Last night I finished the epic Stephen King novel, The Stand. In a word? It was BRILLIANT.
I read the long version that was published something like 10 years after the original. Story goes that the publishers thought the book was too long when he first turned it in, so they made him cut about 100,000 words. Later, after the book was such an enormous success, he went back and published it in full. That is the version I read. 1138 pages.
I doubt there are many people who don't know the premise of The Stand, but I'll try to sum it up. Basically, an experimental government virus that was for some type of biological warfare gets loose and instead of locking down like they are supposed to, one worried guard grabs his child and his wife and drives out of the compound just as the doors are closing. Hours later, he crashes into a gas station, fully consumed by the 'superflu'. After contact, the flu spreads exponentially, killing billions across the world.
The story follows the point of views of many people who all become major players as the world begins to rebuild itself. The book is divided into three parts. The first part is mostly about the spread of the plague and the individual stories of death and loss. The second part is the journey - everyone who was immune and left alive begins to dream and move toward a common place. Good and Evil begin their battle to take over the world. And finally, part three is about the battle, regular people who become heroes after the plague and are willing to risk everything in order to make their stand against evil.
I LOVED this book. It once again proves to me that Stephen King is one of the finest storytellers of our time. If you haven't read it, but you are yearning to be pulled into a story that will grab you and not let go for possibly weeks, this is a good choice. Long, but oh so worth it.
Posted by Sarra Cannon Thursday, April 15, 2010