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on December 22, 2016
Ive been a Stephen King fan for 40 years. The Stand is and will remain my favorite of his books. I like all of them but I love a select few and The Stand is at the top of the list. If you are already a King fan and you haven't read The Stand, you'll love this book. The overall theme is Biblically related and he sticks close to details in well known Biblical stories. But, don't get me wrong, this is not "Christian Fiction". This is the best of Sci-Fi/Horror you'll find in King's books. The characters are fully developed and totally interesting. The dystopian story is compelling and believable. If you are a fan, since this is one of his earlier works, you'll see familiar types of characters, ie..Randy Flagg and Tom Collin. If you're a new King reader, you will get to know the characters and you'll care about them. This isn't a read in one sitting book. Rather, it is a day after day reading that you'll enjoy and hate to put down. Though some may say King is extremely verbose, I think his detailed telling of the story connects the reader to the characters like very few authors are able to do. This is my sixth reading of the book and the first time I listened to the audio book. It was just as good this time as the last. With a hour long ride to work and back, my time in the car seemed shorter because of the quality of the reader and the quality of the story.
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.
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on March 14, 2016
Definitely not my all-time favorite of his; Under the Dome and Running Man were both much stronger. But I can see how this book forms a kind of basis for how King writes. He has a no-nonsense, tell-it-like-a-real-person-would feel to his writing, where he doesn't make things nice and tidy. Life is messy, even the most virtuous of people can sometimes have scathingly horrid inner thoughts, and this book was a great example of how a diverse set of characters deal with a complex crisis.

This edition, for some, may be a bit too wordy/thick to get through... evidently this edition has significant additions that were previously cut (before King got famous). Having never read the prior edition, I can't comment on how impactful this was, but at the same time I found the cadence to be like his other longer novels.

Ending left a bit to be desired, and I would have liked more explanation of Trashcan Man's motives and how they shift in the book, but overall one of King's best.
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on November 5, 2016
Really enjoyed the entire story. Stephen King's writing is as good or better than any author I have ever been exposed to.

In the end, for me, this big was an epic build toward a "meh" finish. Absolutely worth the read, but also certainly worth knocking off a star.

A little surprised so many lists on the Internet place this as the top King book. I haven't read a lot of them, but I would definitely place 11/22/63 well ahead of The Stand on my personal favorites.
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on June 2, 2017
I read this book every 5 years or so, and it is always new for me. The world, the characters, the moral dilemma. If you have never read it, you are missing out on a very real experience. If you have read it, read it again -- for the experience.
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on September 5, 2017
Wow! This book is great! I wish I read it sooner. Hands down my favorite from this author. Makes me second guess my decision to be a volunteer fire fighter every time someone has a runny nose, but it is a great book. I want to say more but I don't want to spoil it.
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on November 23, 2014
Stephen King can be repetitious, verbose, and sometimes it seems as though he's writing for a high school audience. But he also has his genius. I know he's a fabulous story teller but as I said he could knock a few hundred pages off his thousand page plus novels.

There are times he goes off on tangents that are unrelated to his plot and it's as if he's writing other novels inside the one I'm reading, only to find, eventually, that he has set me up for the next stretch of the plot or has embellished a point that may have seemed mildly important to me before I finished reading his tangent. That's when I see the importance of that point to him and/or the plot. There are times his personal philosophy rises to the top and he creates an interesting think piece which I usually find fascinating.

But here's what I like best. He'll be describing something and he'll throw in two or three words that make his description very personal to me. We are from the same generation so his references seem as though he discovers intimate things about me.

THE STAND is Stephen King as we enjoy him best. There's always the "IT" character, in this case the guy in black whose face you cannot see, the invisible one, the walking guy who is wearing boots with worn down heels, the sound of which we cannot mistake, so we know that the representative of evil is present.

In THE STAND the evil ones are working for the government. They are cooking up a flu virus that has no cure and, of course, something happens, as it always does, and the super flu virus gets out. Because it has a long period before symptoms begin to show up, infected people travel throughout the world, and EVERYONE DIES a gruesome (and here is where King can really make you vomit), death. Of course he also has to kill the dogs and horses. I'm still furious with him over his description of the poisoning of a dog in "IT" that made me cry and throw the book in the garbage.

Okay, so there would be no story if there weren't a few people here and there with immunity, and only one dog as I recall. He's very clever because he knows how much we love our four footed children.

Anyway, these people start finding each other and a new nation begins in Boulder, Colorado. These people are all terrific. The bad people live on the other side of the Rockies.

That's all I'm telling you.

I gave THE STAND five stars because it made me skip meals in order to keep reading and hundreds of pages went by before the fatigue hit me all at once. Great plot. Terrific characters. Less repetition than usual.

By the way, the ugly face with the sparkling teeth on the cover shown here has nothing to do with the story.

Enjoy it.
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on October 1, 2014
My goodness. Where to begin? I read this book for the first time when I was 20, about 9 years ago. And it literally changed everything. I was a history major, minored in international politics. A girl on the verge of womanhood. A believer in civic duty. I thought that people were born a tabla rosa. And I thought Stephen King's supernatural elements are what made his novel's scary.

The way I think about men, women's rights, the modern society we live in has completely changed especially being that women's freedom in not due to the virtues of men but more particularly due to women being treated as an economic commodity. My understanding of government and the economy as machinations of ideas and words on paper than anything absolute. How the good and evil in everyone is a glorious hole of grey rather than clear cut evaluations of black or white. How close we are in reality to experiencing a super pandemic due to the overuse of antibiotics. Man... I could go on and on.

I have read almost everything by Stephen King. King has been a constant in my life. My parents loved scary movies and we had 'It' on VHS in the early 90's and we watched it quite often back in the day. I was the clown for Halloween when I was 11 and none of my peers got it. We used to vacation in Maine when I was young and we would often joke about how every mansion we passed was King's house (well, my parents joked... my brother and I thought it was real). Oh, what I wouldn't give to hang out with this man for a day and pick his mind. I think 'The Stand' is an amazing book and like I said it changed everything for me. I reread it recently (actually just finished it about a week ago) and I couldn't help by realize how much of 'my' ideas are those of King's and how truly and deeply this book affected me. If anyone was to ask me what my favorite book of King's is, I would say 'It'. But if anyone were to ask me about books that affected me deeply, 'The Stand' would be my number one.
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on October 28, 2014
First off, I'll warn any readers to NOT read the "extended, unabridged" version. I have no idea what would've been taken out, but I think that version does a HUGE disservice to the book. From what I understand, the "regular" version is long enough to begin with. I almost gave up on this, and that would've been sad. The first 33% was pretty painful, so I hope that's the part that's pared down. And, because there was too much detail, I skipped over a lot throughout the entire book. So, I might've missed something important because I'd been burned in the beginning.

As much as I thought, in the beginning, that it was going to drag on and on, it finally got very compelling...so much so I had trouble putting it down. And, even with the rough start, it was good enough to warrant four stars and a lot of crying at the end. :)

This book is a creative good vs. evil story. The story starts with a "plague"...a virus wiping out most of the world's population (which made reading the symptoms extra fun during allergy season...ha). However, readers are introduced to some characters who are able to withstand the virus, and they set about starting over. However, trying to thwart their progress is an evil being on the other side of the country, who haunts their dreams and their plans.

Aside from way too much detail, I thought some of the character development could've been better. The book skips around a lot at first, which would be fine if I could've remembered who everyone was. But, there was too much detail in between the characters, and by the time I came back around to them I'd forgotten some of their story.
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on November 15, 2016
I have loved this book for decades. It is one of my all-time favorites. In today's world this book would probably have been split into two or more books. The first part of the book is about the leak of a deadly virus from a military facility. It bounces around the country telling events from the perspective of several main characters, while introducing and developing those characters. After the majority of the population dies off, the survivors (and our main characters) pursue different paths to create two groups of people, those on the side of good and those following a man that I presume to be Satan. In the end there is an epic battle between good and evil. It's AWESOME!!
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on May 9, 2016
20-odd years ago I had this book around but didn't get around to reading it. My response to King's work has been quite varied - some has totally grabbed me, other books I haven't bothered to buy. Currently I love the TV series Haven and will probably binge rewatch the whole thing at some point, though I've had a mixed record with binge rewatches, the most notable fail being Firefly, which could have been a 3 day binge of that tragically short series. Some years back I watched the wonderful ensemble miniseries based on this book, taped so I could watch it during insomnia nights not spent working (serious computer geek) or net surfing. That series stuck with me enough to motivate me to buy the book - and when I find time to finish A Dance with Dragons this will be my next epic read.
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