that. I think that the edited, shorter version must give a better impression.
Although the action was almost constant, pulling the reader along, things seemed to repeat unnecessarily. I liked the spreading out of an event over several scenes so that the first is foreshadowing, the second is the event, the third is memories of the event. That technique emphasizes the effect. On a larger scale, King throws things in at random, using flashbacks and flashforwards. That might be a result of replacing the cuts in the extended version. At times that was confusing.
The overall plot action was compelling, but I found the metaphysical aspect of the story unsatisfying. The personifications of good and evil seemed to make sense as the story progressed, but the final explanation or lack of explanation fell apart. And the last two pages were complete nonsense! Were they in the original version, or just some afterthought? ( )
  drardavis | Oct 29, 2018 |
The military has been working on the next great form of biological warfare in order to protect the United States, should the time ever come. Something has gone horribly wrong and the super-flu these military scientists have created has been leaked inside their testing facility. What could have been a contained incident becomes an epidemic, as an infected personnel member attempts to outrun death. As he gathers his family and leaves town he spreads what will become known as Captain Trips to everyone he encounters. Only 1% of the world’s population will be immune and make it out alive.

The Captain Trips survivors are scattered across the United States, but something is connecting them together. These survivors are sharing the same dreams. Dreams of a mysterious man shrouded in darkness. Randall Flagg either haunts your dreams or has the ability to sway you to his darkness. Those living in fear of Flagg soon find a light to battle his dark, as Mother Abigail arrives in their dreams to show them where to head for safety. The country is torn into two camps. Randall Flagg versus Mother Abigail. Evil versus good. Who will win in this post-apocalyptic world?

The opening of THE STAND drops you into the outbreak of Captain Trips. King masterfully takes the reader on a journey through the country, getting you acquainted with the individuals who will become main characters to the story, as well as revealing instances of the disease affecting others. One of my favorite chapters during this set-up stage of the novel was focused on people who had managed to survive death by Captain Trips, but ended up not making it because of something else. There were some extremely entertaining incidents that had me laughing out loud. Any time an author can bring humor to a serious subject like this, wins points in my book.

As the novel progresses the reader is able to deeply connect with each main character as King chooses to focus chapters exclusively on one or a small party of these individuals. In typical King style he lured me into loving a character that he just couldn’t let make it to the end! I swear my heart is never safe with King! Despite the uncertainty of the fate of these characters, you find yourself either cheering for them or wishing Captain Trips would have just wiped them from the face of the Earth. Don’t worry though, those people have what’s coming for them! Also, if you’re curious, my favorite characters are Stu, Frannie, Nick, Tom, and Kojak. I even ended up liking Larry, which members of the read along I participated in will know...I was not a fan immediately! Least favorite character award definitely goes to Harold Lauder!

In an attempt not to give too much away I’m going to wrap up this review by saying...go read THE STAND! I know it’s huge. I know it’s daunting. I know you won’t find your groove until you commit a few hundred pages. It’s so worth it!!! THE STAND captured my interest, had me freaked out, broke my heart, made me laugh, and just all around solidified why I fell in love with Stephen King this year. ( )
1 vote jess_reads_books | Sep 4, 2018 |
This really holds up and passes the test of time with flying colors, It is very long but reads very smoothly. King strikes a balance between a message of hope for the future and the much more pessimistic message that things never really change - good and evil will always do battle - who wins ... ( )
  labdaddy4 | Aug 29, 2018 |
I like reading Stephen King better than watching a horror movie, where there’s an involuntary fear reaction, but King still offers me a way to make contact with the suffering of the world.
  smallself | Jul 16, 2018 |
This is my all time favorite Stephen King novel, a true epic! ( )
  Taylor12354 | Jun 18, 2018 |
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An accident occurs in an Army lab causing a horrific disaster and a plague virus sweeps the U.S. leaving only a handful of survivors.

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