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4.5 out of 5 stars478
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 19 September 2015
Read this in the 90s and it was great. Now re reading this expanded edition I'm reminded that King may well be the greatest fiction writer of my generation. This is a big big book but the pages fly by as the characters are woven around the plot and vice versa. I don't read much fiction but this is a must read, no question. Thanks Mr King for all of your work but especially this yarn.
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on 23 January 2014
It's hard to think of any Apocalypse/Post-Apocalypse that does not owe The Stand credit. Just about everything is crammed into this read: Survival, struggle, love, good, evil... it really does have something for everyone.

Moments of this book have stayed firmly in my memory from when I first read it, and make me wish I had the ability to conjure a story in this way.A must read for anyone interested in the genre. And a good read for everyone else!
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on 16 June 2014
Probably the best book I have ever read .... again. I read it originally in the 1980's when I couldn't put it down until I had reached the last page and it did the same again. From page one it grips you. I read chapter one to a class of Year 6 children on the World Book day and even they were gripped. Some much I had forgotten but so much I remembered especially the LIncoln Tunnel.

Magic!
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on 8 January 2014
I came to this story having read a number of King books previously, and this has compelled me to read more. It has already been pointed out that this edition is long, but it does not feel long, it feels right, in fact when you approach the end you find yourself so absorbed that you start wishing for more twists to eek it out a bit more. As with other King stories the empathy with characters is immediate.
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on 4 February 2016
I read this book because. It was voted Stephen kings best book, a mighty claim. Very thought provoking and I always find kings books start slowly and builds up to great climaxes and twists. Although I still prefer 'liseys story' and 'insomnia' where you relate to the characters more and maybe that is why the stand is a four rather than a five! Very good and what you would expect rather than blown away
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on 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. And that an awful lot of others think it's a fair few pages too far and totally up its own backside. I think you should find out for yourself. If you're not sucked in at the end of the first quarter of the book then you never will be but if you are then you're in for a real treat. Read and enjoy.
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on 4 September 2007
My first stephen king book I read was IT and I thought it was brilliant and so when I was told that the Stand was even better I didnt belive it could be true, and in fact put of reading it in case I was dissapointed. And when I did read it I can say for sure that I wasnt.

The first part of the book deals with some sort of accident at a army facility and a lethal virus is relased which soon spreads all over America wiping out most of the population. But then the story takes a strange turn, the survivours begin dreaming about two different people one being "mother abigale" and the other being "the dark man" and soon the surviovurs realise that the battle for their survival has only just began.

Now some people may be daunted with reading this book seeing as quite simply it is massive. At over 1400 pages it is the biggest book i have ever read. However I can truthfully say that none of it was boring, Stephen King is a natural story teller with a gift of being able to keep the reader hooked to the book and always wanting to know what is going to happen next. He also masterfully manage to keep the reader in suspense of the outcome of the book, no matter what you think is going to happen I can easily predict that you will not guess the out come of the story.

King also managed to get a message across to the reader, about religion and worship. Who should you chose to worship in a time of crisis and what happens if the person you choose to worship turns out to be something you are terrifried of.

If you are a fan of Stephen King and you havent read this book then you are missing out and even if you are not a fan of Stephen King I still suggest you give it a try.

This book is simply BRILLIANT but make sure you get get the uncut version other wise you are missing out on over 700 pages.
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on 4 December 2013
It starts off with an interesting story line, the spread of the illness and the crumbling of society. However towards the end the story takes a rather strange turn, which I didn't enjoy as much.
The end of the "bad guys" is a real non event, and the whole end of the book is trite, as if the author was as fed up with the story as the reader, and just wanted to end it.
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on 21 June 2014
The Stand divides the King community - well, apparently you either love it or hate it. Now, that's easy for me. In that case, I can wholeheartedly say I love it. This is a true Stephen King story. Epic, good against evil, an apocalyptic catastrophe, strongly drawn characters who journey through the country to eventually fight evil.

A virus escapes from a military testing facility and within a few days, almost all of earths population is dead. A few are unaffected and are seeing in their dreams the 108 year old Mother Abigail who is asking them to come to her and they set all off to see mother Abigail in a journey across the country to gather with her. Others are seeing a man called Randall Flagg who calls his followers to Las Vegas. It eventually becomes clear that Mother Abigail represents the good and Randall Flagg evil, both set against each other. (Fans of King will known Randall Flagg from the Dark Tower series). The fight against the virus is not paramount here, but rather what is symbolises - the decay of the world who now has to be re-arranged, and only one side can win.

My favourite part is the first part of the book, when all the characters come together and travel to either mother Abigail or Randall Flagg. It is almost road-movie style while we, the reader, still trying to figure out what is actually going on.

Despite the length of the book, I was never bored. Yes, some of King's books can have the tendency to waffle on a bit at the beginning, but curiously so, in this, is longest book, this was never the case. King is often advertised as the King of horror, and even though this is post-apocalyptic, there are no zombies or strange creatures taking over the world but as so often with his work, it's the common people who have the main starring role.

This is my favourite King book (and yes, I am a fan) and I would regard it as a must read not just for fans but for any book lover.
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on 27 June 2014
And is still a really good read.
What if a global virus decimated 3/4s of the worlds population, would you be one of the good guys or one of the bad guys?
What would you do?
Would it really revert to such a base level as in good versus evil?
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