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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating is all I can say!
I have always been a bit wary of Stephen King's books so I thought why not plunge into one of his most revered/loathed books by reviewers and fans alike? I wasn't disappointed at all. King, pulls you into a World through the eyes of a few survivors of a devestating plague and how as the lone survivors have to live, work, and survive together without killing each other...
Published on May 4 2007 by Ali Siddiqui

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Horror, Yet Equally Terrifying
A type of superflu virus escapes from a military facility, spreads rapidly and kills 99% of humanity. The survivors come together in one of two camps: Good and Evil. Tensions between the two groups build to an inevitable confrontation.

While beautifully written and compelling, I do have some issues with the book:

1) Stereotypical deaf character. Very...
Published 24 days ago by Lisa Adams


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating is all I can say!, May 4 2007
By 
Ali Siddiqui (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Stand (Hardcover)
I have always been a bit wary of Stephen King's books so I thought why not plunge into one of his most revered/loathed books by reviewers and fans alike? I wasn't disappointed at all. King, pulls you into a World through the eyes of a few survivors of a devestating plague and how as the lone survivors have to live, work, and survive together without killing each other. As in any post-apocalyptic story we have individuals who now have no fear of authority go on a rampage killing and pillaging and the survivors who just want to live are holed away cowering behind their walls. However, King doesn't go along this route (when does he ever!?), instead he pits those who survived due to Good and Evil. Throw in a bit of religious intrigue and not only do you have a book where questions arise through the characters on whether or not they believe in a God or whether they survived through pure chance just to end up fighting the Evil that lurks just over the mountains.

The characters are complex, evolving, and so life like that they could be easily recognized and easily relatable to in real life. The scenarios really helps the readers to empathize, sympathize, hate, or understand why the characters are acting as they did/are. I actually ended up supporting characters at one point and then questioning how they could have done what they did to the others...only to realize later on that from their point of view they did that to survive...something I found so refreshing. I was absolutely astounded by the evolving characters since I expected to read a book with cliched archetypes, now I know better. There are points where you wished King hadn't done what he did to one character (you'll understand later on when you read the book) since you feel so damn awful about how he was treated before the apocalypse that you wished he would end up happier in the post-apocalypse World.

If the World does end tomorrow and I needed a guidebook to help me survive the turmoil that tragedy on an epic apocalyptic scale brings...I would take "The Stand".

If you love Stephen King...buy this. If you love post-apocalyptic stories...buy this. If you love watching ordinary folks being forced to work with each other when their lives are at stake...buy this. If you really love evolving characters with each their own personalities and goals...buy this.

For my first Stephen King book, I was very much impressed by this epic novel. I'm glad I took the plunge. This book now is firmly placed in my top 10 list of books to take with me on a desert island.

5 *****'s all the way. :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "STANDS" alone when compared to the movie, June 28 2004
The end of the world. Who hasn't thought about it? And how can you forget those crazy Y2K fanatics who all firmly believed the Apocolypse was arriving on our planet Earth? They all stocked up on canned goods and urged the rest of the world to do the same.
King's Apocolypse depiction is a bit different here. No one saw it coming, not even the greatest so-called psychics. The world's population is not wiped out merely by explosions - nor does everyone die simultaneously. A deadly virus has escaped a factory and kills, once through, over 99 percent of Earth's people, over a couple of months. Victims are found in horriffic states: bloated necks, black skin, maggots feasting on their remnants and crawling out of their noses and ears and eyes.
THE STAND is not for the faint of heart.
I read the oh-so lengthy uncut version. Because of how long this novel is, King can afford to introduce many different characters. Some novels have attempted to do this. From my observations, their efforts usually fail because their book is too short to allow audiences to get to know and appreciate a plethora of characters. My favorite character was Nick Andros. Oddly enough, he was deaf and mute. But he's worked his whole life to overcome these hardships and shows he is very wise and witty, to an extent. Before the beginning of the Apocolypse, he was taking college courses. He can read lips just as well as Hellen Keller ever could, and once people realize his disabilities, he talks to them by means of pen and paper or pantomiming.
True, people will either love or hate THE STAND, King fan or not, I believe. My favorite novel of his will always be CARRIE, and this is a far cry from the traumatized teen and her world. It is also very different from PET SEMATARY, the second effort of his that I read. THE STAND is beautiful, at times, terrifying, and has a quality that distinguishes it from all other horror novels.
THE STAND's suspense begins practically from the first chapter and draws on and on. Whenever I met a new character, I wondered if they'd make it to the end of the book. This clearing out of people, practically like deforesting, is for the purposes of a Good vs. Evil confrontation.
In 1978, as fans of THE STAND may well know, renowned science fiction author Spider Robinson encouraged that people not read THE STAND. Unarguably, however, this book cannot be ignored. It became so popular that it was republished, unedited, in 1990. I'm pleased I got to read the unedited version, despite the fact that some say this isn't advisable. Because I haven't read the edited version, I'm not quite sure how to respond to this. But I very much enjoyed this version and I've got no difficulty understanding why many call this one of the greatest horror novels of recent years.
Different, it is. But only in the best way possible. :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic King!, Feb. 4 2011
By 
Nicola Mansfield (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
Reason for Reading: I am (re)reading King's books in chronological order. This was next on the list.

There are thousands of reviews of The Stand online already. I can hardly assume to add any more insight to what has already been said about the book so I won't try but rather instead give my impressions. I've read The Stand before, the original version, back when I was somewhere between 11 and 13. I know this as Cujo is the first new book of his I waited to buy when it came out. Since I'd read the original version, I chose to read the "uncut" version this time around. With 30 years between reads I am not in a position to compare the two as I only remember The Stand affecting me as a book that has stood out as one of the best books I'd ever read my entire life. It scared me and haunted me at the time.

The re-read has lost that affect on me. I didn't find it scary or incredibly creepy but I've read so many apocalyptic books since then that the novelty has worn off. I must remember though that those other books are all looking back at The Stand as their model and while some may get close, Justin Cronin's The Passage, none ever exceed King's original epic apocalyptic novel. That said it still is an incredibly well-written, compelling story that never lags. It has a huge cast of characters and this is when I enjoy King the most as he is a master at juggling a large ensemble and he can develop even minor characters who only have a few chapters to a point where you remember them long after the book. As a kid I remembered Larry the most and it was his character I was looking forward to meeting again but upon this second read as an adult Larry didn't affect me the same way. This time I found myself attached to Stu Redman much more. He is certainly the man I would want to have around if I was in such a situation! In King's preface he states that this is not his favourite novel but is widely mentioned as his reader's favourite. (I wonder which *is* his favourite). Not having read all his books I can't make that claim, yet, but of the ones I have read it did stay with me the most. After this re-read I can see why. It is not just a story but a world that the reader slips into and loses themselves. The classic struggle of good vs. evil keeps you on the edge of your seat and though I mentioned I didn't find the book scary or creepy, it certainly has many uncomfortable moments of gruesome and pure evil that are not for the faint of heart. In the end the book is not what I remembered it to be but it was a new experience with adult eyes that I understood more deeply and it still has a hold over me. I can truly see an apocalypse of this variety being a possible reality. A story that will consume you for days and haunt you for years.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Horror, Yet Equally Terrifying, Jan. 6 2015
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This review is from: The Stand (Kindle Edition)
A type of superflu virus escapes from a military facility, spreads rapidly and kills 99% of humanity. The survivors come together in one of two camps: Good and Evil. Tensions between the two groups build to an inevitable confrontation.

While beautifully written and compelling, I do have some issues with the book:

1) Stereotypical deaf character. Very few deaf people read lips perfectly - it's actually an incredibly difficult skill to master. For some unexplained reason, he is also mute, which is convenient for the story, but is not characteristic of deafness.

2) There's no real insight as to why the opposing deities are trying to annihilate one other, other than one is good, the other is evil, so just because. I'm not big on the black/white, good/evil scenario, preferring a more nuanced story where there is at least a shred of sympathy for both sides.

3) The title is a complete misnomer because the stand never happens. They're on their way, they're prepared to do battle, and .... the outcome would have been exactly the same no matter what the characters did. I felt gypped.

That being said there is much to recommend the book. While the major conflict is lacking in nuance, the characters are not. We see them thrown into the worst possible circumstances and are with them every step of the way while they learn to adapt, or not, and grow into their better (or worse) selves. We are taken from the very beginning of the tragedy, through the spread of the superflu, the aftermath, and the reconstruction. The ending leaves us with the idea that the conflict isn't really over, just on hold for now.

While "The Stand" is not horror, it is terrifying in a totally different way. Do NOT read this book during flu season.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Drawing of the Two, Feb. 23 2013
By 
John M. Ford "johnDC" (near DC, MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Stand (Mass Market Paperback)
This Stephen King epic is about the end of the world and just after. Its characters goes through three parts, each with its own dangers and discoveries. First, the "Captain Trips" virus escapes from a secret U.S. Army research lab and kills more than 99% of the U.S. population. A few survivors are naturally immune. For the rest, there is no cure. The story begins much like any science fiction apocalypse; there are no supernatural elements.

In the second part, individual survivors gradually find each other. Each of them has two different repeating dreams that are remarkably similar across very different people. One dream is of a kindly old woman named Mother Abigail, who encourages them to gather in Hemingford Home, Nebraska. The other dream is about a dark man with no face, who confronts each of them with their greatest personal fear. He pressures them to surrender to his will and come to Las Vegas, Nevada. The story introduces several main characters, explores their motivations behind the destinations they choose, and illustrates the dangers of post-civilization travel.

The two groups begin settling and restoring. Mother Abigail moves with her group to Boulder, Colorado, where a panic at the plague's outbreak has left the city relatively free of bodies. Randall Flagg leads the Las Vegas group, directing them to not only restore utilities but to gather weapons. Guided by Flagg's ruthlessness and supernatural powers, they prepare to attack Boulder.

The third part has a mystical focus and sharpens the story's contrast between good and evil. A dying Mother Abigail chooses four from Boulder to confront Flagg's Las Vegas. They leave immediately with minimal provisions and begin walking west. The confrontation happens. And the story ends.

This is perhaps Stephen King's best book. First, and most importantly, it is a great story. There are also things to enjoy beyond the story. There are subtle themes in King's portrayal of good and evil. Good invites while evil intimidates, for example. And individual choices matter. There are other themes and their repeated expression gives the story a consistent moral texture. This extended version includes characters and events previously removed to "right-size" the book. Their return adds to the experience of a long journey through an extensive catastrophe. It is highly recommended; read it.

Satisfied readers might enjoy King's short story Night Surf, which plays out in the same post-Captain Trips setting. And they might want to avoid Cell. It has a similar post-apocalyptic setting, but not the depth and clear direction of The Stand.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Novel about the End of the World, March 19 2007
I first read "The Stand" when I was fifteen (eight years ago) and have probably read it about 3-4 more times since then. It still is my favorite book ever. This book has everything in it action, romance, horror, comedy but most importantly an apocalypse that is eerily possible. The characters are rich and the plot carries you from the begining of a killer superflu that kills 99% of the population all the way to how the survivors are going about living with their lives. I am an avid King fan, but I also read many other horror novelists, and I still find this novel to be the one that has stayed with me the longest. I highly suggest anyone who wants to read a completely engrossing book that will change your life this is the one to pick up. What's even better is reading it again and again over the years and picking up on different things and getting something new out of it everytime. I have read it about 5 times and from age 15 to 23 the book changes and means something different everytime!! MUST READ!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars King's apocalyptic masterpiece of modern literature, Nov. 15 2004
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
The Stand, in my opinion, marks Stephen King's progression from horror to literature. Consistently voted fans' favorite King novel ever since its initial publication in 1978 (although I personally consider the novel It his finest work), The Stand delivers an archetypal conflict pitting good against evil against a backdrop of civilization itself. In this extraordinary novel, King fully unleashes the horrors previously contained in the microcosms of an extraordinary person (Carrie), a single town ('Salem's Lot), and a haunted hotel far removed from civilization (The Shining).

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.

I could not begin to describe the dozens of richly drawn characters King gives life to in these pages. They are ordinary people called to do extraordinary things in a world reeking of death and fear. Some are not up to the challenge, and betrayal has awful consequences in this new reality - to the betrayer as well as the betrayed. These are real human beings, flaws and all; there is good to be found even among those serving the greatest of evils, and at the same time, the good guys don't always behave in ways you think they should. Nick Andros, Nadine Cross, Larry Underwood, Glen Bateman, Stu Redman, Harold Lauder, Mother Abigail, Tom Cullen, Randall Flagg, Trash Can Man - these are characters you will never forget. I must admit the climax of the great struggle just doesn't seem to be all it might be, but the first 1000 pages of this novel are so good that even Stephen King could hardly be expected to top what he had already accomplished in the framing of this ultimate conflict.

I find it slightly odd that religion plays such a small part in this visionary apocalypse. As far as Mother Abigail and, eventually, the novel's heroes are concerned, this is a religious fight between the imps of Satan and the servants of God, but you won't find any theology apart from a few misplaced references to Revelations by frightened characters, and no preacher of any faith seems to have survived the superflu outbreak itself.

I wouldn't call this a scary novel, but it certainly does have its moments - best exemplified by one character's journey through a dark tunnel surrounded by invisible but very dead and decaying bodies caught in an eternal traffic jam. The real horror, of course, is the all-pervasive atmosphere of a world decimated by man's self-imposed destruction. Death is literally everywhere these characters turn - in the silent houses and cars all around them, in the streets upon which they travel, in the terrifying nightmares they have of the Walking Dude, and even in the future they try to avoid thinking about, as no one knows whether the superflu will kill the children yet to be born. I found the sections dealing with the reconstitution of a society of some sort to be the most interesting aspect of the novel - will it be like the old society, will it repeat the mistakes of the last one, etc. This is also a story of personal redemption, as the novels' heroes must overcome their pasts and/or their human weaknesses and handicaps in order to make their stand. When the deaf-mute Nick tells Mother Abigail that he does not believe in God, she tells him that it doesn't matter because God believes in him - that is a truly empowering message.

There is an intriguing philosophical undercurrent to this novel that applies both eloquently and meaningfully to the human condition. The Stand is modern literature, a direct descendant of such epics as The Iliad and The Odyssey, and you will learn something about yourself when you read this masterpiece of contemporary literature.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Salute the Captain Trips, July 6 2004
By 
Vagabond77 (Tennessee, USA) - See all my reviews
"The Stand" is where "The Dark Tower" series starts, maybe. It starts as a super virus called Captian Trips sweeps through the country, killing off over 90% of the population. The survivers gather into two parties. One with the saintly Mother Abigail in Boulder, Colorado; the others throw their lot in with the evil Randell Flagg (who has appeared in several King books) in Las Vagas, Nevada. There are so many characters (over 100 that contribute something) that it is hard to really be able to make them individuals, especially the core heros. However the stand-out characters are Nick Andros, a sensitive deaf mute; and The Trashcan Man, a pyromaniac who is more than anyone can handle. So, if the characters aren't especially strong, than the story is really compelling, even if some what episodic. "The Stand" is fans of Stephen King's favorite book, although not mine ("It" is my favorite King book). It is still very powerful, apocolyptic, action packed, scary, grim, and many other darker adjectives. I liked the action, and there was a lot of it; gun battles with roving rape gangs, narrow escapes from explosions, fights in redneck bars. There is also many tense moments of real terror, like with a kid terrorizing Trash Can Man; and Larry's frightening trip through Lincoln Tunnel. There are a lot of memorable scenes in this book, both horrible and tender. It also goes through most of the emotions; love, hate, jelousy, malice, and friendship. I also liked the moment when Larry says "Great, we just reinvented the CIA!" after it is suggested some people should go and see what Flagg is up to in Navada. If it wasn't for the way excessive length (over 1100 hard cover), it would be excellent. However, consider this statement; I read it once over ten years ago, and I remember every detail. It is a really good story. You must also remember this is a lead in to a much larger story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Stand, June 29 2004
By A Customer
This morning I finished The Stand:Complete and Uncut, and I must say the book was amazing. This is a King novel, so expect lots of character depth and a multi-layered plot. The book is about the end of the world as we know it. An accident at a germ-warfare research facility in California unleashes a deady engineered flu epidemic that spreads uncontrollably fast. The world is in chaos with people dropping dead left and right and bodies being dumped into the ocean by the boatload. And even as things are rapidly falling apart, the government attempts to cover-up their mistake. Their efforts fail, and 99.4% of the world's population is deceased. The immune survivors, still in shock, begin to look for other humans to band together with. Then the dreams come... dreams of a Dark Man in the West and a 108 yr old black woman in the East, both beckoning to them. Everybody has them, and with nothing better to do, they make a pilgrimage to one or the other and prepare for an apoplyptic battle of good versus evil...
The book can be disorienting in the first half because the perspective switches between many characters doing different things every chapter. There is no one main character, rather a group of them: A small town redneck name Stuart Redman, a pregnant young lady named Francis Goldsmith, a deaf mute by the name of Nick Andros, and many others. In one long section in the middle the book slows down to a snails pace, and gets pretty boring. This middle part could have been easily compressed, and I have a feeling that most of the added material is in that section. Other than that, I couldn't put it down and the 1000+ pages flew by in about a week. Buy this book, you'll be very satisfied with your decision, whether you just like some good action or if you're a thinker (This book will make you pause and contemplate a number of different issues)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional Masterpiece from the mind of Stephen King, May 24 2004
This review is from: The Stand (Hardcover)
The Stand is, more or less, a story depicting the end of the world. It begins with an accidental outbreak of super flu from a government facility, which soon breaks free to wreak havok on unsuspecting humans and animals. Almost everyone dies, and does so considerably fast. The army tries to stop it, but no one succeeds. Those that DO survive are people who have a natural immunity to the bug. Eventually these lucky souls band together to form a sort of community.
The atmosphere is bleak and gritty. It's depressing, but at the end of the tunnel they find a light through each other. They try and maintain hope and see it through to the end, while fighting the seemingly impossible at the same time. Not a feel good book necessarily, but then again most horror isn't.
Suspense was built up when it should have been, and most of it had my back muscles stung up pretty tight.
Stephen King is one of those authors who has a natural talent with characterization. The Stand is no different, and although there are several key players to keep track of, I wasn't confused as I have been in some of his other novels. I can't speak of a "main character," because there were several, and each person brought forth their unique traits, their past histories, and their own individual purposes, that were important to the plot. Each one enhanced the tale, and without this important element the story would not have succeeded so well. I didn't like everyone, but thankfully those I didn't care for got less time than the others.
Some may see the page count of this one (817) and fear it would be too slow for them, rest assured it's not. The pace goes along surprisingly well for such a lengthy read.

Is the Stand haunting? Well...it's never fun to imagine that basically the entire world is dead and you are left alone, forced to seek out other survivors and make them your new family because your real ones are dead. It's not fun to go into the street and be greeted with the stench of decaying corpses, or to no longer have electricity and signs of modern times. Getting wrapped up in the story like I did, I was able to imagine what this would have been like, and let me tell you it wasn't pretty. That theme alone was creepy. The end of the world isn't a time I'd want to live in, especially if it goes out this way.
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The Stand
The Stand by Stephen King (Hardcover - Aug. 21 2001)
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