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The Stand

4.33  ·  Rating Details  ·  408,136 Ratings  ·  11,669 Reviews
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides -- or
Hardcover, Complete & Uncut Edition, 1153 pages
Published May 1st 1990 by Doubleday (first published September 1978)
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You know what’s really scary? Getting sick while you’re reading the first part of The Stand. Just try running a fever, going through a box of tissues and guzzling the better part of a bottle of NyQuil while Stephen King describes the grisly deaths of almost every one on Earth from a superflu. On top of feeling like crap, you'll be terrified. Bonus!

After a bio-engineered virus that acts like a revved up cold escapes from a U.S. government lab, it takes only weeks for almost all of humanity to suc
Dec 03, 2013 Evan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Are 1100 pages enough to stop a bullet? This was the question that came to mind when my roommate asked if I had anything to use as target practice for when we would go shooting. Well, that was not the exact question. More of a theoretical situation, really. Suppose you are being shot at, and you have a paperback copy of the stand in your pocket, and that's where the bullet hit, would Stephen King's really thick novel be enough to stop the bullet and save your life? I was determined to find out. ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Carol. rated it liked it
Recommends it for: King fans; apocalypse fans
Shelves: apocalypse

Dear Stephen,

I'm sorry. I just don't like you in that way. I know we've been friends for a long time, but I just never developed those kind of feelings for you, even after eleven hundred pages. I feel like we only moved forward in fits and stops, and we were just never able to sustain a kind of even-handed development of the kind of chills and thrills a person really likes. Shock someone enough times with snot running out of their nose, and it just becomes a little meaningless. And there are onl
Oct 21, 2007 Jessica rated it liked it
Recommends it for: hypochondriacal jersey commuters
Shelves: happyendings
I read this book ages ago, but it's fresh in my mind every time I wind up stuck in traffic underneath the Hudson.

It's about almost everyone in the world basically catching a bad case of the Plague and dropping dead. This premise doesn't seem very far-fetched, which could make it either more or less entertaining, depending on your temperment.

Here's my opinion about good old Stevie King: he's got a real problem with endings. He'll spin these long, terrific stories, but way too often they're all ba
Will M.
The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there...and still on your feet.

So I finally finished this gigantic brick. This freakin' gigantic heavy brick, and all I can say is, this is probably the best freakin' brick ever made. With a heaping 1439 pages, this book managed to hurt both my wrists, and probably injured some of my fingers. That's the price I had to pay to read this amazing novel. I never thought that I wouldn't finish this, fuck it I never even though
Apr 13, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing
M-O-O-N. That spells “Damn, what a great book!”

I knew King had it in him, I am a fan of his brilliant 1977 haunted house thriller The Shining, but I did not expect this.

The best post apocalyptic novel ever? Maybe, that is a broad category teeming with great work from talented writers, but King’s The Stand is an epic, genre defining work.

My friend Michael has a profile statement, something to the effect of finding our next 5 star rating. I like that sentiment, and am excited by the opportunity th
One of the reasons why I would never club Stephen King together with any of the other best-selling writers of his generation (Grisham, Archer, Patterson, Sheldon and so on) is this :-
None of them match King's calibre as a story-teller. They don't even come close.

If somebody spins an intriguing tale, his characters get in the way of my enjoyment of it.
If somebody excels at characterization, his plotting is rather unconvincing.
If somebody plots a story well, then his writing turns out to be flat.
Jul 09, 2011 Whitaker rated it it was ok
I’ve said before that romance fiction taps into a primal desire for comfort. It’s a fantasy, a snuggie to wrap up in curled up with hot chocolate and toasty roadhouse cookies. The Stand falls squarely into that category, and adds hot rum to the mix as well.

The subtitle of The Stand really should be A Very Norman Rockwell Apocalypse. It’s a political fantasy set in the aftermath of a GM plague: a mutating flu virus with 99.4% transmissibility. Needless to say, 75% of the world’s population dies.
Jun 09, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And so the Apocalypse Trifecta is complete, with my one, true favorite End of the World book. I have no idea how many times I've read it now - I know the first time was in junior high school, though, and a lot of time's gone by since then. I also think I have about three different copies floating around....

It's hard to know where to begin when writing about this book, probably because I work under the assumption that everyone has read it. But I guess that's what everyone thinks about their favor
The first time I read The Stand I was home sick from school with some illness, the German measles I think. Maybe not a good time to be reading a book about a super flu, but I was young and not so bright.

This had to have been in 1981 or so, because that’s the year MTV debuted, back then they played music videos on Music Television and probably had about ten or so they kept playing over and over. Well, I’m on the pull out couch in the family room with MTV playing (it made me feel better to see the
Mike (the Paladin)
Nov 08, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I am not a Stephen King fan. That being said this is one of a handful of works by him I enjoy. Mr. King seems to have a congenital inability to write an actual “hero figure”. The fatal-flaw motif is very evident in his protagonists. This will appeal to some readers, and they find it “a touch of realism”. There are times I wonder. At any rate that isn’t quite so evident here as in his other books. The main characters while definitely within the “feet of clay” school aren’t in general carrying aro ...more
May 11, 2013 seak rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2013, stephen-king
I know, I just listened to Stephen King's Carrie and now The Stand. I've found that reading one King book begets more just about every time. There's something to these tragic characters that you need more and more of.

Now, I have to tell a quick story on this one and I promise this will (probably not) be the last time I tell it to intro a review for a Stephen King novel. This is THE novel I hated so I figure it has to be told here if anywhere.

A number of years ago, I was in Borders and that tells
Tim Pendry
Apr 25, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Originally written in the late 1970s with a lot of pessimism in the air, the revised and rather massive 'original' version published in 1990 might meet the mood of the late naughties just as well.

This book is why King will never be 'great' but will always be read - like Conan Doyle. This has all the King themes except for the clowns, though the theme of the rictus grin on the face of the bad guy and the trickster element suggests that this archetype is central to the King world view.

It is peculi
May 06, 2012 Kent rated it really liked it
This book is good. M-O-O-N, that spells good.

It's too damn long. It meanders from scene to scene. I'm glad that I'm finally done with it.

But I can't, in good conscience, give this book 3 stars, because these characters are simply masterful. The Stand features more than ten complete character arcs, and I'm confident that Stu Redman, Franny Goldsmith, Harold Lauder, Glen Bateman, Kojak, Larry Underwood, Nadine Cross, Judge Farris, Nick Andros, Tom Cullen, The Trashcan Man, and Randall Flagg will a
Jan 30, 2015 Laz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: thriller addicts
“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
Crystal Craig

Recommended Reading

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

Hot Damn! That was the BIG MAMA of books—and I just kicked her arse. The Stand is the longest book I've read, and it will probably be the longest book I'll ever read. I went with the audio version—47+ hours of listening—uniquely told by the narrator, Grover Gardner. Whoa, wait a minute. How long is SK's novel, It? It's on my shelf...unread.

What did I think? Well.... I usu
Jul 25, 2007 Mike rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: fantasy/horror dorks
At least three of my friends recommended this book to me. I don't think I'm going to hang out with those dudes anymore. King can spin a good yarn - Misery and Thinner are pretty good. This story, however, was spread a little too thin - no...way too thin. I guess he was going for some kind of Lord of the Rings epic, but it came across as just an overlong dweeb-a-thon.
Apr 26, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, horror
Hopefully I won’t sound too sociopathic when I say there is something seductive about the prospect of the end of the world. On the whole, humans are drawn to order. I’m no exception. I like things to be routine, controlled, and predictable. Still, every once in awhile, especially on a bad day, I welcome the Mayans’ prophecy, if only out of a sense of deranged curiosity. The primitive, barbaric part of my mind, the part I don’t talk about at cocktail parties (unless I get drunk, which is always), ...more
Franco  Santos
No fue un acto divino sino de pura canallada humana .

Mi libro favorito de Stephen King: Apocalipsis.

En realidad son dos mis favoritos, pero el otro es porque acarrea 6 libros anteriores. Este empieza y termina en un solo tomo.

Apocalipsis es un libro descomunal, ya sea por las páginas como por la historia. Empieza a toda potencia; si abren el libro sólo para leer la primera carilla, prepárense para llegar al menos a la página 100.


Nadie puede decir lo que ocurre entre la persona que fuiste y la
Andrew Smith
Jan 13, 2015 Andrew Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first thing I’d have to say is that this is not my usual fare. I’m not big on horror or tales featuring paranormal activity. The second thing is that this is a big book; I listened to this on audiobook – all 47 hours, and 47 minutes of it - brilliantly read by Grover Gardner. And the third thing is that it might take me a while to fully process how I feel about this tale. It’s an epic story that never once left me bored or wishing I were somewhere else doing something else, but there are ele ...more
Sep 18, 2009 Jason rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopia
Laws yes, laws yes, M-O-O-N, that spells 2 stars. Stephen King wrote in his ‘Preface Part 2: To Be Read After Purchase’ that he added 400 pages to this unedited 1990 copyright of The Stand. I believe it was 500 pages too much. He says he added the extra pages at the behest of a majority of fans that considered The Stand one of his best books—though, personally, he doesn’t regard it as his best fiction. I’ve given King several other chances to capture my imagination, with only one success, The Lo ...more
Yasmine Alfouzan
Jul 14, 2011 Yasmine Alfouzan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 52-books

Amazing writing and development, but it was so lengthy that the good bits got lost in a sea of utter crap. Not worth reading. Ending is quite disappointing. I was going to give it two stars for it wasn't that horrible really, but it wasted a lot of my precious time and therefore it gets one star. Nothing more.

Old review (back when it was unfinished):
I finished about half of this book (which is a million pages), and I am suddenly feeling very unmotivated to finish it. Don't get me wrong, Stephen
Xime García
Jan 01, 2016 Xime García rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Xime by: Franco Santos

Words. Worlds. Magic. Life and immortality. Power.


Les cuento que llegué a The Stand no porque King fuera mi autor favorito, ni porque tuviese recomendaciones de este libro, porque ni siquiera lo conocía. No. Fue porque entré en una librería en Ushuaia, me dirigí al sector en inglés, y hallé este ladrillo de 1400 páginas con KING gigante en la tapa. Me dije "seguro sale un huevo". Pregunto el precio y me dicen que salía $126. La jeta por el suelo. Lo compré sin importarme nada, sin siquiera
Joe Valdez
A top priority of my 2015 reading challenge was to take The Stand, Stephen King's epic apocalyptic fantasy published in 1978 and reissued by the author in an unabridged version in 1990. When finished, another challenge would be to contribute something new to the discussion of a novel which many of you were handed on your first day of junior high or high school. When Bilbo Baggins glances in the rearview mirror, he sees Randall Flagg gunning down the highway and gaining on him in popularity.

If y
Paul Nelson
Why did it seem I was the only person not to have read Stephen King’s The Stand, at the moment I feel like kicking myself because my excuse does seem a crap one. When I look back through the stuff I’ve read it becomes apparent that I’ve always tied myself to a genre and never strayed far from it, I read the Dark Tower series years ago because fantasy was my thing and then although I loved it I just never revisited The King. Now as my tastes have deviated once more, I’ve discovered Stephen King a ...more
I purposely stayed up until 3 am to finish The Stand. If that tells you anything...

The Stand was fantastic from beginning to end. I will say, for those who haven't read it, the first third of the book can get a little confusing for the reader, just trying to keep everyone and their stories separate. But, once you get familiar with everyone, its not difficult. (Maybe this just happened to me.)

This book is the ultimate Good vs. Evil novel. If you want a wild ride, this is probably the book for yo
Bob Mayer
Jul 26, 2015 Bob Mayer rated it it was amazing
Classic. Stephen King did admit the book Earth Abides was part motivation for writing this. But he took it in another direction and with a wide cast of characters.

The ability to bring in a supernatural element to a natural event (yes, biological warfare could be considered a 'natural event' works flawlessly. Good vs. Evil is perhaps the oldest theme to story there is.

Vintage Stephen King. Hard to decide which I like better-- this or Salem's Lot.

This book touches on a theme I saw in my time in
Apr 22, 2010 jacky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror, adult-fiction
I love The Stand. I love it for several reasons. First, there are many characters that you get to know very well. They are deep and interesting. My favorite by far is Nick, but Stu and Tom Cullen are great, too. That includes the villains, too. I love Trashcan Man. I love how Flagg pops up in various King novels. Second, I liked how at least part of this story is possible, which is what made it somewhat scary in the beginning. While reading this book, when you are around other people and they co ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hey, Everybody! I read The Stand!


This may not seem like such a big deal to anyone (with the exception of Delee), but I assure you it is. I've been wanting to read this book for years (20+ years. shhhhh...). I've been putting it off all this time because I let its epic length and teeny font size intimidate me too much. I saw it as a major undertaking. Also I had built it up as the GREATEST book I've never read, so it had a lot to live up to. Well, now I'm done. Did it live
Saoirse Sterling
May 15, 2016 Saoirse Sterling rated it did not like it
Read as part of the #InfiniteVariety2016 Reading Challenge based on the BBC's Big Read poll.

I have never read any Stephen King before in my life. I'm not sure I've seen many of the film adaptations of his books, either, but there are so many I'm sure I've glanced one or two. I don't feel qualified to write much about this one: it is simply a case of I did not enjoy it but there are one or two things I'd like to mention.

First off, you can definitely see what a good author King actually is. If you
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  • The Damnation Game
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  • The Bachman Books
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  • Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse
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  • The Stand: Soul Survivors
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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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“That wasn't any act of God. That was an act of pure human fuckery.” 1545 likes
“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 home.” 849 likes
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