Friday, February 6, 2015

Review: The Stand: The complete and Uncut Edition by Stephen King

cover of the first complete & uncut publication of the stand by stephen king
TitleThe Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition by Stephen King
Publisher: Anchor
Format: Kindle
Pages: 1213
Genre: Horror

Synopsis: 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.

The Stand: The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred 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.

(2)Review: About halfway through this book I could definitely see the influence Stephen King has had on the numerous authors who have embraced writing about dystopian societies.  While there are no vampires or zombies in The Stand the death of most of the world and the struggle for survival for the people left alive is relatively familiar.  I wish that I had read this book years ago when it was a fresh topic.

While I loved the premise and the detailed characters I had a hard time with the pacing, a thousand pages can go very quickly or very slow and for me I wish that some of the detail had been left out and the story pace picked up. I think I may have enjoyed the shorter version of this book better than the complete and uncut version. However, the last couple hundred pages of the book flew by in a blink and I loved the finale.

The struggle between good and evil, and what good and evil really is, is at the heart of this novel.  It may not be as black and white as you think, and this epic struggle may not be as easy as many would imagine. King really pushes the boundaries with this sometimes really making you struggle to choose a side and sometimes knowing who is really evil.  But there always seems to be that tipping point.  

This is definitely a book that stays with you long after you close the covers. One that makes you wonder if we are capable of learning from our mistakes or if we are just doomed to keep repeating the past. Apparently this book is due to be made into a 4 part film coming soon and starring Matthew McConaughey as the Walking Man I'm sure that this will start to get lots of hype and is bound to be epic.  I think Stephen King's books sometimes translate to film better than they work on paper.

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