The Stand

Posted by Brian Tue, 22 Jun 2010 00:35:06 GMT

The Stand
By Stephen King

4/5

I am once again falling incredibly far behind on my reviews. The deficit currently stands at nine books. Time to get back on track.

I started reading The Dark Tower series last year. After reading The Gunslinger my brother recommended that I read The Stand before continuing any further, as it tied into later books in the series. (I’ve since learned that many Stephen King books tie in, but I am unsure how many I will read.)

Let me just say right off the bat that I am a sucker for movies or novels about the apocalypse. I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to the collapse of civilization. Needless to say The Stand was right up my alley. I ended up picking up the uncut edition from the library, weighing it after 1000 pages. As far as length goes, that puts it about on par with Cryptonomicon, which I read last year. Fortunately Stephen King is a much easier read than Neal Stephenson. Dense The Stand is not. If you can call a book about the death of 99.4% of the population breezy, then this is it.

You can read all about the plot of The Stand elsewhere. I just want to muse a little on Stephen King’s place in literature. Before reading The Gunslinger last year I had not read anything by King since Cujo in middle school and had since dismissed him (for no good reason) as popular tripe. Starting to read The Dark Tower series (and now The Stand) has been a revelation. Yes, as he describes it, he often suffers from diarrhea of the typewriter, but I find myself not minding. He’s a terrific visual writer and his work reads much shorter than it’s heft would indicate. Compared to a lot of my usual reading his work qualifies as quite relaxing. Maybe I am enjoying it because it is such a change of pace for me. Most of my fiction reading is fantasy or science fiction. King mixes elements of each with horror and general fiction to create some very readable work. Anyways, I’m very much looking forward to finishing The Dark Tower (I just finished The Waste Lands last night). And since The Dark Tower ties into so many of this other works maybe I’ll just keep going.

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