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The Stand Audiobook
The Stand
Written by: 
Stephen King
Narrated by: 
Grover Gardner
 >   > 
The Stand Audiobook

The Stand

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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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  •  
    Kelli REDDING, CA, United States 01-21-14
    Kelli REDDING, CA, United States 01-21-14 Member Since 2015

    spa wench

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    "One of my favorite books, ever."
    Where does The Stand rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is difficult for me to accurately judge. The story is a favorite of mine, and has been since it's original release. I have read the book several times. The audio part of it was good, not exceptional, I don't feel like the audio enhanced my perceptions of the story, but it was enjoyable. There are books I have listened to in audio, that I hadn't read first, which were a more enjoyable/satisfying experience.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Stu of course. And Frannie, though this narration makes her sound a bit like a twit. I like Stu's stoicism and resolve, how he is fragile but strong, and his character grows through out the story. I like that he gains confidence in himself, and their path, while retaining the ability to question his motives. Frannie, as read in the book, seems real, like someone I know, or perhaps even a part of me, as a daughter, a young adult and an impeding mother. I identified with her because most of her decisions are ones i think I would have made in the same circumstances. SPOILER Except I would have spoken up about Harold. The end of the world is no play to worry about hurting someones feelings.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I didn't like the performance. At most times it was only tolerable, others it was irritating. He delivered the majority of the narration is a strange monotone, only occasionally injecting some life into the words. His accents made all the men sound like "Oklahoma sod-busters" and the women like whiny and helpless, or hard. I found myself practicing lines out loud as I listened. The story is so rich and multilayered, it deserved an exceptional narrator, not mediocre one it received. Harsh, I know, but the truth in my opinion. If I hadn't known the story, I doubt I would have finished all 48 hours. That is looooong time to listen to a voice you do not enjoy.


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

    No. And at 48 hours, it would have been impossible.


    Any additional comments?

    Mr. King... please make an effort to find better narrators for your work. I have listened to two books, one narrated by yourself and this one. On narration alone, I cannot recommend eithr, though you did a better job than Mr. Gardner.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Brooklyn, NY, United States 09-03-12
    Christopher Brooklyn, NY, United States 09-03-12 Member Since 2011

    I will never again knowingly purchase another title voiced by Scott Brick.

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    "Excellent characters. Just too many."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    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.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Stephen King? Why or why not?

    Absolutely! He's extremely entertaining!


    Which character – as performed by Grover Gardner – was your favorite?

    Tom Cullen.


    Did The Stand inspire you to do anything?

    Not exactly. No.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FRITZ STOOP Moraga, CA USA 05-16-12
    FRITZ STOOP Moraga, CA USA 05-16-12 Member Since 2016
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    "A very long ride to I'm not sure where"

    Not his best, not his worst. Good vs. Evil on the blank page of post-apocalyptic America. King is one of the great story tellers, his characters rich and believable, the setting as tangible as can be imagined. I wanted more from this, more about the human condition, the deep personal struggles that can only occur when the bottom has fallen out, when the imagination is bested by the stark reality, where every decision, no matter how small, could end a life or the course of civilization. I wanted more.
    11.22.63 was a better book, but this is pretty darn good.
    One cannot compare King to all the others as he is simply in a class by himself.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter heber, UT, United States 03-27-12
    Hunter heber, UT, United States 03-27-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Well worth the credit"

    I have seen some complaints about people not giving an idea of what the story is about, so here it is briefly: It is not a "horror" novel, even though it is billed as one. In the beginning of the story a super flu wipes out most of the earth's population. There is no gratuitous gore, but there are some scenes dealing with lots of dead people. The rest of the book is about the struggle of the survivors to survive, and the battle between good and evil, God and the devil.

    Stephen King's talent lies in his ability to spin a tale, to develop interesting characters that you can relate to, to put you in the mind of his characters, and make you live the story. In that regard this is one of his best works. I first read the original story probably 25 years ago, and it made a lasting impression on me. The extended version is even better.

    Highly recommend this one. At first I had a neutral opinion of Grover Gardner' s voice, but after a while I grew to enjoy his narration quite a bit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blake Horsham, PA, United States 03-23-12
    Blake Horsham, PA, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2012
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    "The Stand stands apart"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would highly recommend this book. I have read it twice in its original release, again when it was re-released and then just finished listening to this audio version. I thought Grover Gardner did a wonderful reading of the book.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Franny Goldsmith was and remains my favorite character in the book. She just seems to remain optimistic throughout, which is tough to do under the darkness of the situation.


    What does Grover Gardner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I can't think of much to add here. I can just say that he did a terriffic reading of the book. I'd be happy to get other audibooks where he was the narrator.


    If you could rename The Stand, what would you call it?

    Humanity redeemed


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gina GAINESVILLE, FL, United States 03-21-12
    Gina GAINESVILLE, FL, United States 03-21-12
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    "Love it"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Stand to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version because I am a very busy person just looking at the size of the book frightened me....lol So when I saw it on audio I was very pleased and took it with me to the gym, while I drove from place to place, and then realized I could not stop listening. I listened while I cooked, while in my garden, while I worked.. shhhh and had a hard time turning it off. Very entertaining!!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I have a hard time pin pointing which character is my favorite. I liked Nick Andros and Larry Underwood for the obvious reasons they are the


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

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend listening to this book. Very good character development I felt like I knew these people and did not want this story to end. Stephen King is a great writer and Gardner Grover does a great job narrating!!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-10-12
    Jane Chicago, IL, United States 08-10-12 Member Since 2015
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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

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 02-13-14
    Cliff madison, MS, United States 02-13-14 Member Since 2016

    I like scifi and urban fantasy. I don't like romance novels. If you are the same my reviews should help.

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    "Steven King's Best"

    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.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-19-12
    Amanda Phoenix, AZ, United States 04-19-12

    I rate as follows: 5 Stars = Loved it. 4 Stars = Really liked it. 3 Stars = Liked it. 2 Stars = Didn't like it. 1 Star = Hated it.

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    "Excellent Story, Acceptable Narrator"

    Life, Death, Religion, and Civilization; lofty topics to tackle in a thriller. It's no surprise that Stephen King deftly rises to the challenge and delivers an epic of...well...epic proportions.

    The most impressive thing about this novel in my opinion is the fact that there was no point in the 48 hour novel that felt like the story was stalled or lagging. The plot kept moving forward; slowly, patiently, but with great skill and expertise. I was especially fascinated by the themes of civilization and religion; I found myself deconstructing and analyzing many of my own thoughts on these topics. I've always been of the opinion that Stephen King is a genius, but if I'd had any doubts, this book would have put them to rest.

    SO: Deep, thoughtful, chilling, entertaining, fun... there's the good news.

    Don't worry - there's no "bad" news, per se.. more like mediocre. For such a famous, long anticipated tome such as this, you would think it would be insured that the narration was second to none; and that's not how I found it. It was fine, and it didn't ruin the book; I still recommend this wholeheartedly. Mr. Gardner did a good job creating the different voices of the characters, and for the most part kept them straight, which I'm sure was no small task. Still, I've experienced enough spectacular readers that this was a let down. Finally, and most egregious, Mr. Gardner would (from time to time) mispronounce a word that had no business being mispronounced. I was really surprised these errors could have made it through to the finished product.

    Still, if hearing saguaro pronounced with a hard "G" doesn't set your nerves on edge, you'll be fine; and even if it does, the performance as a whole is not bad.

    Overall, I really, really enjoyed this one. Thanks, Mr. King.

    13 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jill buena Park, CA, United States 02-23-12
    Jill buena Park, CA, United States 02-23-12 Member Since 2014
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    "The KING of Apocalyptic Classics!"

    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?

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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