I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.
I am not a huge Steven King fan, but this is by far his best work in my opinion. The story is gripping and keeps you wanting more throughout. Those who are not King readers should note that he is big on detail and his stories move pretty slow. It is just that the world is so interesting and you learn to care about the characters that you are willing to overlook the spots where his writing becomes ponderous. This is a great story and the narrarator does a bang-up job for a book with so many characters. Defniteily worth the credit.
I never read The Stand when it was initially published. I'd heard many people rave about it, but for whatever reason I never picked it up. I just finished listening to 11/22/63 (which I really REALLY enjoyed--perhaps the best book I've ever listened to) and expected a similar experience with The Stand. I was disappointed.
The characters in 11/22/63 are people you deeply care about, suffer with. I mean I had tears in my eyes as I listened parts of it. By comparison the characters in The Stand are shallow, made of cardboard. I understand that when you're juggling as many characters as appear in this story you have to distinguish them in some way. King chooses to do this by using regional stereotypes (New England, Texas--easy to tell apart, right?) who all speak in exaggerated folksy cliches. Dialog introducing a change in scene often sounds like it was cribbed from Hee-Haw. Characters are one-dimensional (with a few exceptions). The New England professor (Glen) was particularly annoying. His role was like that of the scientist in a white lab coat in bad science fiction movies who "explains" everything.
The length of the book didn't bother me, but In large sections of the story nothing much happens. Too many talking heads.
(As an aside, I wonder if Stephen lived in Seattle, say, would he have divided America into Eastern US (good), Western US (evil)? The potential rock star in LA has to come back east to be saved. The seat of evil is Las Vegas. Even Oregon shelters evil-doers. Not to mention the nuclear flourish at the end of the story.)
There are short moments of brilliance here, I won't deny, hints at good writing to come. I'm not recommending to not read The Stand, but do so realizing that this is an immature work by a writer who has better books in him.
As far as performance goes Grover Gardner is not my favorite reader. I'm not sure what it is everyone finds so appealing about his voice. Craig Wasson (the reader of 11/22/63) makes you feel like he's telling you his story, where as Gardner sounds like he's reading to you in his professional voice-over voice, if you get what I mean.
Frank Muller has been my favorite narrator to this point; hearing Grover Gardner narrate The Stand hasn't changed that, but I have added Mr. Gardner to the top of my 'favorite narrator list' right along with Frank Muller. I will definitely seek out other works by Mr. Gardner. He brings life to Stephen King's characters amazingly and makes an incredible novel even better. I will listen to it over and over. It is among the best, if not the best, audiobook in my collection.
Too many to name really, for the entire unfolding of the plot is memorable, but I love Tom and Stu's journey together near the end. It is so touching. I can't put it into words, except to say the feelings I have come from somewhere deep inside, where words can't do them justice.
He uses great voices for the characters, to make them seem even more
Again, too many to name, really, but I guess Mother Abigail. I admire her for her quite literal connection to God, taking on what He's given her, bringing the people together. I admire that she truly tried to live her life by His guidance and His will, and she showed others how to do that in the midst of a world-altering crisis.
The only reason I gave the story four out of five stars is because there are a couple of characters I couldn't identify with very well and I wanted to get beyond those areas and on with the novel. I won't say which characters didn't do too much for me because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone. Besides, my displeasure in a couple of portions is extremely minor and should not detract from the novel as a whole, nor prevent anyone from listening to this marvelous work. If I could've, I would've given the story four and a half out of five stars.
I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.
Stephen Kings seminal novel "The Stand" is performed by Grover Gardner and I am very impressed with his ability with giving different voices and accents and bringing out the personalities of the key protagonists and antagonists in The Stand.
Others have mentioned the profanity, however it is only there when specific characters are being performed and is essential to who they are, especially "The Kidd"..it starts about 5 hours in and is not constant at all. I did not fine it distracting from the reading of the book at all.
I've been listening to books for several months now and though I'm a comparative newcomer, I want recommend this to anyone who wants a book that is enthralling and entertaining.
A classic is a classic, no matter in what form.
This is THE book that gave birth to so many in this genre...
Finnally, after waiting for years to get this book on audio, it's here!!! And if you have been living under a rock and have not read this masterpiece already, get to it now!!!
WHAT IS THIS BOOK ABOUT?
The story begins with a virus killing 99% of the population. We meet several survivors in separate towns. They stay in town a while, then begin traveling on motorcycles, bicycles, or walking. The travelers start out alone or with one other person. Along the way they join with others. A man called Randall Flagg is creating his own empire, dictator style, with evil intentions. His headquarters are in Las Vegas, Nevada. Survivors with criminal tendencies are drawn toward Flagg. Good folks are drawn to Boulder, Colorado, where they form a community called the Free Zone.
Before I read any Stephen King, I thought most of his books would be about monsters, horror, screaming, slashing - things in horror movies. I was wrong. I’m finding a lot of depth and interesting character development. His bad guys are not all that different from some of the serial killers in mainstream crime fiction and thrillers.
The Stand has some paranormal, not a lot. Several characters have psychic dreams or a psychic sense at times. The Stand is one of Stephen’s longest books. The paperback is 1439 pages. I was never bored. I became attached to the characters. In the preface Stephen says “When I speak (which is as rarely as possible), people always speak to me about The Stand. They discuss the characters as though they were living people, and ask frequently, “What happened to so-and-so?”... as if I got letters from them every now and again.” Personally I feel that way. I’d like to think about the characters in the future.
Stephen makes everyday conversations interesting. There are many characters in this book, but it didn’t feel like too many. We are with a guy in Arkansas for 25 pages, then a guy in New York for 12 pages, then a woman in Maine for 11 pages. I like a linear time line and I like scenes with natural endings. And most of the time the scenes met these requirements. My biggest problem with Stephen’s book “It” was stopping scenes in the middle of action and jumping around in time. I’m pleased to see the author used “better methods” in this book.
This is a post apocalyptic world. By the end of the book some of the good guys die, but others have happy endings. Normally I would avoid books with this setup because I don’t want to be depressed. Other authors might tell this story with deep digging into grief and loss. This book was not done that way. I was pleased that I was not depressed.
I was pleased to see a romance. A couple meets, they eventually get together, and have a happy ending. For those whose don’t like abusive husbands, you’ll like this. This is the way guys should be. He cares for her happiness.
There is a homosexual rape scene in detail. Also there is a telling (after the fact) of women held against their will and repeatedly raped.
This is the expanded edition published in 1990. Much was cut for the 1978 edition. Stephen added back cut parts and a lot of new writing for the 1990 edition. I would not want to read the cut version.
IS IT PERFECT? NO.
I had a few questions that were not answered, such as why Flagg was losing his powers, and what was the purpose of the pregnancy. Also I did not like Flagg’s ending. I wanted something worse to happen to him.
The narrator Grover Gardner did an excellent job.
Genre: apocalyptic paranormal fiction
Ending: happy for many of the good guys, bad for most of the bad guys
I found the Stand to be a chilling ride as the world went from "normal" to "post-apocalypse" with one domino falling after another until the transition could not be stopped. The threat of the Super Flu depicted in this book stayed in my mind even when I wasn't actively listening. When someone near me would cough or sneeze a momentary sense of dread would come over me before I would rationalize away that the Super Flu threat wasn't real. Stephen King uses a mix of real and fictitious locations in the US throughout the book and that made it feel all the more possible.
The listener will come to know many characters throughout this book and Grover Gardner does an excellent job making them all unique through a variety of voices and accents. You are never really sure who is going to make it and who isn't and you will find yourself rooting for some and not others. The characters themselves are spread all over the US and each watches the world crumble around them based on their own circumstances and this makes for a nice diverse set of perspectives as to what is going on. Eventually as each character struggles to survive in the post-apocalyptic world a common thread begins to bring them all together. The story then transitions from following scattered individuals to the build-up of a battle of good vs evil.
Two distinct groups start to congregate together due to shared dreams pulling them one way or another and it is the potential conflict between these 2 groups that becomes the main focus of the story. Mother Abagail is pulling the "good" individuals towards her and she is a very religious figure on the side of good. This causes the non-religious characters to have to come to grips with this concept and I can see this possibly being a turn off to some readers but I think most won't mind.
I can see why the original release of the book was edited down as the story does tend to move slowly at times but since I never read the original I can't say if the edits make a significant impact or not. If I could give half stars I would rate this 3.5 overall as I definitely enjoyed it, but not quite as much as most of the books that I give 4 stars to. The 47+ hour length is what makes me drop it to 3 instead of going up to 4.
I will never again knowingly purchase another title voiced by Scott Brick.
If someone was interested in Stephen King, I'd send them to the Gunslinger first. I feel it's his best work. If someone was already familiar with the Gunslinger books, I'd send them to "It" first and then, maybe "The Stand."As far as giant, epic stories go, it has all of the elements. But, it ends in a less satisfying way than I hoped.
Absolutely! He's extremely entertaining!
Not exactly. No.
Overall, it's a fun ride. The overall story is so big and tries to wrap itself around so many characters, that it could have easily been turned into multiple books, each examining the events of the Stand from a different perspective.Instead, the cast grows and grows and grows. King himself felt that this was the biggest flaw of "The Stand" and, he was right. With a cast so big, I found it difficult to care for many of the protagonists, just because I could only develop a casual acquaintance with them, rather than a deep understanding.Also, at certain points, I felt the story went a little flat because the main antagonist was examined a little too closely, destroying my sense of mystery and dread about the guy.
I've never read a S. King book until now. I only enjoy a few movies by him (It, The Shinning) everything else just seems toooo long. The length is what sold me though. I love pushing play while bathing, driving, or surfing the net.
The Stand is a book about life, that could have been, could be, and that just can't happen. It gave me nightmares. It describes evil, in the most awful way. Chilling. The characters make you laugh, smile, scream, cry, and most definitely CRINGE. The book is full of swear words, describes terrible scenes in a way that make you want to turn off the imaginary TV in your head.
It was made into a TV special. I haven't seen it but I am searching the net. And. I've bought a new book from S. King.
The reader is amazing. He gives voices to these characters even your mind would fall short of. I love how crazy his voice is for the Dark Man. Creepy.
I was introduced to this book many, many years ago and immediately became a fan. Some 25 plus years later, this book is one that I make it a point of reading every year...just like watching "It's A Wonderful Life" at Christmas time. I was so excited to see that it had been released on Audible...I bought it, right then and there. In my opinion, this book is one of Stephen King's best and it is indeed a classic. A must have for your listening pleasure and now perhaps I will not have to replace another copy quite so soon!