Book Review: The Stand by Stephen King

thestandReviewed by: Bethany
Genre: Fiction
Format: Mass Market
Page count: 1440 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: Yes

The most important thing that I learned from reading The Stand is that there is nothing more terrifying than a creepy dude wearing denim on denim. I had a similar problem while watching Twin Peaks. Spooky stuff, you guys.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

“When a man escapes from a biological testing facility, he sets in motion a deadly domino effect, spreading a mutated strain of the flu that will wipe out 99 percent of humanity within a few weeks. The survivors who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge – Mother Abigail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man”, who delights in chaos and violence.”

Like most Stephen King books, you’re getting amazingly developed characters without sacrificing an expertly unraveled plot. Everything is done perfectly. I read the expanded version because I do not back down from a challenge, but I’ve heard that either version is good. If you’re really into back story, then I’d embrace the expanded edition. (Also, I just feel like with increased page counts comes increased bragging rights.)

The book is basically your quintessential good vs. evil showdown featuring the saintly figure of Mother Abigail and the aforementioned denim wearing fellow, Randall Flagg. At the beginning, it’s pretty clear which characters are going to gravitate towards good or evil, but there were still enough surprises to make me wonder who’s actually sinister and who isn’t. Some of the bad guys aren’t so bad and some of the good guys aren’t so good and I’m just sitting here being confused by it all. Check out the following excerpts!

One from fictional sociologist Glen Bateman, “And techies are just as human as the rest of us; they’ll go where they’re wanted the most.”

Another from Tom Cullen, “They were nice folks, not much different from Boulder folks, as far as he could tell, but–”

What is this book even about? I’m still figuring that out, I guess. I just finished it and maybe I need to do some processing. All I know is that the ending is the most wonderfully ridiculous thing ever. 6 thumbs up.

A note to fans of The Stand: please do not watch the 1994 mini-series…or do if you like bad acting. I watched two episodes before I tapped out. #thebookwasbetter

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