The Stand by Stephen King
In this epic tale, King pits good against evil. As an apocalyptic virus sweeps the United States, the few remaining survivors make their way across country to join the group of their choice. The evil community, run by a dark sinister man- Randall Flagg (also known as the Walkin’ Dude or The Dark Man)- is located in Las Vegas. The good people congregate in a small town near Denver called The Free Zone and are spiritually guided by a 100 year old black woman named Mother Abagail.
Typical of all King’s novels, there is a wonderful assortment of characters, humor, suspense, and a bizarre plot… innocent children, villains and heroes, traitors and spies, a psychic dog, a crazy arsonist called The Trashcan Man, jealous lovers, a philosophical professor, references to the bible, a classic 1960 Plymouth, and lyrics to old rock n’ roll songs.
As the good people of the Free Zone are organizing a democratic government and trying to make the residents comfortable, Randall Flagg is raiding government arsenals and preparing for war. He’s looking forward to taking over the world. If you are already a King fan, you know that anything can happen in his stories. Heroes and innocent people often die while villains and evil people walk away unscathed. This novel is no different… so the plot is unpredictable.
The first reading of The Stand, 20 years ago, left me thoroughly entertained and over time I considered this book -along with It and 11/22/63 to be of Stephen King’s best work. In 1994 The Stand was made into a 4-episode TV series. And several months ago, rumors were circulating that the story is being made into a movie. For now, however, the project has been put on hold. I highly recommend reading the book. A recent second reading confirms that it is not out-dated and is still immensely entertaining.
Rated 5 Stars May, 2016
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