Friday, May 6, 2011
The Stand - Stephen King
Oh yeah I went there. I know I put this on my read this before you die list, but since I have re-read it, I thought I should honor you, with a blog post.
This is book is by far one of my favorites. Every time I re-read it I find something new to love. I think, for me, this is my favorite work by one of my favorite authors, so reading it is like sitting down with him and getting advice on writing a great novel. He interweaves a story unlike any other writer I have read, and it does it in a way that doesn't bore you to tears. (Yes it took them three years to dig Gage's grave, and Flagg's boot heals clicking on the pavement in the hot summer night can get a little...tiring) BUT necessary to the whole feel, plot flow of the book.
The Plot: A super flu virus made by the government is lose and spreads like wild fire through out the world. This bug has a mortality rate of 99.4% or something. Which means, yes all but .06% of the world...will die. After the month of plague the survivors are left to pick up the pieces. Little do they all know, that something much bigger is in store for them.
The Characters - I am not going to give ALL of them, for time BUT these are the biggies.
Mother Abigail Freemantle - She's 108 year old black woman who still makes her own bread. She is the leader of the side of 'good' or "God" if you will.
Randal Flagg - The walking Dude, The Dark Man. He is something close to a demon. In fact he is referred to as legion at one point in the book. Mr. Glen Batman refers to him as the last magician of rational thought. Mayhap he is and mayhap he ain't. He is one mean son of a gun.
Stuart Redman - A quiet man from East Texas. He was the part of the first group to get quarantined and tested for super flu. He went to Atlanta then Vermont plaque centers. The government tried to kill him, why, cause it seemed like a good idea at the time. He escaped and made his way to mother Abigale - later he becomes on of the Boulder Zone's committee members and sheriff. And even later still, he is one of the four chosen to make a stand against Flagg.
Fran Goldsmith - She is important - but honestly (book and movie) she drives me crazy. So I am just going to say this. She is carrying the first child to born after the plaque. The first pre-plague conceived. So she is important. Also she is the love interest of Harold Lauder who is important and I am getting there.
Larry Underwood - a new rock star, small time druggie gets into a jam in California so he puts on his boogie shoes and heads home to his mom in New York. Just in time for Captain Tripps. After the plaque he loses his mind a little, well a lot. He finally comes out the other end. A kind of shedding of the skin. In Boulder he is another committee member and respected man. Later he is one of the four sent to kill Flagg, at this point he makes one final transformation a meeting of the two Larry's. He believes, the best of himself. (I agree).
Nick Adros - A deaf/mute with one hell of a brain. He is one of my favorite characters. When the story begins he is drifter, when the plague hits he is deputy of a small town in Arkansas, after he becomes on the committee members of the Free Zone.
Tom Cullen - M-O-O-N That spells tom Cullen! Everyone knows that. Tom is my favorite character. He shows more strength, more inner innocents and beauty, more reason to live then any other character. He is simple but smart.
Nadine Cross - Randall Flagg's bride to be. She starts out...nice and slowly starts to succumb to the darkness that is in her soul. You can almost hate her for all the she does, until you realize that its not all her. Not at all, and she gets hers. Laws yes.
Harold Lauder - One the one hand you feel for this kid, on the other you can't stand him. Through out the book they both come into play. He plays a huge roll in this book both after the plague and during the "settlement" time.
Lloyd Hendreid - Flagg's right hand man. Course any one of us might be too, if Flagg saved us from a prison cell weeks after the plaque. He sold his soul for a hamburger. He was a dumb outlaw who never would have gotten into anything more then small time shit, until Flagg came along.
Trashcan Man - This man is...a weapons expert, he is a human bloodhound when it comes to finding all the toys the military left behind...he is okay a little bit of a pyromaniac and slightly mentally challenged to say the least. But he will give his life over to the darkman. My life for you.
These and many, many more make up the amazing rich story of The Stand.
I have already gone on and on and on with this. Let me conclude that in the world of writers, Stephen King is in a world of his own.
Read. This. Book. :)