70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
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...
Published on 4 April 2009 by R. Griffiths
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars [Review of Kindle Version only]
Please note, as stated in the title, this is a review of the Kindle version only, and not the story itself.
At the time I purchased this kindle version of the popular Stephen King story, it cost me around £6.50, more than the paperback. This was the price apparently set by the publishers for a reason that can never be justifiable and defeats the whole...
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by Think
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70 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding,
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.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant,
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!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic tale of good and evil in post-flu world,
This review is from: The Stand (Hardcover)
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...flu accidentally (and later not so accidentally) infects most of humanity...then the survivors split into two camps, one led by the evil Randall Flagg, the other headed by an elderly woman known as Mother Abigail, thus setting up the ultimate battle between darkness and light.
But in this novel, the magic is in the details. The long and fiery journey of the Trashcan Man across the United States is now more complete, and a frightening character who was completely excised from the original novel in '78 is now restored in a literary equivalent of the Extended Editions of The Lord of the Rings DVDs.
Another bonus: Illustrator Bernie Wrightson, who has contributed his drawings and artwork to King's Creepshow, Cycle of the Werewolf and one of the Dark Tower books, has added several illustrations to this edition. There are just a few and they are sprinkled sparingly, but they add a powerful jolt of visual effects to King's already vivid prose.
King acknowledges his penchant for writing big, sometimes rambling novels, and The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition is surely big and rambling. Yet the cast of characters -- Stu Redman, Frannie Goldsmith, Larry Underwood, Harold Lauder (whose descent from merely obnoxious teen to jealousy-driven traitor is one of The Stand's more interesting subplots), Nadine Cross, Nick Andros, Tom Cullen, Lloyd Henreid...and the mysterious entity known as Flagg -- is one of King's best ensembles of fictional creations, and the mythical landscape of post-flu America is truly unforgettable.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why The Stand is worth the effort.,
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.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captain Trips and the Wrath of God,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stand: Complete and Uncut (The Complete and Uncut Edition) (Hardcover)
"The Stand" is a blend of science fiction/fantasy; the classic 'End of the World' type novel except with a twist as only Stephen King can tell it. A superflu, called Captain Trips, is let loose upon an unsuspecting world by an underground secret lab worker who escapes carrying the virus. Millions die from the virus leaving only a few hundred left to face a diabolical evil in the badlands of Nevada. I have read this book several times and each time I find something new in it. One of the reasons I like this book is that it starts out in a little dust ridden blip of a town in Texas. Being a Texan, I believe Stephen King has visited our fair state since he described that town so well...even down to the run down dusty gas station. If you have never read Stephen King, then I would receommend starting with "The Stand." I believe it is the best book he has ever written. Enjoy!
82 of 89 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, tragic, haunting, romantic, terrifying...,
This book has it all. Never have I read something that has captured me to the extent of The Stand. It tells of a scenerio we can all vividly picture. A lonely world where mankind is close to extinct, while the cities and machines are left to gather dust and remind survivors of a world lost through the mistakes of man.
This truly is the epic of all epics, and I assure those who are intimidated by the length to not be. You'll be captured by the story before you know it. The characters are so diverse and unique that it's impossible not to relate to them. My personal favourite had to be Larry Underwood, the drugged up rock-star whose life undergoes some extreme changes as the story progresses.
There are moments in the book that will bring a tear to your eye, there are moment that will leave you terrified. However, in my opinion this isn't a horror story, but instead a tragedy that tells of courage, hope and faith.
This is definitely the greatest book by Stephen King, and really makes me want to forget I read it so I can experience it all for the first time again.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A superb book that you won't forget in a hurry,
This book is amazing, and if you haven't read it you'll find the 'theme' is quite topical - thinking about BBC's Survivors, Avian Flu etc etc! I would agree with the other reviewers who point out that this isn't a horror story, in spite of the fact most of humanity is wiped out.
At the start of the book, a virus is unleashed with a 99.9% kill rate. The story is about the handful of people left behind, and their struggle to adapt to life after the virus without the comforts of family and society. I especially liked the fact that the survivors are a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly. The 'facts' of life post-virus are dealt with thoroughly and convincingly.
The story is also about the battle between good and evil - represented by two characters in particular. There is a supernatural element to the book, but it's more symbolic - about the battle between good and evil in every human being, and the choices we all have to make, especially when it seems the other side is stronger.
The book is long, no doubt about it, and be aware that this is the unabridged version. There were a couple of parts that dragged for me, but only because I was so engrossed in the other characters that I didn't want to read 50 pages about The Kid or Trash Can Man - no doubt other readers loved those two characters! King himself admits that some readers will find it too long and self-indulgent, and may be better sticking to the abridged version. But this is the first and only version I read, and I'm glad I did. It's a beautiful book in many ways and a book that you won't forget.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mastersterful example of Stephen Kings talent,
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.
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stephen King novel to read and re-read,
This is a great book in my opinion and shows Stephen King at the peak of his powers.
I remember trying to read this book when i was quite young and i never really enjoyed it.It sat in my collection until a couple of years ago and then i read it at a rate of knots!
The basic plot, is that a super-virus is accidentally unleashed on the public.Nearly all of the population is wiped out, and the few remaining survivors are drawn to two people they dream about.Flagg is one.Mother Abigail is the other.The story shows how people survived the outbreak, then begin to reform society and then decide how to fight against the evil Flagg.
That is it in a nutshell - without spoiling anything too much.
There are characters in here aplenty.Ones that you identify with, ones you dislike; but all of them grip you.The way King writes about these characters is excellent - you HAVE to know what is going to happen to them.And they are so well developed that you almost know what they are going to do before they do it! My own personal favourite character is Larry.He changes throughout the book and is the one who you really feel has an internal struggle about what he is doing - he constantly questions his own worth and morality and it is really insightful of Stephen King to do this.
The plot is excellent, and moves well.It does lull in the middle a bit, but this is the is the quiet before the storm, as the final section of the book moves on at a rip-roaring pace.Considering ths book is so long it is amazing how it holds your attention all the way to the last page.
This book is about good and evil and mixes the morality up well, by not making every decision so black and white.People do make mistakes, and people do deserve a second chance and you get to see quite a few sub-plots where these possibilities are played out.And you do get the voice in your head saying ' If only 'x' had done this, then they would have been okay......'.The book really involves you in so many ways, that most books don't.It has depth and it has meaning on one level.And on another it has a cracking plot!
Some people who have reviewed this book didn't enjoy it for various reasons.The two main reasons for this were a/ the length and b/ the ending.
In my view the length is just about right.The topics and characters the book covers justify the length.I don't read this book and think that Stephen King could have editted it down much more, without missing out some important sequences and developments.Second is the ending.And i can understand why people are disappointed by this.My challenge to someone reading this book would be to come up with a better one - I dare you!Alternative endings to the one Stephen King has written do feel cliched!
I would recommend this book to almost everyone.It has everything a good book should have - great plot, great characters, great development and great pacing.Another great aspect of this book is that you are left wanting more!
I would put this in my top 5 Stephen King books, and this is the book that most of his readers vote as their favourite.Why not try this and see for yourself ?
BRILLIANT READ - BUY IT!!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read - an honest review,
I'm somewhat of a new Stephen King fan and so tackling a book of this size was a bit daunting but I did it and throughly enjoyed it. It is long and is tiring in places but the story is worth it.
After I had read it I couldn't help but think about what he could have done differently in the story and what the different characters could have done. Then I realised how good the book was because I knew the characters inside-out and I was completely submerged in the plot.
This book is worth bearing with because it is a true masterpiece. If you read this book the whole way through I guarantee you will have a place in your heart for Frannie, Nick Andros, Larry Underwood and a certain dog for a long, long time.
Forget the poor reviews that slate the book, they are probably made by failed authors who are consumed with envy. The book litterally made me drop my jaw at points and really grabbed a hold of me.
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