Welcome friends! I have started this entry in the global technosphere because I have been in love with books since the age of 2. Among the busy business of being a new teacher, this is my outlet for sharing thoughts on a love of reading a wide variety of books. My inspiration can be summed up with a yearbook quote from a teacher written when I was 8: "To the only girl at recess I see reading a book. Good for you!"
My blog title is quoted from a classmate who asked me this once. Believe it or not, I've also heard it as a teacher :D

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Stand- Stephen King

Purchase: Amazon | Chapters

Published: 1978 (the complete & uncut edition which I read was published in 1990)
Pages: 1141
ISBN: 9780451169532
Genre: Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction

Start Date:  Oct. 6, 2011
Finished Date:  Oct. 19, 2011 (14 days)

Where Found: Chapters-Indigo
Why Read: For the SK Challenge but also because it's one of SK's most beloved books and I'd never (*gasp*) read it!
Read For:   Stephen King Challenge (6/6)

Summary:  After an apocalyptic virus wipes out most of the world's population, a scattering of survivors, including a quiet Texan, a pregnant college student, a nerdy teenager, a one-hit singer, and a deaf-mute,  who all have dreams involving an evil Dark Man and a prophetic woman, form a progressive group to rebuild some form of society and order.


Finally...I read the book deemed to be Stephen King's magnum opus.  Like his similarly plotted but more contemporary Under the Dome, it's a massive, complex undertaking but the 1100+ pages fly by in waves, and I finished it in no time.
Stephen King fans will recognize a number of motifs: dreams, premonitions, hidden motives, shadows eclipsing seemingly decent people with the mask of an evil presence.  Oh and there's cultural references, too, with song lyrics cropping up in an epitaph for each of the book's three parts.  I dig King's taste in rock and roll music :)

The plot is impossible to explain without spoilers, so instead I'll make a short list of thoughts.  I will try to be discrete with spoilers but please note the *SPOILER ALERT*:

  • Nick was by far my favourite character.  I love unlikely heroes and how they deal with being thrust into a role they didn't foresee or even want.  His friendship with Tom brought out his best qualities as a sympathetic person.  I thought his death was a bit cheap and written off too quickly, but his ethereal presence later on in Tom's mind made up for it.
  • I wasn't that taken with Larry, though many readers like him.  He didn't have very much going for him in the way of a personality.  His relationship with Rita dragged on and it could have been better if it was Nadine he met from the start (which I read was how the movie showed it).
  • The twist near the end with the Trashcan Man was fantastic!  His role in the book puzzled me for some time, but never failed to fascinate and then it becomes clear.
  • Nadine and Julie were just creepy.  They almost made Randall Flagg sympathetic.
  • I liked the idea that not all survivors had good intentions (how boring would it have been otherwise?).
  • A lingering question remains with me...What is the condition of other countries post-virus?  There are speculations about Europe, China and India (if I recall correctly) and there is a suggestion that Canada is in better shape than the U.S. (I think someone wanted to head that way), but the rest of the world's status is unknown.
I haven't seen the 1994 TV miniseries with Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Ruby Dee, Ossie Davis, Ray Walston, Rob Lowe, and Laura San Giacomo.  Supposedly, there is also a movie remake in the works to be directed by Ben Affleck.

Rank:  (A)- Excellent, Highly Recommend


  1. I haven't read it either, but it's on "the list!"

  2. When I first read The Stand I remember really liking Larry (I think, really, I just kind of fancied him) but I didn't like him quite so much when I re-read it this year- I do think though, that he's the character who kind of grows the most, and who is a much better person after the virus than before it.

    Also, DON'T WATCH THE MINISERIES! Seriously, that's like 6 hours of my life I'm never going to get back again, and all for awful awful acting (although, to be fair, quite an accurate adaptation- just, again, with awful awful acting).

  3. I skipped your spoilers, because this one is high on my list, as you know. I think maybe it'll be a good one to curl up with this winter.

  4. I LOVED The Stand when I read it in college. I read it again last year for a read-along and I didn't like it as much. Actually, it was the new, unabridged version and I loved the added stuff, but the rest of it didn't seem so epic to me. In my Twenties the whole good vs. evil thing was so huge to me. Now? It's reality. LOL.

    It's still one of my fave books though just for what it meant to me back in the day.

  5. I skimmed the review to avoid the spoilers. I've wanted to read this for a while. I just need to get in the mood for long books again...

  6. This has been on my TBR forever and a day. My son borrowed it for a while when his Stephen King fannishness erupted into flame.

  7. Thanks for the Hamlet movie recommendation. I hope to catch up on several Shakespeare reads next year.

    I loved the premise of The Stand and the wide spectrum of characters, but I think I could have done without the uncut version. You're right about wanting to know more about the world wide impact. I'd would love to read some kind of sequel and read about the rebuilding process.

  8. Have you read The Talisman or something by both Stephen King and Peter Straub? I highly recommend it. :) I read the spoilers but had no idea what they were about. LOL. I'm looking forward to reading The Stand, though, because people always say that "vintage" King is better than "modern" King. Must dig up his old work to compare. :)