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The Stand

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4.31 of 5 stars 4.31  ·  rating details  ·  317,144 ratings  ·  9,740 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...more
Hardcover, Complete & Uncut Edition, 1168 pages
Published May 1st 1990 by Doubleday (first published September 1978)
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Checkman The original or abridged version has gottne harder to find and when you do find one for sale you'll pay for it. Especially if you buy through Amazon…moreThe original or abridged version has gottne harder to find and when you do find one for sale you'll pay for it. Especially if you buy through Amazon or Ebay or one of the other Internet retail sites. I spent a couple years trolling local used bookstores and ended up finding two of the 1980 paperback editions for sale. The original 1978 hardback edition is very rare and pricey now. My brother-in-law has it. HE actually got it as a gift for Christmas 1978. He won't let me have it even when I offered him money. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kemper
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 Theraflu 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 s...more
Evan Mcclellan
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
Carol. [All cynic, all the time]
Mar 04, 2013 Carol. [All cynic, all the time] rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Jessica
Oct 21, 2007 Jessica rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
Delee
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...more
Samadrita
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.
(...more
Chris
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...more
Whitaker
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....more
Stephanie
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...more
Tim Pendry
Apr 25, 2008 Tim Pendry rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Seak (Bryce L.)
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...more
Kent
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...more
Mike (the Paladin)
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
Mike
Jul 25, 2007 Mike rated it 1 of 5 stars
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.
Matt
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
Yasmine Alfouzan

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...more
Kathryn
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...more
jacky
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
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
Sandi
As many of you know, I tend to read a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction. One of the books that was conspicuously missing from my post-apocalyptic shelf was The Stand. For a while, there was a hardcover copy on our family bookshelf that I started to read. I didn't make it very far. A year or two ago, I got it in mass-market paperback. However, the print was small and the size was intimidating, so I didn't get very far. Now, I have a Nook, so I downloaded the ebook edition. YEAH! It's amazing how ea...more
Savinipop Savini
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Kim
The world as we know ends when the government accidentally leaked a ‘super flu’ virus at a facility and one idiot was able to bust the lock down precautions and infect the world. His intentions were to get out and grab his family and get the hell out of Dodge, but he ended up bringing death. The flu killed millions of people in two weeks, and others were not harmed at all. The survivors are left numb and wondering ‘what the hell happened and what do I do now?”

The government is trying to cover up...more
Brian
Reading 1,153 pages aloud is no easy task. I have renewed appreciation for those voice talent aficianados that can belt out an audio-book, with a dozen different voices, for anything over 500 pages. What the hell was I thinking reading this and Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell to my wife in the same year?

First let's get it out there and then move on that King can't write scenes of intimacy. Painful to read, even more painful to hear the words spoken. The "magical Negro", the bloated (for some)...more
Jameson
Mar 30, 2007 Jameson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everybody
Shelves: sci-fi, horror
A security glitch first lets a goverment-made mutant superflu loose in a facilty, then allows one of the sentries on duty to escape the barracks with his family and head cross country, the virus in tow. Within weeks the flu, dubbed Captain Tripps, or Tubeneck (because glandular swelling turns its victim's necks into thick, black tubes) is wiping out the world population (though the book only focuses on the events in the U.S., martial law and anarchy prevail. A few scattered people are immune, an...more
Stephen
4.0 to 4.5 stars. An absolute standard when it comes to post apocalyptic novels. Among King's best work (apart from the Dark Tower series that is).

Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (1979)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (1979)
Voted to Locus List of All Time Best Fantasy Novels (#23 tie)

Jason
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
Becky
This has always been one of my favorite books. There's just so much to it... so many characters that I love, so much uncertainty and fear and hope. I don't think that I'll really be able to do it justice in my review, so this will just be a quickie.

This is one of my comfort books. The characters are like family to me, and I feel like I know them all as well as I know myself. There is something magical in the way that King writes that allows his characters to just step right off the page and int...more
Brandon
Jun 18, 2013 Brandon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Just about anyone
I can't stress to you fellow "good-readers" how much I loved this book. This is the 6th King book I've read and it is far and away the best. I know that it's pretty much the norm to consider this King's finest effort..BUT there's a reason for that. Now, granted, I haven't read anywhere near his full catalogue but I have this feeling that I may not like anything nearly as much - that's a depressing thought considering how big of a fan I'm becoming. So you can see why I'm a little worried.

King bas...more
Fiona
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
colleen the contrarian  ± (... never stop fighting) ±
3 1/2

It only took 2 1/2 weeks, and I have conquered The Stand! (It probably wouldn't have taken so long, except I had a show going on for most of the time.)

Anyway - I'm not really sure what to say. I liked it. I didn't love it and I didn't hate it. Let's see.

It opened up really well. It was pulse-pounding and frustrating and sad and things started out, and I was swept away with it. In the beginning it held a lot of promise.

But as things settled down and "the event" happened, things slowed down a...more
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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.” 1292 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.” 680 likes
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