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The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet) Mass Market Paperback – May 7, 1991
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In 1978, science fiction writer Spider Robinson wrote a scathing review of The Stand in which he exhorted his readers to grab strangers in bookstores and beg them not to buy it.
The Stand is like that. You either love it or hate it, but you can't ignore it. Stephen King's most popular book, according to polls of his fans, is an end-of-the-world scenario: a rapidly mutating flu virus is accidentally released from a U.S. military facility and wipes out 99 and 44/100 percent of the world's population, thus setting the stage for an apocalyptic confrontation between Good and Evil.
"I love to burn things up," King says. "It's the werewolf in me, I guess.... The Stand was particularly fulfilling, because there I got a chance to scrub the whole human race, and man, it was fun! ... Much of the compulsive, driven feeling I had while I worked on The Stand came from the vicarious thrill of imagining an entire entrenched social order destroyed in one stroke."
There is much to admire in The Stand: the vivid thumbnail sketches with which King populates a whole landscape with dozens of believable characters; the deep sense of nostalgia for things left behind; the way it subverts our sense of reality by showing us a world we find familiar, then flipping it over to reveal the darkness underneath. Anyone who wants to know, or claims to know, the heart of the American experience needs to read this book. --Fiona Webster
From Publishers Weekly
Survivors of a chemical weapon called superflu confront pure evil in this updated and even more massive version of King's 1978 saga. "The extra 400 or so pages . . . make King's best novel better still," said PW. " A new beginning adds verisimilitude to an already frighteningly believable story, while a new ending opens up possibilities for a sequel . "
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I won't give away anything, I'll only say take your time and enjoy the ride with King's epic. I loved every word.
I think it is a little different take on the end-of-the-world stuff, I had hoped for some stronger ties with the T, after all, R.F. (those who know, know) but there is very little in this regard.
This book had many good parts, had some not so good too and even had some dragging pieces on it. I never did read the "shorter and older" version, but I can see some wisdom in an editor that decided to trim some of the stuff away, there are some parts that I wouldn't miss. There is also one scene I shall strive to forget as soon as possible.
The story is still great and more than worth reading.
I don't understand the comments people leave about King being too verbose in certain parts. In my opinion, this is leading me further into the character's state of mind and actions related to that. I don't think it dragged at all, and I love all the characters.
I would say that only one thing I would have liked a bit more on was the history on Randall Flagg from his own point of view. Other than that, it still gets 5 stars from me.
It's totally engrossing, and very interesting in enough different ways that you just don't get tired of working your way through all those damn pages. A great premise, great plot development, interesting and believable characters, and a scope that constantly reminds how transient we all are. Great stuff that got ME so involved that when I went to hospital for a relatively normal visit, I was ACUTELY aware of everyone who coughed or sneezed, and though I snickered at myself almost immediately for my temporary transportation from reality to plot, the snicker wasn't quite as immediately convincing as it might have been. So, yeah, it was THAT engrossing.