I had read 2 Stephen King’s classic in a row (well not exactly one after another). My previous King’s book was The Shining, I have been looking for that book in a long time. And the book I had just finished is The Stand, which is also a book that I’ve been looking for years. I asked my friend to buy it for me when she was in Australia, I couldn’t find it here in Indonesia. She bought me The Stand – The Complete and Uncut Edition.
The Stand – The Complete and Uncut Edition is the longest Stephen King’s book. It consists of more than 300.000 words. The edition I read (A Signet Book) has 1141 pages…Can you imagine? More than 1 thousand pages with the smallest font I’ve ever seen @_@ . To tell you the truth, if this book isn’t written by SK, I’m not sure I want to read it…this book is the thickest book I’ve read. It took me 5 weeks to finish it.
The stand consist of 2 parts, the 1st part is about wiping out the entire (almost) human race with superflu and the 2nd part is the resistance of the survivor against evil. Personally, I like the 1st part better because it has more ‘feeling’ and the sense of survival more than the second part.
The Story: The government was making a new strand of virus that had symptoms like normal flu. The virus got loose to the society by accident. Within weeks, the virus spread had wiped out almost everyone in United State and maybe the world, but there is no news about the world because the government was covering it up. Some people weren’t infected by the virus…somehow they were immune.
The immunes watched their family died one by one. Frannie Goldsmith had to bury her own father. Nick Andros, a deaf and mute deputy (my favorite character), had to dress up the Sherriff’s wife and carried her down to the morgue as he watched everyone in the town disappeared because of the flu. Stuart Redman, the 1st man who discovered the flu, had to escape from government facility to avoid being killed. Lloyd Heinrich, a prisoner, had to eat a dead rat to survive and about to eat the body of the prisoner next to his cell. Larry Underwood, a new famous singer, had to carry his mother to hospital just to watch her die.
The government denied that the virus came from the army. They even blockade and killed people who tried to fight against the government. The killing got worse each day. It stopped when there was more of dead than the living.
The people, who survived the flu, either lived or died by other course of action. Living entirely alone in a town is really not fun. The immune people start looking for other people and almost everyone dreamed of a dark man and an old black woman. Half of the people alive went to the old woman in the east while the other half went to the dark man in the west.
The 2nd game of survival began when the 2 groups became bigger and bigger. Both of these groups were making their own little country, one with dictator and the other one with democracy. The dark man was going to destroy everyone who didn’t go his way. Mother Abagail tried to avoid that from happening through her most trusted people. The good guy had to make a stand against the bad guy.
The book is REALLY good!! SK had created 2 incredible stories into 1 and he also created a magnificent character by the name of Nick Andros…If feel in love with this character. He is deaf and mute but there’s something about him that makes us believe that we can trust him with our life…his character is strongly build and I can’t help NOT to like him.
Lets say the 1st part is The Superflu and the 2nd part as The Stand.
The Superflu part has more gruesome story, it is told in a way that grabbed all my attention and it made me hard to stop. The feeling I get is the same when I was reading Cell, I started looking at other people who sneezed near me and imagining what would happened if his flu is in fact superflu. Indonesia will be wiped out…will I be immune or not? This 1st part gives the sense of bitter reality. And when they start shooting people, it gives the feeling of anger toward the government. This 1st part gives so many feeling and imagination
The Stand part has more talk than action. When they start talking about committee and running things in Boulder…I became so tired in reading it, half my mind keeps on saying ‘just skip this part!!’ I didn’t skip it tho because I really like reading about Nick. Things become interesting again when they start their journey to stand up against evil. This second part sometimes reminds me of The Lord of The Rings…I wouldn’t be surprise if SK was inspired by TLoTR when writing this book.
In conclusion, The Stand is amazing!! One of King’s best. He even tried to be more scientific than before (reminds of Crichton, especially when Glen is talking). I admit that there are some boring moment but it’s nothing compare to the whole book. My rating for this book is of course 5 Stars 🙂
The next Stephen King’s book, On Writing, is waiting for me to pick it up soon.
I used this review for my 6th book in Thriller and Suspense Challenge 2010.