Wednesday, March 3, 2010

"The Stand": It's The End of the World! (As we know it)

Stephen King's "The Stand" was bloomin' brilliant, and I say that without a hint of British or Australian in my ethnicity!
Basically, if you like LOST, you'll like "The Stand", because the LOST writers have admitted that this book is pretty much their #1 insipration when they're writing the show. And it certainly shows, especially with how Season 6 is shaping out!
"The Stand" is about a virus created by the military called Captain Trips. One night, some idiot accidentally sets the virus loose (it's not really clear how), and all of a sudden it's spreading like wildifre throughout the entire United States, killing millions upon millions of people. The book focuses on an ensemble group of characters, about 15-20 of 'em, who are part of the small percentage of humans immune to Captain Trips. For a while, we watch these folks try to figure out what to do in a world suddenly devoid of other people (not to mention no electricity).

Then it starts getting supernatural. Some people in the group dream about an old woman named Mother Abigail, who beckons them to her farm in Nebraska. Others dream of a man dressed in black, a sinister, demonic man named Randall Flagg, who beckons them to his lair in Las Vegas. By the end of the book, both Abigail & Flagg have a veritable army of followers, with Abby's people being the kind-hearted heroes and Flagg's being the chaotic, wild anti-heroes/villains. A kind of war ensues between the two armies, & it's pretty damn cool. As always, the story caps off with King's trademark creepiness and not-quite-so-happy ending.
This book is a monster, clocking in at over 1100 pages, but well worth the read. I give it a solid 86%.


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