Massive novel is worth reading , despite length

Seth Jarvis, Co-Editor

   Reading, something we certainly love to do! Yeah, it can be a little hard to sit down and read a book, especially, if the book drags on forever and takes and ungodly amount of time to get interesting.

   I’ve always wanted to read more; however, I find myself lacking the inspiration at times. That was until this summer when I read The Stand by Stephen King. Boy, was this an adventure.

   Alright here is the basic idea of the book. Some very minor spoilers here, but this is basically the description on the back of the book. Anyway, the U.S. government was working on an experimental superflu. The virus is accidently released  to the outside world and ends up killing 99.9% of the human race.        

   In the aftermath, two figures rise in the ruins of the United States to lead the 0.1 percent left. First there is Mother Abigail a good-hearted, God-fearing Nebraskan.

   Then there is Randall Flagg; an evil sorcerer who calls upon the dark-hearted to join him. Anyway, now on to the review.

   First, this book is massive. The original written in 1979 is 823 pages. I read the complete and uncut edition which was written in 1989 and updated for the times; it was 1,437 pages long. It is definitely an investment to get into this book, so you should know what is ahead.

   I think by biggest problem with the book is I think it was too long. I read the longest version, so I am not speaking for the shorter version. There were definitely some parts of the story that dragged on forever for me. This was especially true towards the middle of the book. The plot had come to a halt and not much was happening. I feel like King focused on some details that I felt were unneeded. Despite this, there are plenty of really good parts of the story that make it worth it.

   This book is a nice mix of everything; horror, action, romance, adventure, drama, and biblical. This book has parts that are incredibly gripping to read. One part in particular that stood out to me is when Flagg is introduced. Those seven pages were straight up candy.

   Another thing I love is how this book is bonkers. If you’ve read some stories in the Bible, you understand how weird those stories can be. The Stand is a lot like that. It  really does feel like a bible story that was transformed into a gripping, epic tale. The battle between good and evil that fills this entire book is incredibly entertaining.

   Characters are what really makes this book. They are the best parts of this book. Most of them are incredibly interesting  and have some pretty awesome moments. Some that stood out to me were Randall Flagg, Harold Lauder, Stu Redman, and Tom Cullen. Flagg is an incredibly goo and terrifying villain. Harold is a complicated guy.  I think his character that is ahead of his time and you’ll know what I mean if you read the book Stu is a good guy that you want to cheer for. Then Tom is becomes one of the most important and is another good guy that  I like to cheer on. Of course, there were still plenty that I didn’t name that were just as great.

   This book was also really good at depressing me. The story of the plague gripping America is heart-wrenching to say the least. Then, the aftermath of the plague is shown and watching the survivors deal with the corpse of the world is pure gold.

   Overall, I give The Stand a 10/10. It is a great, epic tale. If you are willing to deal with the length, then you will be left with a great story. You can find this book in our library.