The Stand by Stephen King
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 Abigail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers; Randall Flagg, the dark man.
This book should be on everyone’s must read list. I don’t care what genre you like, everyone should take the time to read The Stand!
The story in broken into two part. The first part deals with the Superflu, also known by the slang “Captain Trips.” The government creates this Superflu bug and it accidentally gets released into the population (and not to go down alone, the government spreads it around the world). A total of 99.4 percent of the population succumbs to the Superflu. The survivors who are immune to the virus are all drawn together through their dreams to go to Mother Abigail at her farm in Hemingford, Nebraska.
The second half of the story reflects the basic premise of good vs. evil. You see, not everyone was drawn to Mother Abigail. Some dreamed of Randall Flagg. He is not the devil, but he is a demon; evil incarnate. This second half of the story reflects the “good guys” trying to thwart the plans of Randall Flagg to destroy their ragtag colony of survivors.
Why I say that everyone must read this book is because of the characters. Stephen King knows how to write characters. When the extended version of this book was published back in 1989, it included a whole chapter of mini-stories about people who survived the Superflu, but who died nonetheless (i.e., a man who has a heart attack, or the small child left all alone and fell down a well). Even though these characters do not move the story forward, which is why this chapter was originally cut from the first release, they are so richly written, you are interested in their little stories and I can remember them as well as I remember the main characters.
All the main characters are incredible! By the time you get to the second part of the book, you feel like you are one of the group of survivors, and their well being is important to you.
This is the book I would take with me if stranded on that proverbial desert island.
Rating: 5 stars – This is a MUST READ!!!
There are just too many great scenes in this book to pick one.
M-O-O-N, spells too many scenes.
(You want to know what I mean by that, READ THE BOOK!!!)