The Stand by Stephen King
In only a few short, shocking months; a superflu wipes out nearly all of the world’s population. America is now a wasteland of stalled automobiles...mostly smashed together in mysterious massive car wrecks. “Civilization” has just evaporated leaving only desolate towns...empty cities...and dead bodies.

There are survivors though. All of whom are having shared dreams and visions. Each of them is drawn by these mysterious mental messages to a place of good...or of evil. And ultimately each side will take a stand against the other to determine the future of humanity.

If this sounds like a nightmare scenario the year 2020 could have devolved are correct. It is quite eerie to read The Stand so soon after the COVID pandemic. However, I still recommend it--since we mostly seem to have pulled through this thing.

Stephen King is, as always, an absolute master storyteller. You may think from my description and from the back of the book that this is a horror novel. I would not classify it as horror but it is creepy and a little gory in parts. It does not dwell in the areas of psychological terror such as Carrie, Cujo, or perhaps worst of all--Pet Semetary. The Stand is more sci-fi suspense with chilling action and descriptions.

Don’t rest easy though--it is a King novel so there is a lot of mature content, including several sexual situations sprinkled here and there. This novel is definitely for mature adult readers due to the content and also because at 800+ pages, it’s a hefty story to handle and very complex in terms of plot and action.

Overall, I fully recommend The Stand to all Stephen King fans, apocalypse/dystopia fans, and/or to all book lovers who appreciate amazing writing. I will say that for me, the first 3/4s of the book are the best and after that, it did lose a little sizzle at the end. But not so much to change my feelings. The Stand is fantastic and definitely deserves a spot on your shelf. Take care of yourselves out there--because in the end, that’s all we can do. And make sure someday, you learn how to build a fire.

Happy Reading!