Read: because I wanted something epic and this is what people recommended
Rating: 9 out of 10
Length: 47 hours, 52 minutes
Published: originally in 1978, revised in 1990 (I read the 1990 Complete & Uncut edition)
Challenges: 2012 Audio Book Challenge, 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
Synopsis (from Barnes & Noble): This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death. And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral comlexity of a true epic.
Overall Impression: PEOPLE, I HAVE FINISHED THE STAND. How long have I been reading this? For all the years. All of them. In history.
It wasn’t until it came out in audio that I was really able to get into it. I think it might have been my falling-apart mass-market paperback that did me in trying to read it in print. The tiny print on the flaky, yellowing pages. Broken binding. It just wasn’t working for me. Then came the audio!
Which was so much better for me. It allowed me to listen while I was driving and sewing and cleaning. And although I’d already read 1/5 of it in print, I decided to start from the beginning. And now I can see why so many people love this book. Aside from being Way Too Freakin’ Long, it was a really great epic story. As I’ve been learning more and more this year, King is just a really good writer. And he’s a good writer across the board — his plots are compelling, his characters are realistic and not cliches, his word choice and sentence structure are interesting. The story starts out sort of disjointed, but comes together quickly into an epic good-vs.-evil showdown (I think that would be “the stand,” no?). It had some scaryish parts, but I wouldn’t consider it horror or warn people away from it because of the fear factor. I like the interactions between the characters, and really liked the struggles of the characters who didn’t know which side they belonged on. I thought the plot could have been edited down a little, though I never found myself bored. I don’t really know how to review this properly since it was so long and so involved. Just suffice it to say that once I got into it, I was hooked.
Narration: Grover Gardner did a fantastic job, and was able to keep a really great pace and strong characterization through the entire book.
Positives: It’s just a great story. It’s a lot of fun, it’s got a lot of heart, and there’s some pretty evil shiz that goes down. Also, Tom Cullen.
Negatives: Long. It was long. Like, really long. Like six Audible downloads long. It was long. And there was a bit at the end that made me go, “fo realz, Stevo?”
Other blogger opinions:
One Literature Nut: “It was creepy, but it was never so creepy that I felt like some Satan-like creature would jump out of my closet, or that I would wake with bad dreams.”
Rhapsody in Books: “While the chain by which the devastation occurred is interesting, we probably didn’t have to know so many details about so many people who were a part of the viral transmission and died more or less immediately.”
Graeme’s Fantasy Book Review: “King’s ability to portray an apocalyptic event as a big picture, and as a series of more intimate events, has made this book an integral part of my bookshelf.”