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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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  •  
    Amazon Customer Waterville, WA, United States 05-08-13
    Amazon Customer Waterville, WA, United States 05-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Quickest 48 Hours"
    What made the experience of listening to The Stand the most enjoyable?

    Grover Gardner really brought the characters to life with his crisp enunciation and subtly different character voices. I enjoyed getting to know each of the characters but the action was really well read also.


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

    So many! Honestly my heart swells every time I think of Kojack bringing Stu rabbits and firewood and Tom Cullen's selfless rescue of Stu. Trashcanman bringing in the nuke stuttering "my life for you".


    Any additional comments?

    Due to work and family I'm a pretty slow reader but I have time during work to listen to books and I'm so glad I finally tackled "The Stand". I've wanted to for quite some time but due to having virtually no time to myself I thought that was a pipe dream for post-kid years. Thanks to Audible and Grover Gardner I got to enjoy "The Stand" in its full glory and even though it is definitely on the long side I wouldn't hesitate to listen to it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 04-19-13
    Joshua mcleansville, NC, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2013

    www.newimperium.org

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    "A long and dark tale, with a lesson about Choices."


    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristen Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada 04-14-13
    Kristen Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada 04-14-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Loonnngg listen but some genuinely creepy moments"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Megalopsuchos 04-10-13 Member Since 2014
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    "The best post-apocalyptic novel I have read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


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

    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.


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

    Gardner did the best job with the New England accents, so probably Fran's father.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael SUFFIELD, CT, United States 04-01-13
    Michael SUFFIELD, CT, United States 04-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing."

    Do yourself a favor and listen to this epic. So good even at 48 hours you don't want it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles Fearneyhough Olympia, WA 03-23-13
    Charles Fearneyhough Olympia, WA 03-23-13 Member Since 2009

    Chasman

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    "Not the uncut version."
    Would you listen to The Stand again? Why?

    not this one. I did not read closely enough to realize this is not the full uncut version that Mr King released.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erin TRENTON, NJ, United States 03-21-13
    Erin TRENTON, NJ, United States 03-21-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Hooked from Chapter 1!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn 03-19-13
    Lynn 03-19-13

    I love driving, and started listening to recorded a books about 10 years ago. I have even listened to some of the classics!

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    "My most fav book ever!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Stand to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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!


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

    Kojack


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were quite a few


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Markham, ON, Canada 03-18-13
    Laura Markham, ON, Canada 03-18-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Great book, very good narration"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Fox Lopatcong NJ 03-18-13
    H. Fox Lopatcong NJ 03-18-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Epic book"
    If you could sum up The Stand in three words, what would they be?

    scary, interesting and long


    What did you like best about this story?

    The character development. You really feel like you know all the people in the book. They are all so complex.


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

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The actual flu pandemic is terrifying.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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