The Stand – Stephen King

Albert: I regret choosing this book and I regret even more that we read the uncut version. The Stand was an endless shamble of a story — I did not enjoy most of the book except for a few interesting moments. Likewise, I found most of the (far too many) characters to be crudely drawn, which resulted in a sea of forgettable and uninspired characters drowning out the rare character I did like. One of my greatest sources of dissatisfaction with the book was the frequency with which random interventions happened conveniently for the sake of the plot. It made for a story that was both hard to believe and lacked an overall sense of direction. The standoff between good and evil felt horribly contrived and I was astonished that an author as famous as King could write such an unimaginative conflict. For any other book, I probably would’ve also grumbled about a deus ex machina ending, but for this one, I didn’t even care — I was just relieved it was finally over. Rating: D

Kevin: For the most part, I enjoyed reading this book. It did drag at times, and the storyline deteriorated a bit, and the ending left something to be desired. But, and maybe because this was the first major post-apocalyptic novel I read, I found the first half of the book very compelling. I’m also a sucker for acts of sacrifice, and The Stand contains quite a few of those. So overall, I’m still a fan of Stephen King, though I probably won’t be reading this book again in quite some time. Rating: B

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