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The Stand by Stephen King

April 30, 2015

Note: I’m no book reviewer so I’m not going to dig too deep into this, but since I posted my thoughts on a separate website, I figured I might as well post them on my blog.

Just finished listening to The Stand. For what it is commonly considered the best Stephen King book ever, I have to say, I was a bit disappointed. Maybe it was the format – I do feel like I lose some the experience by listening to a book instead of reading it myself. Maybe I space out for a period. Maybe I have a more difficult time creating a picture in my head through the audio format. Maybe it just isn’t as good as people have made it out to be. I’m not sure.

lots of spoilers

I think my main concern is that it is supposed to be this epic battle of good versus evil and there is all this build up, but then the confrontation with Flagg is over before you even realize it. They show up in Vegas, briefly interact with Flagg, and then Trash Can Man nukes everybody. Game over. End of story. I didn’t think that could possibly be the end of it – but then it was. Also, when Nick Andros died, I felt like I was getting duped. Up to that point, I had viewed him as the main character and then I felt like he died before doing anything super important. In fact, after his death, I posted on Facebook: “If Nick Andros really just died in The Stand then I know nothing about writing.” Was his main purpose to send Tom Cullen out to be a spy? What exactly did Tom Cullen uncover anyway? I feel like the only critical thing that happened out of all that spy stuff was that Tom found Stu on his way back.

Obviously, at 48 hours of listening time, I had to enjoy the experience overall. I liked the characters and I was intrigued by the story, but in the end, I just felt incredibly let down. This would be a whole lot less surprising if The Stand wasn’t so highly lauded. In the Stephen King catalog alone, It is far, far superior.

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