The Stand - Stephen King

Stu & Fran on the cover
What better way to read Stephen King for the first time than to start with The Stand, and the uncut version at that. One of the reasons I wanted to read the book was because I watched the mini-series back in high school and really liked it. I bought the mini-series tie in edition from a second hand bookstore on December 2008 and put it on the shelf. There it stayed until I finally had the courage to read 1,141 pages just this February.

From the back cover:
Imagine America devastated by a vast killer plague that moves from coast to coast. Imagine the countryside destroyed and great cities decimated as the entire population desperately and futilely seeks safety. Imagine then an even greater evil rising to threaten the survivors - and a last embattled group of men and women coming together to make a last stand against it.

For me the start was slow. I was introduced to a lot of characters, something that I'm not really fond of, because I'm bad at remembering names and had to list them down. So about two weeks passed before I got to the interesting part: most of the names died (I just creeped myself out typing that) and the mysterious dreams started. I know a lot of people might be turned off by the religious themes of the novel at this point, but that's what made me read on. I love books about good vs. evil, a fellowship going out to save the world. Yes, just like the Lord of the Rings. In fact, the book mentioned LOTR a couple of times. There's also an eye lurking around.

By the time I got to my third week, I couldn't put the book down. For two nights, I read until about 3AM, and lay down very close to my sister when I slept. That's what you'd do, too, when you get scared. M-O-O-N, that spells scared! =p

Nick meeting Mother Abagail in his dream

I finished the book on the eve of my birthday and watched the mini-series again on the 24th. The mini-series looks a little cringe-worthy now, especially Molly Ringwald's performance as Fran. Sorry. But I still feel they made good casting choices for Stu (Gary Sinise), Nick (Rob Lowe), Tom (Bill Fagerbakke), Mother Abagail (Ruby Dee) and some others. I heard they're going to make a new movie (or movies). The casting should be interesting.

Glen (Ray Walston), Larry (Adam Storke), and Ralph (Peter Van Norden) out to make their last stand

You can't write about a book without mentioning some favorite characters. And here's mine, with their best qualities: Nick and his integrity, Stu's quiet courage, Larry's repentance which developed in him a sense of duty, Tom's innocence, loyalty and bravery, Glen's wisdom, Ralph's simplicity, and Mother Abagail's faith.

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