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The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition

The Stand - Stephen King This rating game on Goodreads is an odd thing because of course if your fifteen year old cousin gave you a manuscript of Stand and told you he wrote it, you'd be blown away. With the immense, immense fan-base of Stephen King and the sheer number of people who have told you how amazing this book is, of course by the time you finally get around to it, you're expecting a philosophical masterpiece, an adventure story, brilliant lyricism, and action-drama all in one.

Well Stand isn't that. I'm not sure any book could be all those things. It is representative of King in that the work never really delves into the higher realms of philosophy or meaning, but it is a fairly tightly-written adventure story with some shades of philosophy/allegory and some trademark good vs. evil struggle that plays out in the aftermath of 'Superflu.'

Do readers like it because it ranges all over a devastated US landscape? Is it full of twists and turns of its own measure? Yes and yes. But I was no different a person after finishing it then I was was beginning, so I can't bring myself to whip out that fifth star. Very competent, very professional, but somehow short of the highest levels of writing. And to be perfectly frank, broad sections were predictable in their own way as well.

All in all, if you're expecting the Holy Bible and Tom Clancy mixed into one, well, you won't be getting that. If you have a terribly long flight and don't want to risk bringing out a hit-or-miss literary novel, you can't really go wrong with Stand, if only to understand what all the major fuss is about.