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The Stand | [Stephen King]

The Stand

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail - and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.

Now Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition includes more than 500 pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.

For hundreds of thousands of fans who read or listened to The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift. And those who are hearing The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.

©1978 Stephen King (P)2012 Random House

What the Critics Say

"A master storyteller." (Los Angeles Times)

"[The Stand] has everything. Adventure. Romance. Prophecy. Allegory. Satire. Fantasy. Realism. Apocalypse. Great!" (The New York Times Book Review)

"As brilliant a dark dream as has ever been dreamed in this century." (Palm Beach Post)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Meaghan Wartrace, TN, United States 02-20-12
    Meaghan Wartrace, TN, United States 02-20-12 Member Since 2006

    I'm a 24-year-old woman who loves to read. The longer the book, the better. The Stand, The Help and The Hunger Games are my favorites.

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    "My First Completed Stephen King Novel"

    Before I get into my review, I have to say I've been terribly disappointed in a lot of the reviews of this book. The book is almost 48 hours long, yet most people barely have two sentences to say about it. I know most people have read this edition before, but for people like me, there aren't that many helpful reviews.
    I've read many many books in my time, but nothing has ever captured my attention the way The Stand did. It starts off with a sick man plowing into a gas station and spreading the disease to about 3 or 4 people there. However, what intrigued me the most was not the characters themselves, but how they changed and grew. There are some obviously "Good" people, and there are some "Bad" ones. However, I felt like King also put some in the middle. He left room for people to change. The story, for me, was not predictable or dull, and by my experience, most 48 hour long books do get dull somewhere. This one never did. The narrator was fantastic. I thought he did a fabulous job. I can't recommend this book enough. I'm glad I started it, but I will warn you, you won't want to put it down. I finished it in 6 days if that tells you anything. Thank you audible for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this masterpiece. I will definitely be revisiting it again.

    186 of 187 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith VINE GROVE, KY, United States 02-22-12
    Keith VINE GROVE, KY, United States 02-22-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Worth the wait!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Stand to be better than the print version?

    From what I've listened to so far the narrator (Grover Gardner) does a great job! He pulled me into the story with no distracting affectation that you get from so many other recorded books of the horror/fantasy genre. However, the daunting 48 hour listen may have me augmenting the audio edition with my paperback.


    What other book might you compare The Stand to and why?

    Grant's Pass - by Amanda PIller. A post-apocalyptic anthology, well written and very fun to read. At times I felt that this collection was the 'lost chapters' of The Stand.
    Swan's Song - A very good read in the same vein, Robert McGammon is another of my favorites (unrelated but other great books by him: Boy's Life and Going South)
    The Road - by Cormac McCarthy. Grittier and darker than The Stand but evocative (the book is better than the movie and I liked the movie)


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Gosh, so many! - the tunnel, the...hey, I'm not gonna spoil this for first timers! Read it and love it! Once everyone is up to speed, I may update this.


    Any additional comments?

    To all those folks who won't read this just because it's by Stephen King - please do yourself a favor and get this book. Although is has some 'horrific' scenes, the character development and story arc are some of the best I've ever read. Don't be put off by his reputation as Master of Horror - he's also a Master Storyteller; remember, this is the same author who gave us Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption.

    Now, if we can just get Peter Jackson to take a peak at this little book....

    52 of 52 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 03-21-12
    Suzn F Fletcher, VT, US 03-21-12 Member Since 2005

    I believe a reviewer should finish a book before submitting a review. What do you think?

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    "I'm a Fan"

    I can't say that this is my very favorite SK book ever, but I did really love it. I liked the characters so much. Nick who couldn't hear or speak yet he had so much to say and many people followed him. I have had dreams like this where we are all beginning again and SK makes it all come alive in his book. Grover Gardner is one of my favorite narrators ever, what talent!!!!! Yea this is a good one for sure.

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tammy Newport News, VA, United States 02-23-12
    Tammy Newport News, VA, United States 02-23-12
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    "Finally!!!!!"
    Where does The Stand rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the absolute best.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Stand?

    Why don't you ask which of my kids I like better?! One thing that sticks out are the snippets of random people's fate, such as a little boy falling down a well while wandering alone after his family died.


    Have you listened to any of Grover Gardner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I heard the previous version he did of The Stand, which was a library cassette audiobook. The sound quality was awful but he did a good job. I wish he put a bit more emotion in his voice but for the most part I think he is a great narrator.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    That isn't even possible. There literally aren't enough hours in the day. I did fall asleep several times listening to it because I couldn't put it down.


    Any additional comments?

    I would definitely say this is worth your credit. I'm glad they didn't make it a two credit book like some of the other really long books.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonita SOMERVILLE, TN, United States 02-14-12
    bonita SOMERVILLE, TN, United States 02-14-12 Member Since 2007
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    "It's finally here! Complete and uncut!"

    I've read this complete and uncut novel before, as it was available via the National Library Service for the Blind. But alas, it was just available for rent. But now, some 22 or so years since it was released in its entirety, I couldn't help buying it. It was actually the first thing I did when waking up on Feb 14th since audible gave me the heads up concerning it arriving on audio.

    Don't pass this title up. Most of King's fans say that it is his best work ever. Well, for me it ties with It and The Dark Tower series.

    Having read both versions-- this uncut doorstop of a novel, and the dinky little 800 someodd pager published in the late 70's... I prefer the one you're hopefully about to download or have already downloaded. I wouldn't have purchased the original edited edition if Random House had released it. So don't let the title confuse you, folks. It is indeed the complete and uncut edition, and well it should be. King himself says he can't abide abridged audio books. Well spoken, wordslinger! And we all say thank ya.

    My opinion of said novel? C'mon, it's Stephen King. And it is one of my all time favorites which I at long last own. It's a post apocalyptic epic featuring one of the best villains of all time. It's got romance, horror, etc. Just use a credit and buy it already! Now to submit this and take care of this bothersome stuffy nose and cough of mine.

    148 of 155 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 02-14-12
    bionichands washington, d.c. area 02-14-12 Member Since 2009

    procrastinator

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    "THANK YOU AUDIBLE!!!!"

    One of my favorite books of all time. I'm sure I've read it a dozen times over the years. I am so happy to have the audio version finally. I don't think I need to critique or review the book much more than to say if you're a Stephen King fan, you know this is one of his best books. And if you're NOT a King fan necessarily, this is one of his novels like the recent JFK assassination novel that you might find accessible. One of the classic post-apocalyptic books of the genre. THANK YOU AUDIBLE!

    59 of 62 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-10-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I enjoyed being part of this group of characters"

    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.

    REVIEWER’S OPINION:
    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

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Derek B. A strange midwestern city, United States 02-14-12
    Derek B. A strange midwestern city, United States 02-14-12 Member Since 2007

    It's simple really, I am just a guy looking to enjoy the writing and reading talents of others while raising my family the best I can, just Like most everyone else!!!

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    "Downloaded at 2 am on the 14th"

    I downloaded this just as soon as it showed up and so far I can tell you a couple of things:

    #1. The reader is doing his part and his style fits what I was expecting!

    #2. The story, for those that don't know what it is about, is classic King but with an apocalyptic type of plot. The character building is huge and wonderful here but don't worry your self as it DOES NOT SLOW DOWN THIS BOOK at all. King gives us maybe the biggest and best set of characters that he has ever had published and I'm not kidding about that!!!

    #3. The overall feel of this classic is ....well it's just classic! It got me from the first few minutes on and carried me on a journey that somehow leaves no doubt that I learned a few things that are useful in life, but I'm biased when it comes to The Stand as it has had a place in my heart for years. If you are looking to get into a very long book that will teach, scare, bring sadness and joy as well as new memorable characters into your thoughts then you have found a classic for sure!

    Just keep that in mind that many of us readers are revisiting this book in it's new form and are only looking for word that the reader has delivered what Stephen King wrote for us many years ago so all the reviews may not be what a new reader is looking for. I hope I was able to give you a review that will help in some way.

    59 of 65 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-03-13
    Lore SAN JOSE, CA, United States 02-03-13 Member Since 2008

    Fantasy/Sci-Fi Fan

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    "The first domino falls and the Apocalypse is here."

    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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    02-14-12
    02-14-12 Member Since 2010
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    "King is the Master. This is a Masterpiece. Period."

    Rarely do I actually click on an ad sent to me via email and buy something; this time I couldn't click fast enough! Literally the second I saw what it was I was impatiently waiting for the page to load, then impatiently tapping my fingers as it downloaded. This is one of my favorite novels of all time. Make sure you find something to do that allows you to stay plugged into your iPod for 50 hours straight; believe me, you will.

    30 of 33 people found this review helpful
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