This book has been on my to-do for the better part of a decade. The Stand is a boisterous novel about a plague that wipes out more than 99% of the population and the struggles with reforming into a nation. I seen countless positive reviews on this book and knew I had to check this book out. After reading it on and off for nearly two months, I’ve finally completed The Stand and already wanting to start my next Stephen King book.
I’ve read plenty of his novels in the past, but some of his more popular books I’ve yet to read, including 11/22/63. The Stand was just this mountain I’ve yet to scale. It’s a behemoth of a book spanning over 1,000 pages. This was my one complaint I had about this book, was the fact that it felt long. I was ready for things to wrap up but this book keeps going. I won’t argue that it wasn’t interesting, but it turns out that I was ready to move on when there were a few hundred pages left. Thinking back, I don’t believe I’ve ever read a book before of this caliber, and I think it will be a bit before I return to one.
I don’t want to get into specifics but will say the story told is genuinely scary. A virus called the Super Flu breaks out on accident and rapidly spreads across the world with no cure found. The first third of the book is about the spread of the virus, where the rest focuses on the remaining people and how they cope with this Flu armageddon. My favorite part of the book though was learning about the flu, how the government tries and keep it hush, and introducing the many characters in The Stand. This is also King being himself with an amazing lush setting and plenty of interesting characters.
I still believe this is one of his best books ever written, and the fact that a movie was announced has me all excited. It will be interesting to see how they condense this story to a sub 3-hour movie, but the casting they’ve announced sound great.
I give The Stand 5 Super Flu viruses out of 5.
“The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want for nothing. He makes me lie down in the green pastures. He greases up my head with oil. He gives me kung-fu in the face of my enemies. Amen”