Kit★'s Reviews > The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King
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Jul 01, 11

bookshelves: keep-forever, post-apocalyptic-or-dystopian
Read from June 14 to July 01, 2011, read count: 3

The last time I read this book, which was my 2nd time, was January 22-28, 2010. I decided to give it a re-read with the Stephen King Fans group as it was the June group read. At first I thought that it was still going to be too fresh in my mind, and that I wouldn't be able to get into real well because it hadn't been that long since my last read. But I was wrong, I got into with all the ease of slipping into bed. It was almost like reading it with fresh eyes or something, noticing things in new ways. I don't even have to change my 5 Star rating, because I still think it's an amazing story. I don't even know where to start in this review or what to say. It's probably all been said already. One of the things that makes me get into this novel so deep is the thought of the end of the world as we know it. So, as most everyone knows, the government had a secret research center, and there scientists brewed up all kinds of crazy bugs, y'know, biological warfare stuff. First off, this gets me, because I'm pretty sure the representation of the government having secret research and weapons facilities is true. It's entirely within the realm of possibility that something like this really could happen! So anywho, something happens and a vial spills, and despite all kinds of precautions to seal the compound off and keep things contained, one of the workers manages to get out of the facility. He goes in the dead of night and gets his wife and baby daughter up and they make their getaway, not knowing that he's carrying the virus. Well this virus is one of the worst things that could've escaped. It's got a 99.4% communicability rate, with a super-rapid antigen shifting property. As soon as a person's body starts to fight off the virus, it shifts and re-attacks, wearing the body out until the person just dies. So with the one man escaping, he starts a sort of dirty little chain letter. So now there's this terrible virus on the loose, and within 2 or 3 weeks, most everyone in America (and everywhere else in the world thanks to some sheisty gov't people sending dirty little "packages" to other countries to ensure that no one would know it started in the USA) is dead. So, this captures my imagination, because it would be kind of neat to be able to do whatever, go wherever, just walk into a store and take what you need. Of course, it'd be terrible for something like this to happen, but to be one the survivors would be cool. And here we have our main cast of characters amongst the many, many supporting characters, the survivors, the ones who for whatever unknown reasons, were immune to the virus. I know I don't have them all written down here, but the core is this. There's Stu Redman, a factory worker from a small town in Texas. There's Lloyd Henreid, a small-time crook who is in prison when the flu hits. There's the Trashcan Man, a mentally unstable pyromaniac with a troubling past. There's Fran Goldsmith, a college student in Ogunquit, Maine who discovers she's pregnant just days before the flu hits and kills everybody, along with Harold Lauder, a chubby, pimply, awkward 16-year old kid whose older sister was Fran's friend. There's Nick Andros, a bright young, hard-working deaf-mute wanderer who gets more than his share of hard-knocks, and Tom Cullen, who's not playing with a full deck upstairs, but who's bright in his own way. There's Glen Bateman, a former sociology professor, and his dog Kojak, who is a rarity himself, as the flu also wiped out the dogs and the horses. There's also Larry Underwood, a guy in his twenties who left New York to make it big in the music business, and when he finally gets a deal, and has a hit single, he goes a little party-wild, and goes back to New York City to chill a little, and see his mom, and that's where he is when the plague hits. Oh, and I can't forget the two biggies, the opposing forces in this new world, the representatives of the dark and the light, the bad and the good. They change this story from a simple one of survivors trying to survive in a newly empty world with no modern conveniences such as electric and running water, to one about the endless battle between the Crimson and the White. We have Mother Abagail, a 108-year old black woman who's been through much, and still is self-sufficient and wise. She gets messages from God, and is the beacon for the White. On the other hand we have Flagg, the dark man, the Walkin' Dude, evil incarnate. They say he is Legion. Flagg is a well-known baddy to any SK fan, and he's actually sort of a favorite of mine, as much as any bad guy can be a favorite. He's just so bad though, and he's well-written, and for whatever reasons, I've been a sort of fan of Flagg since I first read The Eyes of the Dragon many, many years ago. The survivors all start having dreams, pleasant dreams about Abagail, and scary dreams about Flagg. The people are being called. Some go to the good side in Boulder, Colorado, and some to the bad in Las Vegas. There's trouble brewing, and the good folks of Boulder won't stand a chance against Flagg's people. There's just so much to this book that I just can't think of any specific points to make. There's a ton of emotional turmoil, there's death and destruction, but there's also goodness, and hope, and the opportunity for humanity to make a fresh start. I love so many of the characters in this book, I feel like I know them, like they're my family or friends almost. This story stays in my mind always, and has since I first read it back in high school. Every time I'm on a deserted stretch of interstate, I find myself thinking about them making their way along. I pass quiet little towns that look dead, and I think of all the dead town the characters see in this book. I catch myself thinking/planning on what I would do in this situation. I'll be driving along, and slip into a daydream about how I'd load up a 4-wheeler with supplies and set off on an adventure. Can't say enough how much I like this book, it's definitely in my top list of favorites. I recommend it to any SK fan, any post-apocalyptic fiction fan, any fan of a good, far-reaching, massive story.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Dustin (new) - added it

Dustin Hi, Kit!

Did you recently finish up a re-read of The Stand!?!


Kit★ Haven't finished yet, I'm about 150 pgs in so far, but it's awesome, I'm know I won't have to change my 5-Star rating! :)


message 3: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay This is a review for just the first 150 pages! Wow!


Kit★ Oh no, I'm finished finally. Took me two weeks but I did it :)


message 5: by Lisa Kay (new)

Lisa Kay Ahhh... okay! Great review!


Kit★ Thanks! It was a hard one to write :)


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