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I Love this Book
Having read and enjoyed a few Stephen King novels before, I somewhat begrudgingly set out to tackle The Stand (the Complete and Uncut Edition). I expected it to take me a month to read the book. I actually finished it in about five days. It was addictive and engrossing, and while some complain about the strong theistic undertonesP, I felt that whatever your religious views, it's an integral part of the plot and worked well. While King told a great story, in my opinion his greatest accomplishment in this book is making me care so much about the characters. I do empathise with characters, but I have never felt as strongly about any characters as I do about Nick, Stu, Fran, Larry, Tom, and the rest of the gang. I probably felt the strongest for Tom and Trashy. Mostly Nick. Oh God, where do I even start with Nick?  I played favorites, but ultimately I liked every character. I  even liked the bad guys. I love how even though King clearly showed who was a villain (for the most part), I felt sympathetic for them because they were portrayed as more than just "bad guys", but as actual people. I really mean this about the characters. At one point, I even felt stomach-sick for them. My only criticism is that I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. I would have liked to have more pages and a longer conclusion and climax. I've always loved apocalyptic fiction, and this has to be the best one I've read. I highly recommend this book. It has become one of my favorites. 
Thanks, Moneybeet! It's amazing how many fleshed-out characters King made us care about.
comment #4382 berr 11th Sep 10
Seconding everything. The book is epic. For sure, there are strong Christian themes, but this lifelong atheist didn't find them bothersome. Everything just works so well. Yesss, Nick is amazing. But heck, nearly everyone is so fleshed out, and their motives are explained well enough that it's hard not to feel for even the bad guys, such as Lloyd, Trashcan, Harold, etc.

This troper actually peeked at this site and saw Harold marked under "Alas Poor Villain ". Having gotten far enough to see what he did to Nick, I thought "Pfft, yeah RIGHT I'll feel bad for him. I'll freakin' celebrate." Got to the part with his check-out scene. Read it. Thought: well, serves him right. And yet five minutes later, I was wibbling.

Seriously. Pretty much everyone (excepting Flagg) ranges from halfway to extremely likeable. And Flagg is written really well regardless. I also thought the end was done too quick for my liking (though I read the abridged version). But overall, amazing.

I'm gonna go see if I can find unabridged version, like, right now.
comment #7214 Charletan 7th Apr 11
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