Evie Braithwaite's Reviews > The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King
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really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, fantasy, fiction, horror, science-fiction

Yep, my first Stephen King novel also happened to be his longest. Perhaps it was the post-apocalyptic premise that intrigued me. At a hefty 1325 pages, I could quite literally use my copy as a murder weapon. However, despite its intimidating size, I relished in King’s rich cast of characters during the world's end.

The first section of the novel centres around the downfall of a civilised world as 99.4% of the population is wiped out by the relentless plague known as Captain Trips. What gives this novel the edge over your conventional horror story with ghosts and vampires, is that this story is plausible. These people simply caught the flu. We all catch a cold or suffer an odd raging headache. However, The Stand is going to make me think twice the next time I feel a tickly throat coming on. What’s more, this virus was made in a lab. The plague decimating the world was created by us. We were liable for our own downfall.

The unabridged edition is a hefty 500 pages more than its 800 paged original. However, the original stuff was cut for a financial reason, not an editorial one, therefore I deemed it fair to read King’s novel in its entirety. Despite finding some parts slow, The Stand introduced me to King´s unmatched talent for presenting a cast of characters who are full and alive; Frannie, Stu, Harold, Larry, Ralph, Lloyd, and that´s only a handful of them. I normally crave a central protagonist who I can cling to as the story progresses. However, I routed for nearly all of them as I wondered how each of their stories would end. Nick, the deaf-mute, was so precious, and I treasured every moment of his incompatible friendship with the illiterate Tom Cullen. My love for the characters resulted in heartbreak, shock, but also joy for those who made it. King covers every shade of human morality and no two characters are alike.

The story eventually morphs not only into a battle of good and evil but also a novel about fate. All of the survivors somehow manage to unite through peculiar dreams. The deiform Mother Abigail assembles her own community, while others dream about the malevolent Randal Flagg, curating an army from the weak-minded, the stragglers. Two communities unite. This section introduces numerous supernatural elements, some of which was longwinded, so I skimmed across. It was interesting to read nonetheless.

What would I do if I were alone, everyone I had ever known having died within days? Where would I go? Although lengthy, The Stand is a rich, layered atmospheric novel enriched with detailed storytelling that made the premise of the world’s end even more daunting. I found this to have similar tropes to Station Eleven too so definitely pick this one up if you enjoyed that!
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Reading Progress

August 20, 2018 – Shelved
August 20, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 18, 2019 – Started Reading
January 18, 2019 –
page 0
0.0% "My first Stephen King novel also happens to be his longest AND it'll be the longest book I've ever read"
January 20, 2019 –
page 185
13.96%
January 22, 2019 –
page 320
24.15%
January 25, 2019 –
page 469
35.4%
January 27, 2019 –
page 587
44.3%
January 28, 2019 –
page 651
49.13%
February 1, 2019 –
page 863
65.13%
February 2, 2019 –
page 1063
80.23%
February 4, 2019 – Finished Reading
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: dystopian
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: fiction
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: horror
February 7, 2019 – Shelved as: science-fiction

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Matthew Cross With books like this , the longer the better !


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