Which Side of “The Stand” Will You Take?

“The Stand” is what happens in America when the government’s biological warfare research goes terribly wrong.  Which seems so likely to happen!!  When a deadly virus escapes the disease control center one night, it infects the entire U.S. in a matter of weeks.  The highly contagious virus passes among people quickly, and flu-like symptoms turn deadly within a few days.  Only a few hundred thousand people are immune, and band together to continue the human race.  The survivors must either join the dark side headed up by the devilish character Randal Flagg, or the true patriots led by Mother Abigail and guided by God.

Everything about the book was impressive.  Any allure of how great it would be to be alone in the world quickly dissipated as the character struggle to obtain basic things like food and electricity.  The level of detail given to each character, which provided each person with their own voice and individual back story, was amazingly intricate.  I liked how various themes and philosophical outlooks on life were presented by different characters throughout the book as they pontificate about how the outbreak happened, and how the world would go on.  Through these dialogues, King offered interesting perspectives to the human race.

I had no idea when I checked this out from the library that I was getting the unabridged and uncut version which was over 1,100 pages!  Apparently, King added more than 500 pages to the original version of “The Stand” to create what he considered to be a full and complete novel.   It was obvious which sections were added to the original text, because King would include extremely descriptive sections, and then other parts of the book moved very quickly without the same attention.  I enjoyed it, but when I neared the 800 page mark, the length became an obstacle.

Anyone who has been reading any end of the world book would really enjoy this.   I will admit that for the effort it took to read this book I was not satisfied with the ending.  Unlike the rest of the book, which was brimming with description, King ended the book too quickly, which left me unsatisfied and sort of mad that I invested over a week to read this book.


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