The Stand

stephen king itStephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.

A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge—Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them—and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.

(This edition includes all of the new and restored material first published in The Stand: The Complete And Uncut Edition)

In its 1978 incarnation, The Stand was a healthy, hefty 823-pager. Now, King and Doubleday are republishing The Stand in the gigantic version in which, according to King, it was originally written. Not true . The same excellent tale of the walking dude, the chemical warfare weapon called superflu and the confrontation between its survivors has been updated to 1990, so references to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Reagan years, Roger Rabbit and AIDS are unnecessarily forced into the mouths of King's late-'70s characters. That said, the extra 400 or so pages of subplots, character development, conversation, interior dialogue, spiritual soul-searching, blood, bone and gristle make King's best novel better still.

A new beginning adds verisimilitude to an already frighteningly believable story, while a new ending opens up possibilities for a sequel. Sheer size makes an Everest of the whole deal. BOMC selection, QPB main selection.

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Reviews

***** A brilliant novel!
Before I get to the meat of my review, I feel I should provide a little bit of perspective. First, I am not a die-hard Stephen King fan. In fact, aside from "The Stand", I have only read collections of his short stories, so I can assure you my review isn't the rabid defense of an overly loyal admirer. Second, I am not a fan of horror and I wouldn't classify "The Stand" as such. Finally, I am a big fan of the "apocalyptic fiction" genre, and I believe I have a pretty good basis for my evaluation of this novel.. Read more »

***** King's apocalyptic masterpiece of modern literature
The Stand, in my opinion, marks Stephen King's progression from horror to literature. Consistently voted fans' favorite King novel ever since its initial publication in 1978 (although I personally consider the novel It his finest work), The Stand delivers an archetypal conflict pitting good against evil against a backdrop of civilization itself. In this extraordinary novel, King fully unleashes the horrors previously contained in the microcosms of an extraordinary person (Carrie), a single town ('Salem's Lot), and a haunted hotel far removed from civilization (The Shining).. Read more »

***** Classic King novel as the author intended it to be read.
The Stand, Stephen King's apocalyptic novel that mixes science fiction with horror (think of it as a realistic merging of The Andromeda Strain and The Final Conflict), was a runaway best-seller when it first hit bookstores in the late 1970s and is still regarded as one of King's best works, at least by his millions of fans. Its scenario of an accidental outbreak of a government-created strain of the flu -- which has a mortality rate of over 90 percent -- that wipes out most of mankind and sets the stage for a final showdown between good and evil makes for compelling reading.. Read more »

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