Sunday, November 02, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 2: The Stand by Stephen King

When I was a young teen, I was very fascinated with Young Adult apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic literature. The stories I remember best are Empty World by John Christopher another book taking place after a horrible nuclear accident, wiping out more or less all of mankind. Unfortunately I forgot the title of that one. Later in my teens and early 20's I read everything Stephen King wrote and was much into his works. I haven't read any of his newer works, my fascination with SK ended after a few mediocre reads I never really got into.

However, Stephen King wrote one of my all time favorites, a book I re-read every second or third year, despite the fact that there are SO many other books waiting to be read and despite the fact that it is huge and despite the fact that I thought my fascination with apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic literature was long gone. I have read both the original (and cut) version and the uncut version, which is about 300 pages longer than the original first print. The book was first published in 1978 and is thus one of the earliest of King's works.

Imagine the 99% of the world's population wiped out by a flu virus and only inhabited by a few, scattered survivors. The book's location is "just" USA, but that is definitely large enough to make you really feel the chilling atmosphere of an almost empty world. Inhabited by scared
and shell shocked people, trying to come to terms with this new "situation". SK manages to paint a large picture with a lot of great character development both pre- and post apocalypse.

It is not just interesting - it is fascinating, chilling and thrilling to follow the characters as they come to terms with their new world and not to forget their new world order. Because it pretty soon becomes clear that the real horror was not the flu wiping out the world's population. The real horror is still looming in the horizon after survivors begin to gather in Boulder, Colorado and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Its been a year and a half since I read The Stand, so I am not about to read it again just yet. But maybe in a year I will.


Budget Mama said...

I have never read this book. I should probably try and read it next year. If I do, I will let you know.

Bogsider said...

Well, as you can see, I am crazy about it - not saying you will be, but it is a very good, and chilling, tale :o)

raych said...

The Stand scared the living hay-ull out of me as a teen. I imagine it would terrify me now. I likewise stopped reading SK after a while, but The Shining is sitting on my shelf (meant to get to it in SPOOKY OCTOBER) and I lovelovelove the Dark Tower series. Love.

Bogsider said...

The Shining is a pretty good one - I most definitely like King's earlier works, and The Shining is, as far as I remember, from the beginning og the 1980'es...and the movie by Kubrick is rather good as well.