This Is The Way The World Ends With A Nanosecond Of Computer Error In A Defense Department Laboratory And A Million Casual Contacts That Form The Links In A Chain Letter Of Death And Here Is The Bleak New World Of The Day After A World Stripped Of Its Institutions And Emptied Of Percent Of Its People A World In Which A Handful Of Panicky Survivors Choose Sides Or Are Chosen 3.5 5 starsM O O N That spells I am done with this MOONstrosity of a tome.This is the biggest single book I ve ever read in my life so far It s 470k words and it s even bigger than Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson and although it doesn t go into my personal favorite list, I enjoyed the majority of the book.The Stand is totally not what I expected I really thought this would be a super thrilling plot driven with a lot of actions book due to the nature that the story revolves around a plague outbreak As it turns out, The Stand is a HIGHLY characters driven book with the plot moving at a very slow pace, and as great as it was, sometimes it did get a bit excruciating.One of the two that stands out the most from this book other than the gigantic size in my opinion was the theological nature and the classic tale of a battle between good versus evilThat wasn t any act of God That was an act of pure human fuckeryThere are a lot of symbolism to the aspect of light versus darkness here To give one example of many, with the country being ravaged by the outbreak, the survivors ended up joining either Mother Abagail s group the good or Randal Flagg s group the evil Mother Abagail is located in the East where the sun rises every day and Randal Flagg is located in the West where the sun set I enjoyed reading almost all the characters perspectives and survivor s tales and I really think if you love a HEAVY theological talk in your fiction, this is a must readThe beauty of religious mania is that it has the power to explain everything Once God or Satan is accepted as the first cause of everything which happens in the mortal world, nothing is left to chancelogic can be happily tossed out the windowOther than the theological talk, the characters were almost absolutely delightful to read The characters developments in this book were astounding to say the least and it was awesome to see how far these characters changed from where they began Plus, Stephen King writes very unconventional and memorable characters in The Stand such as Nick, Tom Cullen, Randal Flagg, Harold, Larry, and Mother Abagail to name a few.Picture Mother Abagail by Bernie WrightsonNow, the parts that didn t work for me First being Stephen King s prose took quite a while for me to get used to Second, and probably my major problem with the book, The Trashcan s man chapters were atrocious I didn t enjoy any moment reading his POV, it was messy, felt juvenile, and during my time reading it, I knew immediately this his meeting with the Kid was going to be the one that was cut out from the first published edition of this book, and I was right It was a painful 70 pages chapter which in my opinion offer close to zero points to the story Finally, with a book this HUGE, I really expected the ending to blow me away but the ending ended up being anti climactic I also can t help but think that the first edition of this book the 800 pages one would probably be a better experience Stephen King received the title word diarrhea for a great reason and a lot of the words in this book in my opinion definitely deserves to be flushed.Overall though, I think The Stand is still overall a great book Even though it s not a genre that I dive into frequently, I found myself amazed by the characterizations and compelled to read what happened to most of the characters It s unfortunate that there were a few hiccups with the pacing and ending but I still will recommend this book to anyone who enjoyed a heavy theological discussion and memorable characters in their read Thank you also to my good friend, Celeste, for giving me this book as a late birthday present You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic High Fantasy Sci Fi reviews at BookNest You know what s really scary Getting sick while you re reading the first part of The Stand Just try running a fever, going through a box of tissues and guzzling the better part of a bottle of NyQuil while Stephen King describes the grisly deaths of almost every one on Earth from a superflu On top of feeling like crap, you ll be terrified Bonus After a bio engineered virus that acts like a revved up cold escapes from a U.S government lab, it takes only weeks for almost all of humanity to succumb to the disease A handful of survivors are mysteriously immune and begin having strange dreams, some of which are about a very old woman called Mother Abigail asking them to come see her More disturbing are nightmares about a mysterious figure named Randall Flagg also known as the Dark Man or the Walkin Dude.As they make their way through an America almost entirely devoid of people, the survivors begin to unite and realize that the flu was just the beginning of their problems While some are drawn to the saintly Mother Abigail in Boulder Colorado who tells them that they have been chosen by God, others have flocked to Flagg in Las Vegas who is determined to annihilate all those who refuse to pledge their allegiance to him.If King would have just written a book about a world destroyed by plague and a small number of people struggling in the aftermath, it probably would have been a compelling story What sets this one apart is the supernatural element Flagg is the embodiment of evil and chaos He s a mysterious figure who has been giving the wrong people the push needed for them to make things worse for everyone, and he sees the plague as his chance to fulfill his own destiny as a wrecker of humanity And on the other side, we have God Yep, that God The Big Cheese himself But this isn t some kindly figure in a white robe with a white beard or George Burns or Morgan Freeman This is the Old Testament God who demands obedience and worship while usually rewarding his most faithful servants with gruesome deaths King calls this a tale of dark Christianity in his forward, and one of the things I love about this book is that it does feel like a Biblical story, complete with contradictions and a moves in mysterious ways factor Stories don t get much epic than this, and King does a great job of depicting the meltdown of the world through the stories of a variety of relateable characters Larry Underwood remains among my favorite King creations One of my few complaints is that this features a lot of King s anti technology themes that he d use in several books like Cell or The Dark Tower series We re told repeatedly that the old ways like trying to get the power back on in Boulder are a death trip The good guys gather in the Rocky Mountains, but if they try to get the juice going so they won t freeze to death in the winter, they re somehow acting in defiance of God s will and returning to the bad habits Not all tech is bad tech, Mr King Nature is a bitch and will kill your ass quicker than the superflu.Here s another thing I m not wild about When this was published in the late 70s, the bean counters at King s publishers had decided that the book as written would be too pricey in hardback and no one would pay a whopping 13 for a Stephen King hardback So King cut about three hundred pages.Around 1990 after it had become apparent that King could publish his shopping list as a best seller, he put those pages back in and released the uncut version Which I m fine with The original stuff was cut for a financial reason, not an editorial one, and there s some very nice bits of story added in If King would have stopped there, we would have had a great definitive final version as originally created by the author.Unfortunately, he seemed to catch a case of Lucasitis and decided to update the story a bit and change its original time frame from 1980 to 1990 I m not sure why that seemed necessary to him Yes, the book was a bit dated by then, but it was of its time He didn t rewrite the text Which I m grateful for , but just stuck in some references to Madonna and Ronald Reagan and Spuds McKenzie This led to a whole bunch of anachronisms Would students in 1990 call soldiers war pigs Someone in New York picks up a phone book to look up the number to call an ambulance instead of dialing 911 A song called Baby, Can You Dig Your Man is a huge hit None of it quite fits together There s also a layer of male chauvinism and lack of diversity that you can overlook in a book written in the late 70s, but seems out of place for a book set and updated for 1990.The things that irritate me are still far outweighed by one of my favorite stories of an apocalyptic battle between good and evil.I m also glad to get a long overdue audio edition of this book Great narration and 40 hours of end of the world horror make for a damn fine listening experience. Dear Stephen,I m sorry I just don t like you in that way I know we ve been friends for a long time, but I just never developed those kind of feelings for you, even after eleven hundred pages I feel like we only moved forward in fits and stops, and we were just never able to sustain a kind of even handed development of the kind of chills and thrills a person really likes Shock someone enough times with snot running out of their nose, and it just becomes a little meaningless And there are only so many ways to view a dead body before one gets kind of numb instead of apprehensive Using the journal device to move things forward seems a little crude, when what we really need to do is talk I have to confess, I ve felt kind of uncomfortable watching you struggle with religion and spirituality You sparked my interest when you posited that this might be the battle between the age of reason and that of irrationalism, and the dark man was the last vestige of doomed rationalism I thought for a few minutes we were headed somewhere really special, but you didn t seem very confident, and the theme fell apart I will say there were a few surprises along the way, which I found pleasant I appreciate you avoiding the obvious character arcs, especially when it comes to redemption I was glad to meet most of your friends, especially Joe Leo, Stu and even Kojak Your military friends bored me out, though, especially Starkey I don t even get why you like spending any time with those guys Such a bunch of fossils I do have to say, I was really impressed with how you must have studied disease modelling and progression I almost felt like was there.Sometimes I get the feeling that you don t really see me as a person, just a baby maker You even have an extended soliloquy about it, as if I wasn t even here reading your words It bothers me, because you took the time to develop nuanced male relationships Larry, Stu, Lloyd , but the women were about reproducing or were cannon fodder Since you allowed technology to remain, I m not going to buy into your lowest most functional society mentality, no matter how many sociological theories you throw at me And then there s the elderly black woman as representation of all that s spiritual Perhaps even Mother Earth If I m rolling my eyes, it s because it s another aspect of compartmentalizing women as either maiden, matron or crone, and people of color as closer to God s being savage and all, as you so helpfully illustrate in your The Circle Closes afterward Honestly, it s kind of juvenile, and a little disappointing when I know you are capable of so much It s time for me to move on I m sure you ll find someone special eventually, Stephen, because you are such a really great guy And so unusual, too.With Three Stars,Your Friend Always.Cross posted at M O O N That spells Damn, what a great book I knew King had it in him, I am a fan of his brilliant 1977 haunted house thriller The Shining, but I did not expect this.The best post apocalyptic novel ever Maybe, that is a broad category teaming with great work from talented writers, but King s The Stand is an epic, genre defining work.My friend Michael has a profile statement, something to the effect of finding our next 5 star rating I like that sentiment, and am excited by the opportunity that our next favorite book is out there waiting to be read a new best friend of an author to whom we ve yet to be introduced Here s mine I m late to the party, just reading this for the first time in 2015 I think I was always a little intimidated by the length It s a beast, and I was a glutton for punishment reading the 1990 extended version, weighing in at a heavyweight 1153 pages But it s a runaway train, grabbing the reader up and taking him or her where Stephen King wants to take you.Yes, it s a book about a devastating plague, but also so, so much King weaves in an allegory about the viruses amongst us There is also the spiritual quality of the book, King shows how we are sinners in the hands of an angry God, and that dreamers will survive and survivors can still dream.I could not help making a comparison with the Left Behind series, and associating Flagg to Nicholai Carpathia though King s characterization is far complex and well rounded, and like Milton s Satan, the most interesting character here is the villain This makes me appreciate his The Gunslinger series and I want to search out Flagg and read about him.This is also an American epic and in its context an American eulogy King shows us the good the bad and the ugly of what we are and what we can be An observant reader will see references to Ursula K LeGuin word for world is woods , to Jim Morison, Edgar Allan Poe, Woody Guthrie, and hell even Rod McKuen.I know Mr King and have enjoyed many of his works and I have now been amazed by his finest.
Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.
- 1153 pages
- The Stand
- Stephen King
- 15 February 2018 Stephen King