{Like This, Read That} The Stand by Stephen King

The Stand is considered one of King’s best books for a reason – it’s just that good. While there are moments of horror and the grotesque, it’s neither particularly scary, nor overly bloody. It’s lengthy, but well written. Oddly enough, it was originally published is a heavily (by King standards) version coming in at 823 pages. It was later released in an uncut version, weighing in at a tome-like 1168 pages. I own and love both versions. There were once rumors that Ben Affleck was going to direct the film adaptation of the novel (remaking he ghastly ’90s version) and while that would’ve been amazing, it’s not going to happen.

The StandThe Stand tells the story of survivors of the superflu that killed of most of the world’s population. Survivors generally fall into one of two camps – good or evil. Mother Abigail (good) leads half the survivors to Boulder, Colorado while Flagg (evil) leads the other group to Las Vegas, Nevada. It’s a story of survival, betrayal, love, sacrifice, good, and evil. It’s a must read for anyone interested in post-apocalyptic fiction, fantasy, or Stephen King.

For those lucky readers who already love the novel, here are some recommendations on what to read next.

10. The Hot Zone // Richard Preston. Scary, but true.
09. The Passage // Justin Cronin. The story of survival in a virus-ravaged world.
08. The Road // Cormac McCarthy. This might be the most depressing novel ever, but it’s fantastic.
07. Wool // Hugh Howey. A thoughtful post-apocalyptic novel destined to be a science fiction classic.
06. I Am Legend // Richard Matheson. Already a classic, this is the tale of an incurable plague that has mutated nearly all of the population into something else entirely.
05. Things We Didn’t See Coming // Steven Amsterdam. A linked set of short stories featuring a multitude of disaster spanning over thirty years.
04. The Leftovers // Tom Perrotta. This novel focuses on those left behind, after numerous people mysteriously and very suddenly disappear.
03. The Dog Stars // Peter Heller. The story of friendship, between two men and a man and his dog, and their survival after a flu pandemic kills off most of the world’s population.
02. Zone One // Colson Whitehead. As The Passage’s author Justin Cronin says, “It’s a zombie novel with brains.”
01. Station Eleven // Emily St. John Mandel. A devastating pandemic forces the breakdown of civilization. This tells the story of the survivors traveling from settlement to settlement.

For more recommendations, go here. Have you read The Stand? What book comparison will make you pick up a title immediately (i.e. This year’s Gone Girl, which, incidentally, would cause me not to pick up the book)?

10 thoughts on “{Like This, Read That} The Stand by Stephen King

  1. Fun choice. Many years ago, when I was teaching overseas, I spent something like 30 solid hours reading this book. Called in sick and everything. (I did have a cold…) There are still scenes and even turns of phrases I remember from it. I do NOT read horror, but I’ve always found King to be very readable, so I have read a fair amount of his less-horrorific stuff.

    I don’t know that any book comparison makes me pick up a new book. Half the time the comparisons don’t ring true anyway, and even if they do, I don’t want to read something derivative, or to have my expectations set in advance like that.


  2. My reading mood has been leaning towards more horror/suspense but I love epics and long journeys. I’ve been wanting to really dig my teeth into something – looks like I found a contender! I’ve never really read Stephen King before (shocker I know!). 🙂 I’ll keep the other books in mind too! 🙂


  3. I love this list. There are a few on here that I’ve heard of but didn’t really know what they were about. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a good end-of-the-world story. The Road was SO depressing, but good.


  4. Station Eleven reminded me soooo much of The Stand, even though the general premise besides the superflu is very different. I have The Passage on my TBR. 🙂


  5. I’m waiting for the last Cronin book of that trilogy to come out before I’ll start reading The Passage…otherwise I’ll get ticked off waiting! Lol


  6. Well… I just finished Sorcerer to the Crown and it is being mentioned as similar to Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell which I have somehow avoided for no reason, really.


  7. The Stand is my favorite book ever—almost. I’ve read the Passage and loved it, and also Station Eleven, but none of the others, so I guess I have a lot of reading to do this winter. (sigh) Sometimes tho, it’s like you said, “The next Gone Girl” comparison steers me away from a book.


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