Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Stand by Stephen King

Ahhh, apocalypse, it’s post-note, and horror. Now this is the intersection of 3 streets which I enjoy visiting in fiction! It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I’ve an apocalypse fetish. Particularly for disease based holocausts like those described by George Stewart, and King.

I’d read the Stand before, many years ago, but after reading On Writing, wanted to go back and refresh myself with how King deals w/ his characters over such a bloated novel.

I’m not going to bother with recording plot details of the book here, except in very brief: A biological agent is released from a US military lab, 99% mortality rate is realized, and the survivors are polarized into two camps, who do battle.

King creates several memorable characters here, and the book is never dull. I don’t ultimately buy his message, just as I don’t ultimately buy the neo-puritanical moral chasm that divides his techo-hedonists from his more socially minded goody-two shoes. But then, I’m probably a lot closer to one camp than the other, so…

This isn’t the best SK book, but it’s loving descriptions of social collapse by way of global pandemic are fun, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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