It would be impossible for me to say anything about this book that hasn't already been said. I can only give my personal opinions and impressions. Was it well-written? Sure. Did it have believable characters? Yes. Was it incredibly long, probably longer than it needed to be? Absolutely. But I am not blown away as some others have been, and it's not even my favorite King novel (and I've only read a few).
My opinion might change when I get a bit more distance from the conclusion. For me it just wasn't as epically satisfying as the build-up promised. And personally, I didn't care as much for all the supernatural aspects of the novel. Was this a necessity because it's King? I would have liked to see a storyline and conflict based upon what normal humans might develop after such an apocalyptic disaster. Having an enemy with unknown, ever-shifting powers and prophetic events that set up deus ex machina moments just didn't feel right to me. I also don't care so much for average joe characters who don't really excel at anything. They don't have high skills in any certain area and always seem to freeze up when they face danger or miss when they fire a gun.
Ultimately I think I could feel the author's hand way too heavily in this novel. It almost seemed as though the characters wanted to guess that they were inside of a book and that their stories were being written for them; maybe this was even intentional, I don't know. Also I have to admonish a stern content warning for this one: King doesn't pull any punches, with anything.
Nevertheless, one positive that I got out of this book was the importance of the power of choice. I think it's a central theme running throughout this book. Some characters turned to good, and some turned to evil. Some to their basest, sinful instincts, while others sought God, or the good of their fellows, something greater than themselves. Those who chose evil prospered for a while, but eventually perished, destroyed by the breakdown of their own false society, a house built upon sand that was washed away. Likewise, we have that same choice to make, every day of our lives. To live for ourselves, or for God and others. Ultimately, that will determine our fate, as well.
I mainly listened to the book alone, in the car, driving home on a long country road in the middle of the night. I don't think there could be a better way to read "the Stand"
Being a big fan of the 'end of the world/epidemic/apocalypse' genre, I had been meaning to read the Stand for a while. You hear a lot about it. But to be honest, part of the reason I downloaded this book is because I wanted to get the biggest bang for my buck, and this version is almost 48 hours long. That's like, $1 for every three hours or something.
Now, knowing the length, I expected some parts to be long-winded and boring. And I was ok with that. If you listen to a 48 hour book and expect every moment to be riveting, well sir, I think your standards are a little too high.
I am by no means a huge Stephen King aficionado - the only other novel I've read was Carrie - but I sort of know what to expect with him. There's going to be some super creepiness, but not in the way that a ghost scratching on the insane asylum wall is creepy - King's creepy is more ... weird creepy. My immediate response to listening to 'The Stand' was sort of like "Wow, this is the weirdest freaking thing ever. Stephen King, you weird" and a few hours/days later, when I'd gotten over the weird, THEN my response was "Holy crap, that got under my skin." Maybe that's why people like Stephen King so much.
Anyways, it took a long time to finish this book but I'm glad I made it through. The narrator did a good job adding to the creepy - especially when he was doing the voice for Randall Flagg and The Kid. "You believe that, happy crappy?"
Recommended if you've got a long drive ahead and aren't concerned about being a little creeped out along the way.
For the love of all things holy do NOT try to watch the 1994 miniseries.
Yes, without any reservations. If you like dark, although by no means unrelentingly dark, fiction with vivid, truly lifelike characters, a classic clash between good and evil, albeit with some nuances, a lot of death and destruction, and some, but not a ridiculous amount, of supernatural activity, then you will love this book. The narration was solid without being truly great, but the narrator did not detract from the story and did some, though not all, of the regional accents quite well.
There was a memorable moment in virtually every listening hour of this book. For whatever reason, I found the appearance of a character called the Trashcan Man to be particularly memorable. He was, at once, a destructive, nihilistic figure, but to call him evil would be an oversimplification. He did not so much want to hurt people as simply to watch things burn and explode, and he had a compelling psychological back story.
Gardner did the best job with the New England accents, so probably Fran's father.
Yes, several moments, especially toward the end. I will not discuss them to avoid spoiling the plot, but I will say that this book touches upon a wide range of facets of the human condition, everything from small-minded bigotry and viciousness to the insecurities of unpopular teenagers to the struggle to love and serve an often harsh and inscrutible god.
I am a Stephen King fan, but even if you don't care for the horror genre or all the childish fantasy nonsense on the market these days, this is a truly worthwhile listen.
not this one. I did not read closely enough to realize this is not the full uncut version that Mr King released.
I couldn't put this book down. And once it was finished I couldn't stop talking about it! The characters are extremely well developed and dynamic. Dont let the length scare you-its worth every minute, and with Grover Gardners impeccable narration, even decadent.
I love driving, and started listening to recorded a books about 10 years ago. I have even listened to some of the classics!
Its all good!!! i just love audio books, but it really matters who 'reads' them. This guy was a bit lackluster. Being last named King and a Colorado native (sadly no relation) Stephen caught my eye back in the 1970's. faithful follower until Dreamcatcher, he did almost lose me when I had to stumble thru IT. But anyway around it, although I will never be called a true literary afficeinado, The Stand will remain my favorite book of all time.
I truly love how many twists and changes there are in this book, with it ending actually apopolyptic,( did not see that one coming for quite some time in the book). I have worried ever since about a world without dogs and horses. Not sure I could deal!
There were quite a few
I actually bought this book for my son, not intending to listen to it myself (as I have literally read it 4 times before), but...I got hooked. Again.
Very good performance by the narrator. Believable voice and acting. The mother Abigail was a bit suspect, but apart from that, very good.
scary, interesting and long
The character development. You really feel like you know all the people in the book. They are all so complex.
I think this is my first one of Grover Garnder's narrations I have listened too. He is wonderful. He does a great job with the variety of voices.
The actual flu pandemic is terrifying.
It is a super long book. The first time I tried to read it was 15 years ago and I was impatient. This time I went in knowing It would take 45 hours to listen to it and it has been worth the time.
This edition was supposedly edited years later to "update the cultural references," but they're so tied up with the plotline that its a futile effort. A college age girl circa 1989 whose mother gets 50's style unhinged over a pregnancy?... A "deaf mute" who got kicked out of orphanage and travels the country by foot.??... I couldnt listen past download of 2nd part.