The Stand (King Classics) Paperback – 7 Sep 2006
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|Paperback, 7 Sep 2006||
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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)
One of the great storytellers of our time (Guardian)
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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!
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Damn. Well that one took me longer than I had hoped. Note to self (and others, for that matter): do not start a book the length of The Stand when you’re going to be spending... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Siobhan
This is the first Stephen King book I have read and I was really excited to get started. I flew through the first 70% of the book and had really high hopes. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Valleygirl
The Stand has always been my favourite king novel.
I had not touched the revision simply because you can not improve upon perfection, right?
This is a delight. Read more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book until the end where I felt he ran out of ideas & it just fizzled out. Randalf Flagg deserved a much more exciting demise.Published 1 month ago by Layla Hughes
Epic. I see that a lot went into the forming of this book and many have used it as basis of their own writing. It's a sort of end of the world bible. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D L Jones
Let me be clear - I am a fan of King's - but this 1000 page long yawn of a novel starts nowhere and goes nowhere.Published 1 month ago by Maccaboy
The first sections of the book encompassing plague, death, surviving were pretty good, convincing, readable . . Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer