Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Plague

April A-to-Z: must-read books

The Stand (1978)
By Stephen King
(1947-) Maine

Most King fans I know call this book his best. I concur. I’ve read most of his work up until 2003 or so and only the Dark Tower series compares. This story grabs you from the very beginning with all kinds of tension and never relents, pulling in a host of interesting characters with compelling problems and developing into an epic struggle of good versus evil.

The achievement here, I find, is that the plot, having intimately to do with the entire planet earth, is hugely ambitious. That’s an awfully big “set” for an author to build in his head and yet King succeeds. He transports the reader to a very intricate place, difficult even to conceive, and makes it very real. Bravo.

And I must tip my hat for the trick play he perpetrated, for which he laid the bait at the close of chapter 62!

This is a must-read for anyone with a penchant for dystopian stories.

A passage:
     “So I say with more money in circulation you’d be—“
     “Better turn off your pumps, Hap,” Stu said mildly.
     “The Pumps? What?”
     Norm Bruett had turned to look out the window. “Christ on a pony,” he said.
     Stu got out of his chair, leaned over Tommy Wannamaker and Hank Carmichael, and flicked off all eight switches at once, four with each hand. So he was the only one who didn’t see the Chev as it hit the gas pumps on the upper island and sheared them off.

     It plowed into them with a slowness that seemed implacable and somehow grand. Tommy Wannamaker swore in the Indian Head the next day that the taillights never flashed once. The Chevy just kept coming at a steady fifteen or so, like the pace car in the Tournament of Roses parade. The undercarriage screeched over the concrete island, and when the wheels hit it everyone but Stu saw the driver’s head swing limply forward and strike the windshield, starring the glass.


IntrepidReader said...

Great book! One of my favourites of his, followded closely by IT.

Stephen Tremp said...

Great TV series. I did not read the books but loved the series. Great stuff!