I had this all lined up to post on October 31st (Halloween, King, etc), and forgot to actually schedule it *facepalm*. Silver lining: you get to read about 2 Classics in November. 🙂
When I discovered this Classic
When I read King’s On Writing last year he mentioned The Stand as the novel his readers have always loved best.
Why I chose to read it
I’ve mentioned before that I don’t like to take writing advice from authors whose works I don’t read. I’ve tended to avoid King’s novels because I don’t like to read horror, but he said enough about the plot of The Stand that it had stuck in my mind as one I could probably cope with.
What makes it a Classic
I think this novel is a classic because it is, fundamentally, about good and evil and the choices people make.
What I thought of this Classic (Spoilers! Spoilers everwhere!)
I really enjoyed the description of the superflu spreading, the reactions of the mysteriously immune survivors, and the journeys they make to follow the dreams they’ve been having. Once the Free Zone is set up in Boulder the story began to lag, despite the tension over Harold and Nadine’s machinations. It didn’t really pick up for me until the four men set out to confront Randall Flagg. I also thought the ending was a little too pat – Trashcan Man just happens to turn up with a nuclear bomb – and not quite the ‘white magic’ approach that the story implied, given it used Flagg’s weapons against him. That said it was the definition of unputdownable, in large part because of the characters. They may not all have been likeable, but we see them change to become their better (or worse) selves over the course of the story, and need to know what King has in store for them.
Will it stay a Classic
I think it stay a Classic because there is this consensus that it is King’s best book, and it’s themes are enduring.
Who I’d recommend it to
Anyone who’s looking for a compelling book to get stuck into.