Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and tangled in an elemental struggle between good and evil remains as riveting and eerily plausible as when it was first published.
A patient escapes from a biological testing facility, unknowingly carrying a deadly weapon: a mutated strain of super-flu that will wipe out 99 percent of the world’s population within a few weeks. Those who remain are scared, bewildered, and in need of a leader. Two emerge – Mother Abagail, the benevolent 108-year-old woman who urges them to build a peaceful community in Boulder, Colorado; and Randall Flagg, the nefarious “Dark Man,” who delights in chaos and violence. As the dark man and the peaceful woman gather power, the survivors will have to choose between them – and ultimately decide the fate of all humanity.
-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.
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(2 / 5) A superflu is raging the nation and few survivors are left. Those that remain continually have dreams about 2 people; Mother Abigail and the Dark Man. Each are on opposite ends of the spectrum for what they want to achieve.
Unpopular opinion time! Oof I just did not see the point behind this book. I kept waiting for some big moment but everything felt anti-climactic. I really thought I’d love this one. I adore post-apocalyptic stories. The survival, seeing the best and the worst in people, how lives change…. I eat it all up.
I admit, I liked the characters. There were a handful of times I really wanted certain outcomes for them. Those times were just few and far between.
I felt the “Dark Man” was also anti-climactic. He wasn’t scary enough and he didn’t do enough for me to find him creepy. Once again, I kept waiting for that big moment with him where I went, “Oohh!” and then things would fall into place.
And what is The Stand?? What stand? There was not any sort of stand!
I did learn that this is the extended version. Big mistake. I really would’ve dealt much better with shorter aspects. For the first 25% (I listened to the audio) all that was talked about was the flu. That was really long! The Dark Man didn’t actually show up until about 80%. When a book is 1300 pages long, that is a very long time to drag the story out. Maybe I’ve outgrown King (it’s been years since I read him), maybe my book slump is affecting me too much, I don’t know. But I really wanted more from this book. I really wanted spooky and I really wanted to love it. Ultimately I feel I just lost 48 hours of my life for a semi-decent form of entertainment. Oof again.
General content summary: F words= 250 (yes you read that right, thank you Kindle version!), N words= 10+, C words=4, language, previous cancer deaths, previous pneumonia death, a mother is holding 2 dead children (descriptions of grotesque bodies), deadly illness (like flu) and many dead or dying or suffering, teen pregnancy, cigarettes, talk of abortion (multiple, detailed), drugs (selling and using, multiple), previous young teen killed by drunk driver, suffocation death (details), guns (wounds and death and blood, some details), suicide (gun), descriptions of dead or dying (multiple), physical violence (weapons, multiple), murders (guns, deaths, details, multiple), multiple references to masturbation (no details), suicide (brief, gun, pills etc, multiple), arson (multiple), many deaths (accidents, overdose, medical problems etc), tornado, racism, reference to rape and sodomy (few details), kissing and closed door intimacy (multiple), m/m intimacy and sodomy (some details), somewhat detailed intimacy (2x), explosion and body parts and deaths and injuries, God and Satan (multiple), physical violence from a man to a woman (2x), rape (some details), evidence of man being killed by wolves, radiation death, large explosion and fallout, recent birth and baby illness.
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The Dark Man is a dark tower tie-in, the SuperFlu was one of those decimated worlds they encounter peripherally so if you’re reading it all, a lot of those references make sense! So sad you didn’t like it!
Good to know! It could be my book slump but ya, this one just did not grab me.