How can you write a review about this AMAZING book and do it justice?
Grover Gardner, The Narrator, was PERFECT, I LOVED him! My biggest worry, when I heard this was finally coming out in Audio was, I wouldn't like the narrator. All for naught.
The story was even better than I remembered it to be, back in 1990. King weaves his fantastic, magic with the stories of the people's lives, and the result is outSTANDing brilliance! If you haven't listened to it. . .you are missing out!
Here is a brief, VERY brief description of the story, for those that have never read it.
Book 1 - Captain Trips
"Captain Trips" is the common name for a human-made superflu known formally as, "Project Blue".
The virus is researched and developed at a U.S. Army base. A biological accident, combined with security malfunctions, allow an infected guard and his family to sneak off the base. This sets off a pandemic that kills 99.4% of the world's population, including some of the domesticated animals.
King describes the destruction of society, widespread violence, virus containment failure, and eventual death of virtually the entire human and animal population.
The few remaining survivors must care for their families and friends, deal with confusion and grief, as their loved ones succumb to the flu and the dead bodies pile up everywhere.
Book 2 - On the Border
"On the Border", tells intertwining stories about the small bands of survivors and their cross-country treks. They're all drawn together by a shared dream, of old woman (Mother Abagail, 106 yrs old) and a Nebraska corn field, whom they see as a safe haven and representation of "The Good".
Another group of survivors are drawn to Las Vegas by "the Dark Man", known as Randall Flagg. Flagg, a tyrant and brute, uses crucifixion, dismemberment, and other gruesome forms of torture as punishment for those who are disloyal and disobedient. He is evil with supernatural powers and exists in the story, to represent the opposite side of Mother Abagail, "The Evil".
Book 3 - The Stand
In book 3, the stage becomes set for the final confrontation as the two groups become aware of one another, and each recognizes the other as a threat to its survival, leading to "The Stand" of good against evil.
The good guys set off on foot towards Las Vegas on an expedition to confront Randall Flagg for the final battle between men.
Can the human race can learn from its mistakes?
Nothing's better than a great Stephen King novel and this is the mother of all Kings novels. I've waited for years for this audiobook, and I must say this audiobook was worth the wait. Grover Gardener is absolutely excellent. Kings characters come alive with Gardener's narration.
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.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
Fascinating, smart, great characters.
He is always a good reader. He does accents well and is as dramatic as the tale calls for.
Mother Abigail. Her faith, wisdom and courage make her the best heroine I've encountered in literature. I don't know whether King is a Christian, but the theology and humility he brought to Mother is remarkably accurate and, well... attractive, charismatic.
The Stand was one of the first books I remeber reading. Its plot and characters have never left me. Listening to this epic tale was both thrilling and engrossing. I have enjoyed most every book i've purchased on Audible, but few more so than The Stand.
I love apocalypse novels, but am definitely not into heavy religious ones (especially ones that are wordy beyond belief). I managed to drag my feet through all of it, continuously hoping that it would suddenly grab my interest, but no dice. I am not this book's correct target audience.
I am probably one of the few voracious readers around who has never read a Stephen King book. A friend recommended I try The Stand and I'm so glad I did.
This is one of the best books I have ever heard. The character development is amazing. I truly felt like I came to know each and every character. As a reader, the most important part of the book for me is coming to know the characters and growing to care about their motivations, their lives, and what becomes of them. I don't necessarily need to like a character to feel invested.
Stephen King beautifully captures the complexity and depth of connection (good or bad) and relationships. This book is about many different things, but it is ultimately about people and the best and worst parts of all of us.
The narration is excellent.
I highly recommend it.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
I’d never read a Stephen King before so I looked it up on Wiki and found that of his 64 books this one is supposedly the best.
I did enjoy it a lot, I liked the characters and the building drama of the super flu and the struggle between good and evil, but I could never quite suspend disbelief about the existence of angels and devils, and that spoilt it for me.
I also thought the final showdown with the villain was a bit of an anti-climax and wasn’t one of those great shocking revelations when you are amazed by something you weren’t expecting (e.g. the final scene in Sixth Sense).
So, yes I’m glad I listened to it but, no, I didn’t think it was as brilliant as other people have.
My interests tend toward Biology/Medicine and SciFi, particularly post-apocalyptic fiction.
The Walking Dude
The confrontation on the highway between Stu and Franny's party and the ex-military "Zookeepers" had a lot of tension.
Great job at doing multiple voice characters convincingly. I really grew to love his performance of "The Kid".
I thought Larry Underwood was really well done. His backstory was fleshed out so well that you really feel like you know the character.
I seem to be drawn to the post-apocalyptic genre when listening to fiction nowadays. I never read the print version, so this 'extended' version is the first I've had a chance to hear this story. I also haven't read much Steven King, but was eager to hear his take on this seemingly more-and-more popular subject. The story has been referenced in other media that I've seen over the years (e.g. the 80s metal band Anthrax's 'Among the Living'), so I'm surprised it took me this long to get to it.
The story was very good. Not terrific, but very good. In a nutshell, a genetically-engineered super-flu wipes out 98% of the world's population, and the remaining souls coalesce around two leaders: one devout ("Grandma Abigale") and one evil ("Randall Flagg / The Walking Dude"). There are multiple characters and story arcs, but I liked the fact that we are present from the very beginning of the epidemic, up through the inevitable cover-up and breakdown of society, and through to the ultimate final confrontation. There is a lot of exposition not just on the nature of good and evil, but of the sociological implications of the disaster, and I appreciated these digressions.
Those who like George R. R. Martin's 'Game of Thrones' will also appreciate the sheer scope of the story, and the large number of characters involved. I think the size of the story alone with these type of novels allows the reader a more complete look at each character, and makes for a better overall reading experience.
Ultimately, the end of the story made me wish I could hear more about these people, and I suppose that's the mark of an engaging story.
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 devour books like a trash compactor.
The first part really sets this book up for a huge epic. King's detail as to how the world ends is fantastic. I think everyone agrees with that. So, okay we agree to make the journey...all 50 hours of it. Unabridged. We follow these characters to the bitter end and for what? An end that DOES NOT satisfy.
No. Well, the first part yes. The rest no...just too disappointing.
No, but Grover was awesome.
The end was such a rediculous let down. You just know King didn't know how to end it so just wrote something.