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The Stand Paperback – August 7, 2012
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Collectible Books by Stephen King
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Oh... and apparently King re-wrote the book - which originally came out in '78 - in the early nineties with updated references and like 300 pages that had been edited out. First of all, a lot of references don't fit and stick out like a sore thumbs. And second, I've never seen a "Director's Cut" that was better than the originally edited book or movie. Usually the expanded version is just extra fluff. The rating for this book might be better if I was reading the original... which I'd love to read if I could find it.
At first the book follows the stories of individuals, the few people who have survived the superflu. It follows them as they try to figure out what to do in this new world. They are also discovering a new type of mysticism that has started to approach them in dreams.
As the stories go on, they begin to intertwine. Friendships are made, and people have to decide to take sides.
I can't praise King's character development enough. I felt as though I actually knew and understood each character. One of the reasons I couldn't stop reading is that I had to see where each character ended up.
I know this book is long, but I definitely recommend reading it. I have a feeling that I will be reading it again and again.