Up front, I will say of narrator Grover Gardner, he is perhaps the BEST narrator out there. As of now, I've read about 15 King novels. This is still likely #1. Emotional roller coaster and hard to believe that King can create laughter in this scenario but he does with some incredible dialogue from some of the "villains". Notably, Lloyd, Poke, and "The Kid". Larry has many great lines as well. Larry's journey is compelling and perhaps the most fun to listen to.
I am glad I chose to read this book! I strongly recommend it. The character development is incredible along with king's ability to describe the scenes in their entirety.
I've read The Stand multiple times. In this extended version, King predicts readers will say he's self indulgent for releasing the title a second time with hundreds of pages added to it. I am a King Constant Reader, but, sorry Steve, I do think it was self indulgent. The original version is one of my favorite King books...I own both versions, but if Audible carries the original shorter version, (which is still mammoth) I couldn't find it. That said, if you have never read either version, this one will be fine. It's still great, just the stuff added back to it was not worth it. However, the reader here might be my favorite reader ever. I think a good writer and a good reader should disappear so I can just enjoy the story. In this book, the reader did, but did so by performing perfectly. I highly recommend.
The story in general is amazing, and the performance by Gardner is truly epic. The character differences, the tone, the way he performs the dialogue is great.
Stu Redman and Larry Underwood. Both characters are real, damaged people who have come in to their own in the most positive ways. You could say both were reborn after the virus.
The variety of characters and voices were great, along with the tone used.
Glenn Bateman. Do I really need to say why?
Long listen, but if you have the time, it is completely worth it.
This story takes you through an apocalyptic scene following several characters and their journey and struggles to find peace in a dark world. You feel like you are living the whole thing out with them from start to end. Could not put it down!
The Stand was the first Stephen King book I read. I have since read everything he has written but The Stand is my favorite . The characters are so beautifully drawn and by the end you care deeply about all of them. I (like many other fans) often wonder what happens to Stu & Fran. I read the book once a year, always beginning on Memorial Day weekend. It has become my start of summer tradition. If you only read one Stephen King book, this is the one.
Reader And Listener
I first speed-read this book in 1978 hardcover edition as a sort-of Christian teenager, then more leisurely a couple of years later in PB, then again as an aspiring author in the mid-90's, in part to study the craft. Every time I've read it, the book makes me feel like I'm IN it, but still... when it popped up on my Audio recommended list I almost didn't look, figuring I've moved on.
Stephen King was 31 when this was published, which means he wrote it around age 30 - extraordinarily early to compose such an ambitious novel. Reading it now as a middle-aged Atheist, I'm catching a few errors I missed before and I find myself slightly annoyed by the obvious Christian slant of the novel. But once again, I feel I'm there, in the book... walking to Boulder, shuddering at Harold's constant grinning, wishing I could be on the Committee.
At the same time, the story was written almost 40 years ago, at a time when the Government was responsible for all fictional apocalypses, when tokenism was the norm... when Gay Rights were theoretical, and Womens' Lib was still "a thing."
This time, I still find it hard to turn off, but I don't feel compelled to stay up late "reading" because I know what happens. It's a great value for a single Point, and exceptionally well read by Grover Gardner - to my mind the best narrators are like great actors - if they're really good, you shouldn't notice them at all.
...but that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy it. It's extremely long and the characters are a interesting, even when they aren't doing much that has to do with the plot. I would highly recommend it as a good read.