Fiona's Reviews > The Stand

The Stand by Stephen King
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's review
Aug 28, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, 2008, bricks, setting-usa, bought-new, favourites
Recommended for: anyone
Read in September, 2008

** spoiler alert ** I'd never read a SK book before but for some reason this one jumped off the shelf for me. So I bought it and then I though I better read it before someone put me off such a thick book.

Two weeks later...

I walked around the house like a zombie. I walked reading from room to room. I thought about it during the day and dreamed (rather unpleasantly) about it during the night.

I read it a little too fast - I wanted and needed to find out what happened and was completely paranoid about Stu dying. (My favourite character) I never considered that everyone else would go and die as well!

I'd like to read it again and take my time, but I think I'm going to break down crying with every Larry Underwood scene because next to Stu, I loved him. And poor Glen, poor Ralph.

I felt sorry for Harold too because it was such a waste of a life. I hated him for killing Nick, in the end it wasn't wholly the Dark Man's doing - he made plenty enough choices from his own free will. But just the way he died and the many opportunities he had to be better... I always hoped beyond hope he'd make the Right choice.

Stephen King produced some of the most real feeling characters I have read in a long time. That is the strength of the book - the characters because you care about them so much it feels as if they are real. To me, they are quite real and that is why it hurts when they die. I think on a second read it is going to be worse because I'm going to be taking my time rather then reading it so hungrily I'm sure I rushed through.

However, despite this... the climax with Flagg was a little anti-climatic and detracted a lot from the grief I should have felt from losing Larry, Glen and Ralph. It felt slightly rushed - slightly hashed together and not very well thought out. I suppose I was expecting some big show down but it never came.

The Stu's escape back to the Free Zone was a little long and protracted, slowing down what should have been an amazing ending. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it - in a way after Larry & co dying I was a little shocked and it didn't really set in until Stu talked about them.

My whole heart was hurting when I read the end of this book at about 0530 though tears were slightly dry.

I loved this book, but the ending could have been better. Maybe it should have been two books rather then one?

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Quotes Fiona Liked

Stephen King
“He smiles a lot. But I think there might be worms inside him making him smile.”
Stephen King, The Stand

Reading Progress

12/02/2016 marked as: read
12/02/2016 marked as: currently-reading
12/04/2016 page 126
9.0% "Oops so this happened."
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Robin (new)

Robin Fiona,
What a great review -- mainly because you echo exactly how I feel ;-) - Great minds think a like. I read this book well over 25 years ago and still can remember almost every scene and quote lines from it. Although some of the names are fading...

The good verses evil theme was the best I've ever seen. I loved the way there were "groups" of people and he would hop around from one to the other. These characters were definitely "real" to me.

I must say that I'm a softy for Nick Andros - His kindness for Tom Cullen (MOON that spells Tom) and the way he shunned the hussy they ran across while on bikes was perfect!! I like "quiet" men who hold an inner strength and he summed that up for me.

I also really loved the Judge - can't remember his real name -- shoot that's bad -- and his dog - It was great how he stayed behind to care for the fallen Stu - I loved how the judge reacted when he met flag - How cool was that.

And you are right the other good thing is how he portrayed the "bad characters". Harold was tragic and you could totally see where he was coming from. The guy Flag rescued from the jail - his second in command (forget his name) had believable motivations and I liked his loyalty for Flagg when things started going badly.

It was so sad to see the "deus ex machina" ending - so unworthy of such a great tale. But then again that is not all that uncommon for King - He does great characters and really good stories but his ends usually are less than fullfilling.

BTW - Have you ever seen the mini-series with Rob Lowe, Gary Sinese, Molly Ringwald etc. I think I remember you saying you have not. I would recommend it - it is a very good adaptation of a very difficult to do book and still holds up - I caught it on TV one Saturday afternoon on one of the cable TV stations not to long ago - it is a mini series so it takes many hours but I think you will enjoy it

Anyway thanks for such a great review!!

Fiona I got through half of the mini series but haven't got around to watching the rest. I think I started too soon after reading the book and so the changes annoyed me more then it should. I do kinda like it though, despite the really 90's and cheap kinda feel to it...

I must finish off watching it now it's been a couple of months since the book.

I've since gone on a SK book spree so I hope I like the rest of his books!

Glad you liked my review. :D

message 3: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura You think I would like this? Be honest. I know you loved it, but dystopic novels are always a stretch for me. But saying that I love the way he writes.

message 4: by Fiona (last edited Jan 06, 2012 05:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fiona Well... it was my first King and I didn't know/care what Dystopian was back then. It is probably the first/only Dystopian I've read.

I think if you like how he writes you'll like this... it was my first SK and I'd never been interested in him before. But I think at the time I went through an "I need to read an American author" phase and I had £10 on my membership card so I bought this with it as SK was the first American author I came across. It's another of my whimsical choices that worked out well. What I mean to say... it made me love it when I really didn't think I would because his books, and this type of story never attracted me much at all.

The characters, the story, the world - what happens next to these people. Whether you like it or not, you get drawn in. It is a bit icky at times what with everyone dying and as you can imagine. But wonderfully written and imagined out.

Besides, you're such a closet dystopian fiction fan, probably more then me! I need to read another SK... which'd you recommend me?

message 5: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Hmm. That's a good Q. I've not read him since premeno lol. I bet it'll be 11/22/63, once I've read that. I should ask Vic, you and he have similar taste and he's read I think 6 Kings now. He'd probably say The Shining. Or Duma Key. He loved that one.

message 6: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura 11/22/63 was fantastic and Duma is wonderful and I may start The Stand, The Shining, or Bag of Bones next. I need something else engaging and un-put-down-able.

Chris Young I read an article by SK back when the updated version came out. He acknowledged he got stuck in the huge character dimensions and didn't know where to go with all of his people so he inelagently blew them all up.

message 8: by Daniel (new) - added it

Daniel Raom I came here to find the motivation to read it. Unfortunately, you presented a spoiler (I don't know if it's big or not) right on the first lines, now I will have to give it six months or so to cool it off my head so I forget it. Please, next time warn if there are spoilers in your review. Not all reviews are a detailed critic of the book. Thank you.

Fiona The first words of this review are spoiler alert. How much of a warning do you need? And there are no spoilers at all for the first few paragraphs.

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