Evan's Reviews > The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King
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Dec 03, 2013

did not like it
Read in February, 2006

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.

Some reading this may be more horrified by the fact that I would be willing to even think of shooting such a beloved book. And I agree, based on seeing it's affect, that shooting a book is a very violent act. Yet I didn't feel any remorse in shooting it. I do admire Stephen King as a writer, though. I read several books of his (before and after reading the Stand) that I did enjoy a great deal, and hope he keeps writing more books. I like King's style, and something tells me that he would be amused to know that I shot his book. But I didn't like the Stand because I felt that it failed to deliver on it's promise of an "apocayptic confrontation between Good and Evil." I was waiting for our heroes to make the stand, which is a very powerful phrase and title for a book. *** vague spoilers follow *** Well, the heroes stood, and that's pretty much all they did, just in time for the most shameless deus ex machina ending I've ever come across. All the bad guys died in a way that wouldn't have made any difference if the good guys had been there to make their stand or not. I read about three hundred pages of tedious ad hoc committee meetings to get to that? Disapointing. I expected so much more. *** end of vague spoilers ***

But perhaps the book had other virtues. Maybe, just maybe, this 1,168 page book could save someone's life if they were being shot at. Just to make one thing clear: I, in no way, advocate the use of fire arms to maliciously deface intelectual property. I wouldn't have tried this on the Scarlet Letter which is 272 pages and which I equally disliked. I was going to shoot the Stand in the name of Science and public safety.

My roommate and I took it to an outdoor shooting range to test such a possibility. I mounted it up on a dirt berm, and used my roommate's .45 rifle to shoot it. No wimpy guns here, could this book stop a bullet or couldn't it?

Four bullets hit the Stand. Two bullets grazed the side. One went through the "h" in "Stephen" and curved up through the top before reaching page 450. The last bullet hit just below center, making a perfectly shaped O. What took me two months to get through, that bullet blew through in a tiny fraction of second. The bullet exploded out the back, ripping a two inch hole through the back cover, and finally ending in a puff of dirt behind it.

So the answer is no, my friends. 1,168 pages are not enough to save your life from a .45 slug. I wish I could say otherwise. If they had I would have given this book a higher rating.
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Reading Progress

02/03 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-50 of 64) (64 new)


message 1: by Lee (new) - added it

Lee Was it a paperback? Or Hardcover?


message 2: by Jared (new) - added it

Jared I liked your review. Have not read this book yet, I plan to read it soon.


Silentrunningfrog Seems more like a review of your trip to the shooting range, but I agree with it completely. It's a frustrating book. It meanders off the map frequently but then you get these short visceral scenes of the superflu or society collapsing that's interesting. I knew the ending would be anti-climactic and tapped out at 700 pages.


Jesse i disagree with your review, but i must say it was one of the most engaging reviews i have ever read! good work.


Diana I also disagreed with your review. However, my son & I laughed and laughed at your "Can It Stop a Bullet" story! Very Interesting!


message 6: by Kohl (new) - added it

Kohl Gerster The book was 1100 pages not 11000


message 7: by Josie (new)

Josie Hilarious! I've often wondered if a book like the Stand could stop a bullet, but I was thinking more like a .22. I enjoyed the first 100 pages of the Stand, but couldn't make it through to the anti-climatic end (although I knew the ending from watching the old TV movie). I completely agree that using a powerful title like "The Stand" and then not having a stand was a real cop-out.


message 8: by Susannah (new) - added it

Susannah Funniest review I've ever read! (And ironically made me want to give the book a go, just to see if I could get through it!) I must add that it would be awesome to do the bullet review part 2, and see what happens with the hardback!!! ;)


Jeff I can't agree with your review enough. I mean, I forced myself to gut through the whole thing while hoping that King would at some point make a great story of it. I kept thinking, "soon enough he'll bring it all together in a way that more than redeems the last eight hundred pages of emergency toilet paper, and then I can be proud I stuck with it." But no, all I did was waste valuable reading time on it, and since my books get destroyed from carrying and such, I can't even sell it to one of these jerks who assumes that just because it's got a familiar name on the cover, it's a masterpiece. I'd give it away, but stupidly I already vented to the people I know about how disappointing it is. So, since I can't think of anything else to do with 1168 pages of stalling, I might just go ahead and test the effects of 7.62 and 5.56 on it. Thank you for a good review and idea.


Checkman Cute. I thought it was funny when you posted this review over on Amazon and it still works. Bet the book would stop a 25ACP and possibly a 32 ACP. Not sure about a .380 ACP though.


Tracy I loved this book but your review is hilarious!!


Bryan I totally agree with your review, regarding the content of the book, at least. Totally let down by the shameless ending, after 300 pages of meeting minutes. Seemed a cheap way to add length, followed by a rushed, tacked on ending, with no actual "stand" or confrontation to speak of. I expected so much more.


Stephanie Loved the book, but ALSO loved your review! Thanks for some great laughs!


message 14: by Luis (new) - rated it 3 stars

Luis Totally agree.


Larilee I disagree with you on this, but enjoyed your review all the same. The Good guys sacrificed themselves, similar to and mirroring another sacrifice. It was their willingness to do so which caused God to set in motion that Deuce ex Machina ending.


message 16: by Dana (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dana Salman lol, the thing about the book not being able to stop a bullet is good to no, because I think I actually wondered that myself once. I haven't read the book so I'm not saying your review is great because I agree with you; it was just fun to read.


DavidO That's a funny test, lol.


Esmeralda You're funny! Wrong.......but, funny.


Peter Meredith I loved the book but loved your review too. If you want some real fun, read Pride and Prejudice, give it the one and a half stars it deserves and then post a similar review. Not only will you have fun shooting things, you will also cause heads to explode all over Goodreads.


Emily When, if, I finish "The Stand" I'm going to try this with a .22 and report back.


Candace Thank you! My eyes and brain glazed over every time they had a committee meeting, more-details-than-necessary minutes...it was like watching a season of walking dead moments when they *weren't* killing zombies


message 22: by Jeff (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jeff Candace wrote: "Thank you! My eyes and brain glazed over every time they had a committee meeting, more-details-than-necessary minutes...it was like watching a season of walking dead moments when they *weren't* ki..."

Lol I thought I was the only one who noticed that about that show! The second season nearly killed it for me when all they did was camp in Hershel's yard and start love triangles and crap. I was like, "C'mon, someone DIE ALREADY!"


Erika I liked the book but I can agree with you on the ending. I made the unfortunate mistake of watching a clip of the movie about halfway through. Could not erase the terrible acting/actors from my mind the rest of the way.


Christopher Bautista-Mendoza I agree with the whole palm-to-face moment of the deus ex machina climax, but you can't rely on an ending of the book to sum up the experience of the read! You're right, the book is 1,100 pages. So it shouldn't be defined by 10 out of the 1,100.


message 25: by Jon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon What a load of pseudo intellectual bull**** - why don't you concentrate on the review next time instead of going on and on about shooting the book.


message 26: by Tara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tara Lundrigan I have only successfully finished 2 of Stephen Kings novels. It, and The Stand. Both I enjoyed dearly. I totally understand that some parts of The Stand drag on, and can be much to descriptive (like all of Stephen Kings novels)- but that doesn't mean the novel deserves a 1 star rating. I really dislike the way King writes, but I would never rate his stories 1 star, even the ones I personally couldn't bring myself to finish.


Elesa Hagberg This is hands-down the best review I have ever read. Thank you.


Gideon I enjoyed the book, but your review is entertaining.


message 29: by Chris (new) - added it

Chris Muschar This review was horrible, and had almost nothing to do with the book itself :(


message 30: by Victoria (new) - added it

Victoria HAHAHA that was an awesome review


message 31: by Alastair (new)

Alastair Smith This review isn't half as clever as you think it is.


message 32: by Ten (new) - added it

Ten Tara wrote: "...but that doesn't mean the novel deserves a 1 star rating. I really dislike the way King writes, but I would never rate his stories 1 star, even the ones I personally couldn't bring myself to finish."

Not everyone is okay with giving courtesy stars. Some people are honest about their ratings.


message 33: by Owen (new) - rated it 5 stars

Owen Wilson While your review is funny, really, The Stand is a great book and not only does it deserve at least 3 more stars than what you gave it, your entire review kind of shows how little you understand about the book. I know its your opinion, but ... its wrong.


Lorenna As I'm suffering through the reading of this book right now (does is ever end?), I have to say this is my favourite review of The Stand so far and by far. Couldn't stop laughing! Great work!


Steve Parcell That's not a review at all. It is just somebody trying to be a smartarse .and failing dismally! If you do not like the book then criticise it constructively in order that other s may weigh up whether they want to read it or not. That is the purpose of a review. There is NOTHING in your review of any merit other than a justified shot at the ending (which is a little difficult to accept considering you do not have appeared to have read the book) and your point on committee meetings. Except "400 pages" of committee meetings. You will be lucky if thee is 4. I urge all to ignore this review and look at other reviews that are about the book.


message 36: by Vane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vane J. Even when I loved The Stand, I think your review is gold.


message 37: by Vane (new) - rated it 5 stars

Vane J. P.S.: Thanks for answering a question I had on my mind, too! I also wondered if this book could stop a bullet (not that I intended to shoot it, since it's one of my favorite books). Again, amazing review.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

The good/evil ending is an anti-climax without a doubt. Though as I was never expecting too much from this it didn't bother me so much. The enjoyment for me was seeing which characters were going to survive and make it through and which weren't, and for what reasons they were going to either make it or meet their demise. Plus the unedited version has much more after the good/evil battle and the characters get to continue their own personal struggles. This was one of those few novels I read where I was attached to some of the characters to the point of not wanting the story to end. So this trumped the anti-climactic ending as far as the good vs evil battle goes for me.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Enjoyable review by the way, nevertheless!


The Fireblaster I think you feel your review is cuter than it actually is. You like what you like, I get that concept. But you seriously missed the point of the novel on so many levels. The Stand is NOT about the final confrontation between "Good and Evil." So you whiffed on that part, badly. The Stand refers much more to the survivors of Captain Trips rebuilding on the basis of conscience, religion, power and survival and the clash of these. The title is more metaphorical than referential. Sorry you didn't like it.


The Fireblaster I think you feel your review is cuter than it actually is. You like what you like, I get that concept. But you seriously missed the point of the novel on so many levels. The Stand is NOT about the final confrontation between "Good and Evil." So you whiffed on that part, badly. The Stand refers much more to the survivors of Captain Trips rebuilding on the basis of conscience, religion, power and survival and the clash of these. The title is more metaphorical than referential. Sorry you didn't like it.


message 42: by Tammy (new)

Tammy Myers Ridiculous review
Pointless and as someone else said pseudo intellectual masturbation


message 43: by Mike (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mike You've got issues, lol. But Archer is definitely awesome.


message 44: by Martinw (new) - added it

Martinw For 2015 I aim at 50 books, and this is one of my next targets. I intend to give it a shot in the near future. :-)


message 45: by Katie (new) - added it

Katie Apparently he's actually rather anti-gun...so there's that.


Amanda This is the best review ever. And I totally agree.


message 47: by Tag (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tag Cavello The bad guys are destroyed in a way that doesn't make any difference whether the good guys are there or not--excellent point, and one I hadn't considered until today.


message 48: by Manu (new)

Manu Would have done the same with all those moderists like James Joyce and party who killed the tendency of human beings to enjoy a good story and separated stories from literature.


Steve Parcell Again this review blows goats and is about as funny as root canal or is it because I am a limey and don't get
your "zany" sense of humour Evan?


Steve Parcell And yet you gave The Princess Bride 5 out of 5 (reasonable book - great film) and Mr Mercedes 4 out of 5 compared to 1 out of 5 for The Stand by the same author.
Perhaps when you leave high school and stop doing them funny cigarettes and herbal cookies mate you might actually have something funny and interesting to say.


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