Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Stand

I just finished reading The Stand, by Stephen King. I have to admit that I've always purposely avoided reading anything by Stephen King, simply because I freak myself out very easily. When I was reading The Lord of the Rings, if I was home alone, I just knew that the Ring Wraiths would be outside if I looked out my window. I figured Stephen King books would just push me right over the edge into crazy and/or paranoid. However...then I heard that the writers of LOST said that The Stand had a big influence on them when they were creating the show. After confirming with a few people that this book isn't super scary like some other Stephen King books, I decided to give it a try. It's also the first book I've completed for my LOST Books Challenge.I am really glad that I decided to read this book! I went into it knowing absolutely nothing about it. The story itself was very good. It starts with an accident at a Defense Department laboratory, where the U.S. government was creating a "superflu" that could potentially be used in germ warfare. However, the virus gets out of the lab, and about 99% of the world's population is killed within a matter of weeks. The survivors begin leaving their own towns and looking for others, and they soon discover that most of them are having different variations of the same dream. What starts as a story of surviving a flu epidemic and the aftermath caused by such a huge drop in population ends up becoming a story of the battle between good and evil.

After reading The Stand, I'm tempted to try some of his other books. I absolutely loved his writing style, which is full of literary allusions. I also enjoyed his attention to detail. This is probably because large portions of the book took place in parts of the country that I'm familiar with...such as Ohio and Colorado. Because I'm familiar with Boulder, Colorado, I could easily picture where many of the events in the book were happening. (And now I want to see if I can find Tom Cullen's house the next time I'm in Boulder!) At one point, King even mentioned a bumper sticker on the back of a truck that said "Get Your Ass Up the Pass"...which is actually the name of a Burro Race that takes place every year in Fairplay, Colorado.

If you haven't read The Stand, I highly recommend it! Don't let the length scare you; it's an entertaining and intriguing book. And for those of you who are fans of LOST, I can see how the writers were influenced by this book. It's an interesting thing to think about...what happens to people, society, civilization when all governmental structures are removed? Who wins...the "good guys" or the "bad guys"? What separates the "good" from the "bad"?

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When I review a book, I'm also going to use my blog as a place to keep track of the number of books I've read this year as well as the number of pages read in those books.

Total number of books read in 2009: 3
Total number of pages read in 2009: 2020

1 comment:

ELISABETH said...

Have you seen the 1994 miniseries they made from The Stand? I remember it from when I was a kid. I recall that it was good, though I don't recall specifics, and I was easily impressed in my teenage years! :)