The Stand by Stephen King
Stephen King is so good.
I’ve read many authors that are good at writing stories. They can write about events and put them in an order and the result is a story. The more successful authors are able to take that story, and by combining just the right words into sentences and paragraphs, create images in our minds that make the story seem real. The best authors can take a story, weave the words into pictures in our minds, and then they make us feel. I think that is why Stephen King is so good. He’s among the best of the best at making us feel. And I don’t just mean feel for the characters–I mean when you read Stephen King you FEEL. You squirm in your seat when the characater hears a noise in the dark. Your heart rate increases when you think you know what is going to happen. You feel frustrated when the good things happen to the bad guys, and you feel dread when the bad things happen to the good guys. You smile, frown, or get sweaty palms. That’s what the best authors do. The make us feel.
There is A LOT of feeling in The Stand. It’s a big loooooonnnggg book (over 1000 pages!) of good versus evil. If you’ve read Stephen King before, then you know what to expect. Good means God, Evil means the Devil. A man-made plague has wiped out most of the population. We are spared no details–good, bad, ugly, or gross. We see nearly everyone get horribly sick and die, the survivors find each other, a new society formed, and the surviving good guys fight the surviving bad guys. Yup, it’s all about the details.
I’ve put down more Stephen King books than I’ve finished. He doesn’t shy from sex, language, violence, and gore. The Stand is not the worst, but there is plenty there to make you cringe. Don’t pick up The Stand with out expecting it. If you are comfortable with that content, then I recommend The Stand.