Sunday, May 17, 2009

“The Stand” by Stephen King

“The Stand” by Stephen King
1991, Signet
ISBN: 0-451-16953-0

“The Stand” is one of my all time favorite books. I have read it many times over the years and each time I enjoy it just as much as the first time. For the last 2 weeks I’ve had the flu. I had a paperback copy of, “The Stand” on a bookshelf here in the house and I figured, “How appropriate.” So, I hauled it out and in between hacking my lungs out and blowing my sinuses into 4, count them, 4 boxes of Kleenex I read, “The Stand” once more.

The question posed is: What happens when a SuperFlu is released by accident by the US military? Life as we know it is over.

The story draws on several sets of characters scattered all over, from Texas to Maine and New York City. These are the people who survive and who are drawn together.

The fight is on between good and evil. Good is represented by Mother Abigail, a 108 year old woman who lives in Nebraska. Evil is represented by Randall Flagg, the Walking Dude, of Las Vegas. Survivors all over the country are dreaming of both of these people and are being drawn toward them. Our 4 characters, Stu Redmond, Nick Andros, Frannie Goldsmith and Larry Underwood all end up moving to Nebraska. Mother Abigail tells them that they aren’t done yet and they must all gather in Boulder, Colorado for the big showdown.

This story shows people who are much stronger than they think they are. Faced with terrible odds of survival they seek the goodness and will not accept the idea that evil has a place in their lives.

What I love about how Stephen King writes is how he seeks the humanity in horror. Where the ordinary guy can be a hero or a villain, and how those roles can change too as the characters change.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading, “The Stand” again. It won’t be the last time.

1 comment:

Stephen Eli Harris said...

Excellent book, I agree. It perhaps my favorite of Stephen Kings behind the Dark Tower Series. I love how wonderful the characters are developed, but of course King is a master at doing that anyway.