Showing posts with label The Stand. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Stand. Show all posts

The Stand

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The Stand, by Stephen King, can without question be called an epic; a one thousand, one hundred and sixty eight page epic, depending on the typeset of your copy. The Stand was first published in 1978 and re-released as the ‘complete and uncut edition’ in 1990. The book was nominated in 1979 for World Fantasy Award for Best Novel and has been turned into a TV miniseries and Marvel Comics graphic Novel.

It’s hard to do a book of such epic proportions justice in such a short review. Stephen King, himself had planned The Stand as an epic on the same scale as The of The Rings, so you can understand the problem. But boring, The Stand certainly is not, the biggest problem a reader of The Stand will have, is finding the time to sleep!

The Stand is a post-apocalyptic novel. That is to say that US army, in their infinite wisdom, have developed a weapons grade strain of the influenza which is accidently released onto an unsuspecting world. Despite the military’s best efforts to contain the virus, it rapidly spread around the world, killing off 99.4% of the human population.

After a series of events along the way, the remaining population of the United States are drawn together in two distinct groups. In Hemmingford Home, Nebraska, a group of essentially good guys have been drawn together by shared dreams of a 108 year old woman, Abagail Freemantle or Mother Abagail, as she is better known. Mother Abagail directs the good guys towards Boulder, Colorado while meanwhile, in Las Vegas, another group are forming under the direction of a mysterious man with supernatural powers, Randall Flagg. Where Mother Abagail is the embodiment of goodness, Flagg is evil and he rules his group using torture and executions to keep them in line.

The subplots in Stephen Kings’ The Stand is just phenomenal. You don’t just dip in and out of them; it’s like reading twelve different novels at the same time, which all end up together in one climax. There are so many different characters, all of which you get to know well and understand their back story, that Wikipedia gives over an entire separate page to their description, in addition the page about the book itself. From the loveable, slightly retarded Tom Cullen, who thinks that every word in the dictionary is spelt M-O-O-N, to the schizophrenic pyromaniac, Trashcan Man. The whole range of human kinds’ ability to be good and bad are represented somewhere in the book and that’s what happens when you have only 0.06% of the population of the world left alive; the world polarises.

Stephen Kings’ The Stand is an epic tale of good versus evil and it is on a par with Lord of The Rings, albeit without the elves and the orcs. Not only is a book that you will find hard to put down, you’ll also want to start reading it over again, as soon as you have finished it.

“The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there...and still on your feet.” 

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