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The Stand [Paperback]

Stephen King
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

12 May 2011

First came the days of the plague. Then came the dreams.

Dark dreams that warned of the coming of the dark man. The apostate of death, his worn-down boot heels tramping the night roads. The warlord of the charnel house and Prince of Evil.

His time is at hand. His empire grows in the west and the Apocalypse looms.

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.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1344 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (12 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1444720732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444720730
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are the Dark Tower novels, Cell, From a Buick 8, Everything's Eventual, Hearts in Atlantis, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, and Bag of Bones. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, was also a bestseller. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Amazon Review

In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookshops 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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


A writer of excellence...King is one of the most fertile storytellers of the modern novel (Sunday Times)

'King is the greatest popular novelist of our day, comparable to Dickens'. (Toby Litt, Guardian)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 4 April 2009
First I must state that I am not someone who would describe themselves as a Stephen King fan. I've read a fair few of his books, some of which I've quite enjoyed and some of which I struggle to remember, but "The Stand" is one of my all time favourite books. I bought the unexpurgated version recently to re-read, after a gap of about ten years, and was as lost in it this time as I was the first time I read it.

Yes, as a couple of reviewers have pointed out, of course you could tell the story in a book half, or even a quarter, of the size but I for one would have felt very cheated. The story is not complicated. It begins with a plague and moves towards a final showdown between, effectively, good and evil and perhaps that could be seen as overly simplistic. The characters, however, are so well drawn that you feel you know who they are and want to know, in detail, how the whole thing plays out. The pace is good, even for such a large book, and the more meditative sequences do not detract from this at all.

Some of the characters are exceptionally good: Nick Andros, the deaf mute, and Tom Cullen for example and Harold Lauder is very finely drawn as a man who finds himself thwarted by life and love and tempted to the darker side. Despite it's somewhat exalted overtones at points, there is a sense of reality to the book which manages to keep it grounded. At times King's writing almost seems poetical, something I never thought I would write in the same sentence as "Stephen King" because I frequently find his real-life character conversations to be rather stilted and pedestrian, unlike his more dreamy sequences.

I imagine for a great many SK fans this could well be their favourite of his.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 12 July 2011
By Lian01
If (like me) you're a Stephen King newbie, I would highly recommend this book. I've only been reading his books for the last few months and this is a must read. You don't need to be a King fan to appreciate this book, you just need to have an open mind and a love of reading. The book may be long but if you're anything like me you'll find yourself wishing it was longer and thinking about it long after you've finished. If it was shorter you wouldn't feel as drawn in to the story, at no point does it get boring or feel like chapters could have been cut without affecting the story.
I loved this book. It makes you question everything from religion to how you'd survive being one of the few people left on earth! If you love reading just give this book a chance.

I have never written a review for a book (as you can probably tell!) but I enjoyed this book so much I thought I'd recommend it to as many people as possible!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic tale of good and evil in post-flu world 12 Dec 2003
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.
What many readers did not know was that King was asked by the accounting department of his publisher to trim his already huge novel by several hundred pages to keep costs down and to make the hardcover's price affordable ($12.95 in 1978). Given the choice of doing the edits himself or letting the in-house editors do the cutting, King chose the former. As a result, most -- but not all -- the characters and situations appeared reasonably whole, although King remarks in the Preface that pyromaniac Trashcan Man's westward trek from the Midwest to Nevada has the most scars from the literary surgery he performed.
By 1989, though, King had enough clout -- and reader support -- to get Doubleday to publish The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition. Released in hardcover in 1990, the book sold very well and was later adapted by King as a miniseries for ABC-TV.
So what are the differences between the two versions of The Stand, besides the heavier weight and higher price? (Remember that
$12.95 retail price from 1978? In 1990 this had nearly doubled to $24.95!) Well, the novel's tale remains the same -- nefarious U.S. military creates a deadly strain of the flu...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why The Stand is worth the effort. 16 Oct 2003
This longer, uncut edition of King's classic masterpiece clocks in at around 550,000 words--so why should you devote the time needed to read it?
The Stand is the apocalyptic tale of the end of the world...and what happened next. An engineered variant of the flu is accidentally released from an American research facility and wipes out 99.4% of the world's population. The few survivors are drawn into two camps: that of Mother Abigail, God's emissary, in Boulder, Colorado; and that of Randall Flagg, Satan's Imp, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
King describes this as 'a long tale of dark christianity,' and he works hard at creating vivid characters to act on the immense stage he has envisaged. Chapter 23, the introduction of Randall Flagg, ranks as one of the best pieces of narrative I have ever read. There is no-one quite like King for capturing the essentials of characterisation with only a few brief sketches.
The Stand is long, but for many it is not long enough. Even in this uncut edition (which is longer than the original by nearly 400 pages) we are left wishing that the story didn't have to end so soon. Though King sometimes referred to the book as his own 'private Vietnam,' we are aware throughout that this is a labour of love. The care and craftsmanship shine on every page. Read it for the same reason you might go to see the Cistine Chapel: this is the best example of a master's work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I'm a latecomer to Stephen King (I loved Dr Sleep, The Shining and 22.11.63; not so keen on Mr Mercedes and can't read It, hate clowns! Read more
Published 1 hour ago by Kerensa
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
ooh my favourite king story I love this book cannot understand how there was no film made such a fantastic story had in hardback HAD to have in kindle
Published 8 days ago by laljam
5.0 out of 5 stars one of Kings best
Brilliant book - great to read it again after 20 years
Published 10 days ago by frejul
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great service as usual
Published 10 days ago by PC
4.0 out of 5 stars the apocalypse followed by the supernatural
I've read a few other books by Stephen King and after a while you see the pattern; you learn what to expect from the man. Read more
Published 17 days ago by devland
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good very true to the film
Very enjoyed and good ending . true to the film is well. I'd recommend it to a friend and family
Published 19 days ago by holly
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Compelling reading!
Published 24 days ago by June Thackrah
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality!
brilliant, couldn't stop reading. can't believe it took me so long to come across this book but well worth the wait!!
Published 27 days ago by Jordan Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars The first third of the book is pretty good, it's interesting to see...
I'm about half way through this book and perhaps I am reviewing it too early, but i have found it to be very hard going. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Miss A
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting...
I have read an awful lot of books ,in fact my house is something of a library but nothing i have read has stayed with me like *The Stand!". Read more
Published 1 month ago by brujicita
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Looking for "end-of-the-world" scenario books 9 20 Jan 2013
Is this the expanded 1990's version? 1 21 Sep 2012
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