- Hardcover: 823 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday & Company (1978)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B000V9N21E
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.9 x 2.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3,130 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,227,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Stand Hardcover – 1978
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, "The Stand" is an incredible novel; perhaps one of the best I have ever read, by any author or in any genre. The story is predicated on the accidental release of a "super-flu" that wipes out 99% of the humans on the planet. The survivors find themselves drawn into a battle between good and evil that will determine the future of the entire planet.
As one might expect, a novel with such an ambitious plot and of such prodigious length touches upon numerous themes. In order to simplify my review, I am going to break down the novel's strengths into the following categories, and then consider them one at a time: world-building, plot, characters and themes.
First is world-building. In most apocalyptic fiction, one (if not both) of two things will be true: 1. The characters stay in one place or 2. The action picks up after the disaster. An example of the first is "Earth Abides" and of the latter "On the Beach". There's nothing wrong with either plot device, but in "The Stand" King injects a remarkable level of detail into his novel by covering the super-flu from start to finish. The novel starts at the very beginning of the outbreak, and many key plot lines are developed before the epidemic ever rears its head.Read more ›
This is how the world ends: with a human-engineered superflu which escapes containment in the form of a terrified guard who unwittingly spreads death over a wide swath of southwestern America in his bid to escape infection. Captain Trips, they call it - until they die, and people die in droves within a matter of days. In almost no time at all, well over 99% of the American population have suffered an agonizing death. Those that are left all alone begin to dream: comforting visions of an ancient black lady called Mother Abigail in Nebraska rising up alongside nightmares of a faceless man out west. Many find their way to Las Vegas to serve under Randall Flag, the Walking Dude of their night visions, but many others flock to Mother Abigail in Nebraska and eventually Boulder, Colorado. As the citizens of the Boulder Free Zone attempt to reform society and make a new life for themselves, they are forced to come to terms with the fact that they are caught up in a struggle defined by their spiritual leader in religious terms. They must destroy Flagg or be destroyed by him - in a word, they must make their stand.Read more ›
What many readers did not know was that King was asked by the accounting department of his publisher to trim his already huge novel by several hundred pages to keep costs down and to make the hardcover's price affordable ($12.95 in 1978). Given the choice of doing the edits himself or letting the in-house editors do the cutting, King chose the former. As a result, most -- but not all -- the characters and situations appeared reasonably whole, although King remarks in the Preface that pyromaniac Trashcan Man's westward trek from the Midwest to Nevada has the most scars from the literary surgery he performed.
By 1989, though, King had enough clout -- and reader support -- to get Doubleday to publish The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition. Released in hardcover in 1990, the book sold very well and was later adapted by King as a miniseries for ABC-TV.
So what are the differences between the two versions of The Stand, besides the heavier weight and higher price? (Remember that
$12.95 retail price from 1978? In 1990 this had nearly doubled to $24.95!) Well, the novel's tale remains the same -- nefarious U.S. military creates a deadly strain of the flu...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is for all of us Si Fi fans who love not knowing what's coming. Good guys who aren't so full of themselves or so pretty that they are not believable and bad guys who can be... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jane C. Nowlin
I've read a lot of Stephen King books and this one is up at the top of my list....Right next to It.
Lots of pages but they fly by. Read more
I liked the concept of this story and it flows well. Characters are believable and relatable. I wish someone had told me long ago that King books weren't all horror and clowns. Read morePublished 3 days ago by tyson
This was the longest book i've ever read, but i just couldnt put it down. There were slow moments but once it gets going its amazing. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
An excellent tale of good versus evil with both represented by very well developed characters each finding themselves thrust into a nightmare born in a secret government program... Read morePublished 4 days ago by menotoman
I read this again for the second time. I have such admiration for King. He does not disappoint. This is a long book with many characters ... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Julie E. Gomes