The Stand

The Stand

A Novel

Book - 2020 | First Anchor Books movie tie-in edition
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A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world's population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge--Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious "Dark Man," who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them--and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity. Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.
Publisher: New York :, Anchor Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC,, 2020
Edition: First Anchor Books movie tie-in edition
Copyright Date: ©1978
ISBN: 9780593314012
Branch Call Number: F KIN
Characteristics: xix, 1153 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm


From the critics

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Apr 19, 2021

This was the first book I've ever read from Stephen King, maybe it was a little too topical due to the COVID pandemic. It is excellent. King juggles the perspectives of twenty different characters and you will care about every one of them. I was thrown for a loop when supernatural elements started popping up in a story about a deadly virus, but King pulls it off masterfully. The villain is terrifying, and some events in the book affected me so much that I literally had to stop reading. The fact that I lost sleep over a fictional character speaks to how fantastic this book is.

The ending goes on a little long, and the conclusion to some character arcs were somewhat disappointing for me. Those are my only complaints; this book is undoubtedly one of the best I've read. Strong 4/5.

Mar 24, 2021

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a best seller from the 1990's. It was scary it spots. it was funny in spots. it was sad in spots. In short it was a really good book. of course reading it during coronovirus makes it a little more scary, but overall i really enjoyed it and would recommend it. there are a few cuss words and sex scenes if you are offended by those. it is on listopia's 300 books everyone should read once for good reason.

Mar 11, 2021

Gosh I hate being that person but this was one of the worst books I’ve read in a long time. I stuck it through to the end, hoping that it would take a turn but it was a horrific slog, in all honesty. I never seem to have much luck with King’s works.

Feb 14, 2021

This is one of the most uninteresting books I have ever read. I don't like giving up on a read once I've started, but this was pure torture. I just couldn't tolerate the bland narrrative and cursing beyond Chapter 11 and gave up.

Nov 18, 2020

One of the best books ever. Have read this 5 times and will again.

Sep 21, 2020

Released in 1978, King's apocalyptic novel, even at a whopping 1200-plus pages, had been trimmed by 150,000 words. This is the restored version published in 1990. It is back to almost 1200 pages. There is much more character development, some of which I thought was unnecessary. Some characters (like Tom Cullen) could have used more character development. Somewhere in the middle, the story bogged down. The meat of the story started taking place around page 700. I liked the original version better. I found the extra pages were not really necessary. So, all that being said, this is one of King's classics. He is a great writer. This is an easy read, just long.

Aug 25, 2020

Perhaps not the most beginner-friendly Stephen King book, but it is one of his most memorable works. There are characters and moments in this book that will stick with you for years after you put it down.

Jul 29, 2020

This is a book that hits closer to home in 2020. One of King's greatest books!

Apr 20, 2020

The Dark Tower series was meant to be King's Lord of the Rings. But I think he captures the feeling better here, where large scale events are the set up for a pretty clear-cut good vs. evil story. This is my favorite King novel. The 1,200 pages fly by.

Jan 01, 2020

The best word I can think of to describe this book is "epic". It's absolutely huge, and it tells the story of the world almost ending. It has good and evil, love and hatred, sickness and health, life and death (mostly death), sex, drugs, rock and roll. And a heroic dog. Somewhere in there was probably a paragraph about the kitchen sink!

That said, despite the immense length, I was never bored. I never felt like "that chapter really didn't need to be there". There wasn't constant page-turning suspense but, really, what reader could cope with that for 1150 pages straight?

This book has two overarching plots - "everyone gets sick and dies" and "good vs evil" - with a large number of subplots running under each of them. They were both very thoroughly explored and the details were reasonably plausible (after the initial suspension of disbelief required for the psychic component of the good vs evil part of the story).

I never got overly attached to any of the characters, but there was enough character development to keep me along for the ride. I didn't fall in love with this book, but I liked it. If there's a movie, I will never watch it; would be way too much gore for me. :-)

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Jun 11, 2019

Sexual Content: 10/10 well its the end of the world what do you expect?...

Mar 21, 2016

Violence: 10/10 Very very violent scenes of torture, death, stabbing, shooting, rape, crucifixion, severed body parts, decapication, sodomy, people being ripped apart. All of these scenes describe with intense details of graphic gore.

Mar 21, 2016

Coarse Language: 10/10 Extremely strong and frequent-- Just about every swear word used on every page. Some sexual and other not.

Mar 21, 2016

Sexual Content: 10/10 Gay rape with a loaded pistol. Sex, cheating, abuse, sodomy, rape, oral sex, masturbation, sexual fantasies ect.. There are many sexual relationships in The Stand, some of which are messed up and strange. Some scenes are vividly described while other are very short. Don't let this discourage you from reading-- the message of the book is worth it.

Mar 21, 2016

Other: Drug use, 10/10 Characters use drugs, deal drugs ect...

Mar 21, 2016

Frightening or Intense Scenes: 10/10 It's a Stephen King book...

Age Suitability

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Jun 11, 2019

STARFLOWER89 thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Mar 21, 2016

JihadiConservative thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 19, 2014

Rorozoro12 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


Add a Summary
Jul 02, 2020

It's the end of the world as we know it. A powerful disease has swept across the world, killing 99% of all living things on Earth. But there's more to it than that. The survivors of this deadly plague begin to have visions of two figures; a kind old woman and sinister dark man. Through messages these figures send in dreams, they effectively consolidate the two sides of the age old battle of good and evil.

This novel follows the point of view of multiple characters, all with their own struggles and motivators, including a deaf/mute man, a pregnant woman, a one-hit-wonder rockstar, a small-town meatpacker turned government person of interest, a pariahlike arsonist, and a murderer, to say a few, all linked by this single, profound event. Good and evil are analyzed and juxtaposed to show their true colors, and world-building has never been more eloquent as in "The Stand".

This is definitely my favorite book, an epic in so many ways, yet more engaging than any book this long deserves. This would be a must-read for anybody in my circle, even if just for the fact that it tells the story of so many lives so well.

GalaxieBlast Jul 12, 2011

This book is why Stephen King is considered the master of the horror genre.

It has it all; horror, gore, violence, comedy, suspense, romance, and drama. This is a vast book that I enjoyed completely. Over 1,000 pages of fun!!

I completely recommend this book to anyone that wants a challenging and exciting read.

I give this a 10/10.


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