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Book Discussion - The Stand

Considering the last blog post ended with a Stephen King quote and given the current, dare I say it (pandemic). I have found myself craving the familiar pages of, in my opinion, the best book that has ever been written.

Stephen King’s The Stand is arguably the ultimate story of good vs evil. Right from the very first page - when Charlie Campion is forced to make that fateful decision - we are immediately drawn into the familiar battle that burns inside all of us, every day. Every decision we make has a consequence, for better or worse.

Each character in King’s epic novel is locked inside their own personal battle, the first half of the book lends itself so effectively to how they deal with these situations. It portrays the epitome of human nature, faced with the metaphorical devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. Good people sometimes do bad things and, yes, bad people do good things. Coupled with the fact that it is also an apocalyptic survival novel, gory, descriptive to a fault and at times utterly terrifying. It is a winning combination – even before the metaphorical devil morphs into the physical.

This story has everything you need from one book: romance, exhilaration, sorrow, true horror and just the right amount of hope.

Some of the more descriptive prose is over-detailed, in true Stephen King style. But that is part of its beauty. This story is not a sprint, it's a marathon. The characters' lives, surroundings, thoughts, and feelings become as familiar to you as your own and the only way to enjoy it is to become fully immersed.

My only criticism of the book would be how disappointing I find the ending, not that I would change it; it is a perfect ending. I think the disappointment lies in the fact the characters become so real that the ending always feels like I’m saying an abrupt and emotional farewell to a good friend, and when I open the book for a re-read, it’s like welcoming the family back for Christmas.

A true masterpiece from the King of horror.

Are there any other hard-core Stand fans out there? What’s your take on the story? Does anyone dislike the book? Why? I’d love to hear some different opinions.

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