Quick Book Review: The Stand by Stephen King

Title: The Stand

Author: Stephen King

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

Date Finished: 5/18/2020

Recommend for: Those that want to be even more freaked out by our current pandemic

Short Review: I had The Stand on my shelf for years. I’m not sure why I was putting it off for so long (the fact that it’s over 1000 pages?), but a pandemic seemed to be the worst/creepiest time to read this so naturally that’s when I did.

Where do I even start with this novel? It was nightmarish decades ago, but it was a terrifying read in the midst of a real-life pandemic. In both the book and real life thousands of people are dying world wide due to a super virus. Luckily our virus today didn’t turn us all into homicidal maniacs, just hoarders of toilet paper.

I don’t like to have spoilers in my reviews so I’ll write some high level pros and cons for The Stand. If I’m being honest I also read this book in May and am just now writing the quick review, so some details are escaping me 🙂

Pros: There was really great character growth for quite a few key players. Frannie Goldsmith and Larry Underwood were initially selfish and immature, but when they needed to they became strong and took charge to keep others safe. Other characters I fell in love with – like Tom Cullen and Kojak – they just had the biggest hearts. There is a Christmas scene with those two and Stu Redman that had me tearing up. Some characters, like Randall Flagg and Trashcan Man didn’t necessarily grow as characters, but were real creepy and kept me turning the pages to see what demented action they would take next.

Cons: Some parts, especially in the middle-ish, were just too long and seemed to drag. I know we needed information about them rebuilding a society, but we didn’t need that much. Some characters we spent a lot of time with as readers and yet they had abrupt endings. It left me thinking, “really I just spent 700 pages with you and that’s how your story ends?!”

Overall, it was a great read. I’d recommend getting the abridged version to avoid the slower parts in the middle, but it was a wild ride that really made me think about our current world. I don’t think I’d do well in a post-apocalyptic world. I’m sure I’d be stronger than I think if ever put in that situation, but let’s hope it never comes to that.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Did you read this recently, if so did the current state of the world make you think differently about this book?
  2. Would you have moved to Colorado or tried to stick it out in your original home town?
  3. What character resonated most with you?
  4. Besides how to handle crime, what other major problems are posed to a newly developing community?

My Rating Scale:

5 stars – Can’t stop, won’t stop thinking about this book

4 stars – Deeply enjoyed

3 stars – Meh, it was fine

2 stars – Didn’t give me anything to relate to or a world I wanted to be a part of

1 star – This is just the worst and NOT for me

“To Be Read” Tower Progress: 109 books remaining

Let me know what you thought about the book in the comments below and hangout with me on Goodreads 🙂

Till next time bookworms,

– Laura

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