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The Stand

4.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,136 Ratings  ·  302 Reviews

Arguably the greatest horror novel ever written by the greatest horror novelist, this is a true Modern Classic that was first published in 1978, and then re-published in 1990, complete and unabridged, with 150,000 words cut from the first edition restored, and now accompanied by unusual and imaginative line art. The total copies for both editions, in hardcover and paperbac

Paperback, Original Edition, 734 pages
Published February 1980 by New English Library (first published 1978)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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M-O-O-N spells spectacular!

I first read THE STAND in the early 80's. It was during the Christmas break- I lived out in the boonies with my family, and after the holiday hoopla was over -I planted myself in my favorite chair and sat there for 4 days devouring every page-(only leaving for bathroom breaks, meals and sleep).

30+ years later my reading experience was a little different. I read it with my Goodreads friend Lisa- who had the uncut version, while I had the original- I stopped and started
Alrighty. The Stand has always been one of my favorite books. But, for all the times that I've read it in my life, which is quite a lot, I'd never read the "original" abridged/edited version. I just prefer, usually, to read the author's preferred text - the one they wrote before an editor took a hacksaw to it and started cutting pieces away.

This book is no exception. Maybe the overall story didn't change, but in my opinion, it's not as cohesive and brilliant and nuanced a story as the one that
Tobin Elliott
Apr 02, 2016 Tobin Elliott rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, horror, fiction
It's almost a cliche for me to give an early King book a 5-star rating, but having come back to this book for the first time in about 25 years--and this, the original, intitially published, edited down edition (the superior one, in my opinion) for the first time in 38 years--I have to say I initially approached it with something like dread.

It's a long bloody book, and, to be honest, I'd forgotten much of it. But my initial thoughts were, it's gonna take me quite a while to wade through this. Wha
Bill Khaemba
“Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. 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 ...more
Thomas Strömquist
The first in my Stephen King re-read that has left me a little bit ambivalent (which I guess I have been about this book a long time, my review of the expanded, translated edition here). There was of course Rage, which I do not think is an exceptional book, but that I know starting out. Carrie, The Shining and 'Salem's Lot, however, really knocked my socks off. And they contradict also my initial theory that this one did not - I thought it may be that I know the story far too well. But that cann ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Stand" is done, and I am left with the pleasant sense of having spent many hours reading a good book. I can't say that I was floored by this book, as many, many other people have been, but I don't regret reading it, either. It was a good read during a time when I had many hours to read.

"The Stand" is obviously a large canvas, and on it both King's strengths and weaknesses are magnified. His talent for creating and fleshing out characters really shines through, though some characters disappe
Greg Strandberg
Jun 13, 2014 Greg Strandberg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horror
I loved this book when I first read it while living in China. I remember my wife was away and I was drinking a lot of cheap Chinese beer, reading just a little each day. Even with a raging headache in the morning I'd often pick this book and get through a few chapters, and that's when I hated to read hungover!

I think about many of the characters and scenes from this book even now years later. I think it's a great place to begin reading King.
My all time favorite Stephen King book.

No real review as its been too long since my last read, but I do remember being on the edge of my seat more than once eager to see how it was all going to play out.

I also seem to remember watching people closely if they sneezed or coughed lol.
Jan 22, 2008 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any horror fan
Shelves: horror, favorites
If you're a veteran horror fan, you will have undoubtedly read this one. This was the very first Stephen King novel I read and it was recommended to me years ago by an old girlfriend's sister (thanks Debbie). It's one of his best. 'Nuff said.
This is one of those books that I've known about forever, but finally got around to reading this year (2015).

The inciting incident of the novel (which I think is pretty much public knowledge) is the accidental release of of a super-flu which threatens to kill of most of humanity, from there the plot spins and divides into several threads encompassing three general narrative arcs:

1. A sci-fi/ post-apocalypse story about what happens to society after a major collapse.

2. A "Book of Revelations" s
Sep 20, 2012 Tamahome rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
p 68/1439
Pretty good characters and descriptions. Only 37 hours to go I figure. I read part of this as a kid. I remember something about a chubby kid with triangle eyes, who didn't exercise his social mind, and didn't like some guy talking to the lady he had a crush on. Even before the book was expanded, I didn't have the discipline to finish it. I saw the ending on tv. Oh boy.

Chap 8: Wow. I can see other writers putting: 'And the disease spread.'

Hey, I found an old version, only 800 pages. And
Julie Davis
Aug 09, 2012 Julie Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an enduring favorite, especially when you consider that I read it when it came out (yes, waaaay back in 1980) and I must have read it 5 or 6 times at least. Picking it up again because it's that Scott and I will be discussing in August on A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.

Just began reading this again and it is funny how much I recall instantly and yet how many little scenes I completely forgot. Like the guy in the disease center looking at all the bodies over the video camera and thi
Dec 27, 2010 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
When I first read this book, I thought it was (pardon the pop culture-ism) "The Shit". I read it at least 3 times before I heard of the Unabridged version.

My favorite character back then was (of course) Fran Goldsmith. 99.6% of the populace is dead of plague and many of the leftovers are psychos -- but she's pregnant. Now, I don't like her so much (especially since Molly Ringworm keeps invading my mind), but you gotta admire the maternal, even in you're not.

My favorite character now is Big Ste
[Name Redacted]
I'm not sure which actually came first. I'm sure the overall scenario of a massive epidemic and the struggles of survivors to rebuild society was already common at the time. But this book felt like a cheap, vulgar, childish copy of the classic 1970s BBC post-apocalyptic series "Survivors" (recently, and horribly, remade). Read the whole thing, but didn't enjoy anything about it other than the religious dimension (which WAS surprisingly original).
Review of the 1978 version
Feb 14, 2012 Donovan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, thriller
The novel is divided into three parts, or books and comes across as cliché at times. It's pretty much the (Star Wars like) Good versus Evil. The story has a good introduction, body and conclusion in each of the three parts and I found that helped with reading it. While the plot is quite simple the characters and setting draw you in and you can't help but wonder what you would do in a similar situation. I got the feeling that King's characters drove the story more than he did and I think that wor ...more
Nov 23, 2007 Monk rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Apocalyptic Fiction readers, King Fans
I tried to read this novel when I was in High School and I failed - it was simply too much book for me to choke down at the time. I had the expanded and unabridged version weighing in at some 1100 pages. It's not the kind of thing you just decide to read. You have to make time for it. It's that big.

But, it's worth it. I have a morbid kind of love affair with post-apocalyptic fiction. I do not find doomsday scenarios to be much of a stretch. With what human beings are capable of, creating a soupe
Erik Graff
Jul 11, 2011 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: apocalyptic literature fans
Recommended to Erik by: James Koehnline
Shelves: literature
I've always liked end-of-the-world novels, particularly when I can identify with a protagonist who survives the holocaust and sees nature retake the human empire. Consequently, I really liked the beginning of The Stand, the part when most everyone's gone, but the foodstores are still stocked and the few survivors can, if they will just get along, live off the abundant pickings. Better still, the main character does a trek across much of the continent.

Unfortunately, everyone doesn't just get alon
David B
I read the shorter version of the novel as it was originally published, and although I found much to enjoy, I do not wish that I had read the expanded version. Stephen King's apocalyptic epic starts with a bang and sustains impressive narrative drive during the initial outbreak of the superflu and the rapid collapse of society that follows. Once the survivors begin segregating themselves to the emerging communities of Boulder (under the prophetic Mother Abagail) and Las Vegas (under the demonic ...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
Epic. What a great read especially since I visited Colorado on vacation while in the last 100 pages :)(not Boulder, unfortunately, but close enough). I had been holding out from reading this (I have read almost all of King's novels/shorts) because I hadn't taken the time to understand what it was about and I didn't want to take the time reading such a long book. Wish I hadn't waited so long; great book. Now I am on a mission to get the unabridged version as I understand it adds to the story in a ...more
Karl El-Koura
Apr 08, 2014 Karl El-Koura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite King novels, and a great end-of-the-world read. The setting is richly drawn, the characters are interesting and feel very real (King also has an amazing ability to create sympathetic characters with a just few introductory paragraphs), and the disaster that causes the end of civilization (a superflu) feels even more plausible than maybe it did back when King first wrote the book (and the fact that many books and movies have used the same basic premise didn't detract from my e ...more
Jan 09, 2009 Kittiya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, or anyone for that matter
Recommended to Kittiya by: mom, Patrick
This is one of my favorite King novels, only to be out done by "The Talisman". But since that is co-written by Peter Straub, I guess that it would make this defiantly my favorite. I read this in one night. I happen to like story's about possible apocalyptic situations and what happened after. The heavy influence of good and bad controlling and changing situations. I happened to also like the ending as well.
Jun 16, 2009 Longfellow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King really is a good storyteller, and he's pretty good with language too. You know, the nifty metaphor, simile, and other original imagery.

It was fun to spend some time with these characters; not all the good guys live, but the good guys win and the bad guys get the hurt put on them.

I'm thinking I might read McCarthy's The Road next and see how these "apocalyptic" novels compare.
Aug 20, 2011 Sheena rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book because it's my mom's favourite King book and she highly recommened it. Sadly, I just could not finish it. It started out with a bang and I was really excited to read it, but then I became incredibly bored with the story. I cheated; I knew there was a TV mini-series, so I stopped reading the book and watched that instead. I don't think I missed much.
Though the book was re-edited, updated, and expanded in 1990, the original, and now nearly impossible-to-find, 1978 edition is a story nearly perfect on its own. If you ever see a copy, keep it, and spare yourself from newer, wordier, less-focused, and unnecessarily and ineffectively modernized editions.
Leonard Pierce
Jul 22, 2008 Leonard Pierce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Oh, like you've never read any bestsellers. Anyway, this is actually a pretty good book -- one of King's best, and one of the few where his ambition doesn't outstrip his talent. This is a good one to read if you want to understand why the guy is an important writer, if not exactly a great one.
Adam Wolf
Jan 12, 2014 Adam Wolf rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Seeing this paperback abridged edition brings back lots of good, if not eerie, memories.

I first started reading King when I was around 7 or 8 years old. I used to live a few blocks from a comic book store, and every time I got my allowance, I would head right to that shop and buy as many comics as I could for however few bucks I had in my pocket. One day my mom said something along the lines of: "If you like comics so much, you might wanna try reading this book called 'The Talisman' (Stephe
Gail (myJunegirls)
Just epic. Well, the audiobook took me almost three months to listen to (I really need a longer commute if I am going to listen to books this long).
Narrator did a wonderful job! I enjoyed listening to this as much as I have reading it over and over.
Oct 20, 2007 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans, horror fans
For some reason, I just didn't enjoy The Stand as much as I did other King books. It may have been that I tried to read it when I was too young (15), or perhaps I was expecting something different.

However, it was still an excellent book.
Mar 17, 2009 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a while ago i read the Complete & Unabridged version, and years before that i'd read the originally published version. the Unabridged was a bit too much, so i decided to read the shorter version again -- i so enjoy the post-apocalyptic!
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Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, M ...more
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