Advice for any readers: this book is a project. This books takes time and effort to read and finish, but when you’re done, you will feel quite accomplished, and somewhat bloated mentally.
It’s worth it.
If you know me (which most of you don’t, so bear with), you know I am a Steven King nut. I’m a huge fan of his style, his character building, his raw and rugged world with no fluff. He’s a master of creating realistic fantasy/sci-fi/horror story lines, and aligning them with the real world.
His book “The Stand” was my third King novel, and boy was it a good one. It’s hard to explain it in any concise and condensed manner, because there is so much content to be absorbed. But I’m gonna try.
A superflu kills 99% of the world’s population in a matter of days. Those who are immune are left alone and confused. The book has a cast of 7 or 8 main characters, whose storylines don’t immerge until well into the second act, allowing King to fully introduce you to the character traits, tropes, and worldview of each of his unique individuals. Each of the individuals are connected by psychic dreams, guiding them to the same location. What follows is a journey of the pure souls left alive…led by a 108 year old woman who speaks with God, a deaf mute, a an ex-con, a pregnant woman, a mentally disabled man, and a popstar. The group of the chosen one’s face against The Devil in his human form. He leads an army of darkness in Las Vegas. Death, betrayal, lies, and the eventual destruction of the rest of the world, lead the chosen one’s to make their final stand.
If you’re looking for a book with it all, this is the one for you. Underlying themes of good vs. evil, fascinating characters, biblical references, human suffering, true love, suspense, survival in the face of adversity, humor, sex, stunning visuals, masterful worldbuilding, crumbling of government institutions, and nuclear warfare….all crammed into this epic 1000 page saga. If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put it down.
The Stand by Steven King
Length: 1152 pages
Favorite quote: “Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.”
Best time and place to read it: When you have a lot of time on your hands. Ideally, retirement. Some extended vacation. If you’re bed-ridden. Etc.
If you liked this check out: “The Andromeda Strain” by Michael Crichton, “Swan Song” by Robert McCammon
(PS: Don’t watch the 1994 mini-series before you read it. Don’t do it. Doonnn’t doooooo itttttt. Don’t watch it after either actually. In fact, pretend it doesn’t exist. Pretend it never happened. Bury it in a deep dark hole and move on with your life. Don’t read the book and go ‘oh hey I should watch it’ and then get violated by trashy performances, visual effects, Rob Lowe in all denim, and Molly Ringwalds horrible crying face. SAVE YOURSELVES.)