The Standby Stephen King
Now Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between/i>/i>
In 1978, Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.
Now Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand: The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral comlexity of a true epic.
For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.
Los Angeles Times
"[The Stand] has everything. Adventure. Roman. Prophecy. Allegory. Satire. Fantasy. Realism. Apocalypse. Great!"
The New York Times Book Review
"As brilliant a dark dream as has ever been dreamed in this century."
Palm Beach Post
“An undisputed master of suspense and terror.”
—The Washington Post
“King is one of the most powerful storytellers we have. His work satisfies on first reading and is even better the second time around.”
“Crackling . . . with explosive climaxes.”
—The Boston Globe
“[For] those who like their horror on a humongous scale.”
—Los Angeles Times
—The Observer (London)
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
Read an Excerpt
Hapscomb's Texaco sat on Number 93 just north of Arnette, a pissant four-street burg about 110 miles from Houston. Tonight the regulars were there, sitting by the cash register, drinking beer, talking idly, watching the bugs fly into the big lighted sign.
It was Bill Hapscomb's station, so the others deferred to him even though he was a pure fool. They would have expected the same deferral if they had been gathered together in one of their business establishments. Except they had none. In Arnette, it was hard times. In 1980 the town had had two industries, a factory that made paper products (for picnics and barbecues, mostly) and a plant that made electronic calculators. Now the paper factory was shut down and the calculator plant was ailing—they could make them a lot cheaper in Taiwan, it turned out, just like those portable TVs and transistor radios.
Norman Bruett and Tommy Wannamaker, who had both worked in the paper factory, were on relief, having run out of unemployment some time ago. Henry Carmichael and Stu Redman both worked at the calculator plant but rarely got more than thirty hours a week. Victor Palfrey was retired and smoked stinking home-rolled cigarettes, which were all he could afford.
"Now what I say is this," Hap told them, putting his hands on his knees and leaning forward. "They just gotta say screw this inflation shit. Screw this national debt shit. We got the presses and we got the paper. We're gonna run off fifty million thousand-dollar bills and hump them right the Christ into circulation."
Palfrey, who had been a machinist until 1984, was the only one present with sufficient self-respect to point out Hap's most obvious damfool statements. Now, rolling another of his shitty-smelling cigarettes, he said: "That wouldn't get us nowhere. If they do that, it'll be just like Richmond in the last two years of the States War. In those days, when you wanted a piece of gingerbread, you gave the baker a Confederate dollar, he'd put it on the gingerbread, and cut out a piece just that size. Money's just paper, you know."
"I know some people don't agree with you," Hapsaid sourly. He picked up a greasy red plastic paper-holder from his desk. "I owe these people. And they're starting to get pretty itchy about it."
Stuart Redman, who was perhaps the quietest man in Arnette, was sitting in one of the cracked plastic Woolco chairs, a can of Pabst in his hand, looking out the big service station window at Number 93. Stu knew about poor. He had grown up that way right here in town, the son of a dentist who had died when Stu was seven, leaving his wife and two other children besides Stu.
His mother had gotten work at the Red Ball Truck Stop just outside of Arnette—Stu could have seen it from where he sat right now if it hadn't burned down in 1979. It had been enough to keep the four of them eating, but that was all. At the age of nine, Stu had gone to work, first for Rog Tucker, who owned the Red Ball, helping to unload trucks after school for thirty-five cents an hour, and then at the stockyards in the neighboring town of Braintree, lying about his age to get twenty back breaking hours of labor a week at the minimum wage.
Now, listening to Hap and Vic Palfrey argue on about money and the mysterious way it had of drying up, he thought about the way his hands had bled at first from pulling the endless handtrucks of hides and guts. He had tried to keep that from his mother, but she had seen, less than a week after he started. She wept over them a little, and she hadn't been a woman who wept easily. But she hadn't asked him to quit the job. She knew what the situation was. She was a realist.
Some of the silence in him came from the fact that he had never had friends, or the time for them. There was school, and there was work. His youngest brother, Dev, had died of pneumonia the year he began at the yards, and Stu had never quite gotten over that. Guilt, he supposed. He had loved Dev the best . . . but his passing had also meant there was one less mouth to feed.
In high school he had found football, and that was something his mother had encouraged even though it cut into his work hours. "You play," she said. "If you got a ticket out of here, it's football, Stuart. You play. Remember Eddie Warfield." Eddie Warfield was a local hero. He had come from a family even poorer than Stu's own, had covered himself with glory as quarterback of the regional high school team, had gone onto Texas A&M with an athletic scholarship, and had played for ten years with the Green Bay Packers, mostly as a second-string quarterback but on several memorable occasions as the starter. Eddie now owned a string of fast-food restaurants across the West and Southwest, and in Arnette he was an enduring figure of myth. In Arnette, when you said "success," you meant Eddie Warfield.
Stu was no quarterback, and he was no Eddie Warfield. But it did seem to him as he began his junior year in high school that there was at least a fighting chance for him to get a small athletic scholarship . . . and then there were work-study programs, and the school's guidance counselor had told him about the NDEA loan program.
Then his mother had gotten sick, had become unable to work. It was cancer. Two months before he graduated from high school, she had died, leaving Stu with his brother Bryce to support. Stu had turned down the athletic scholarship and had gone to work in the calculator factory. And finally it was Bryce, three years' Stu's junior, who had made it out. He was now in Minnesota, a systems analyst for IBM. He didn't write often, and the last time he had seen Bryce was at the funeral, after Stu's wife had died—died of exactly the same sort of cancer that had killed his mother. He thought that Bryce might have his own guilt to carry . . . and that Bryce might be a little ashamed of the fact that his brother had turned into just another good old boy in a dying Texas town, spending his days doing time in the calculator plant, and his nights either down at Hap's or over at the Indian Head drinking Lone Star beer.
The marriage had been the best time, and it had only lasted eighteen months. The womb of his young wife had borne a single dark and malignant child. That had been four years ago. Since, he had thought of leaving Arnette, searching for something better, but small-town inertia held him—the low siren song of familiar places and familiar faces. He was well liked in Arnette, and Vic Palfrey had once paid him the ultimate compliment of calling him "Old Time Tough."
As Vic and Hap chewed it out, there was still a little dusk left in the sky, but the land was in shadow. Cars didn't go by on 93 much now, which was one reason that Hap had so many unpaid bills. But there was a car coming now, Stu saw.
It was still a quarter of a mile distant, the day's last light putting a dusty shine on what little chrome was left to it. Stu's eyes were sharp, and he made it as a very old Chevrolet, maybe a '75. A Chevy, no lights on, doing no more than fifteen miles an hour, weaving all over the road. No one had seen it yet but him.
"Now let's say you got a mortgage payment on this station," Vic was saying, "and let's say it's fifty dollars a month."
"It's a hell of a lot more than that."
"Well, for the sake of the argument, let's say fifty. And let's say the Federals went ahead and printed you a whole carload of money. Well then those bank people would turn round and want a hundred and fifty. You'd be just as poorly off."
"That's right," Henry Carmichael added. Hap looked at him, irritated. He happened to know that Hank had gotten in the habit of taking Cokes out of the machine without paying the deposit, and furthermore, Hank knew he knew, and if Hank wanted to come in on any side it ought to be his.
"That ain't necessarily how it would be," Hap said weightily from the depths of his ninth-grade education. He went on to explain why.
Stu, who only understood that they were in a hell of a pinch, tuned Hap's voice down to a meaningless drone and watched the Chevy pitch and yaw its way on up the road. The way it was going Stu didn't think it was going to make it much farther. It crossed the white line and its lefthand tires spumed up dust from the left shoulder. Now it lurched back, held its own lane briefly, then nearly pitched off into the ditch. Then, as if the driver had picked out the big lighted Texaco station sign as a beacon, it arrowed toward the tarmac like a projectile whose velocity is very nearly spent. Stu could hear the worn-out thump of its engine now, the steady gurgle-and-wheeze of a dying carb and a loose set of valves. It missed the lower entrance and bumped up over the curb. The fluorescent bars over the pumps were reflecting off the Chevy's dirt-streaked windshield so it was hard to see what was inside, but Stu saw the vague shape of the driver roll loosely with the bump. The car showed no sign of slowing from its relentless fifteen.
"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 Chevy 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 and strike the windshield, starring the glass.
The Chevy jumped like an old dog that had been kicked and plowed away the hi-test pump. It snapped off and rolled away, spilling a few dribbles of gas. The nozzle came unhooked and lay glittering under the fluorescents.
They all saw the sparks produced by the Chevy's exhaust pipe grating across the cement, and Hap, who had seen a gas station explosion in Mexico, instinctively shielded his eyes against the fireball he expected. Instead, the Chevy's rear end flirted around and fell off the pump island on the station side. The front end smashed into the low-lead pump, knocking it off with a hollow bang.
Almost deliberately, the Chevrolet finished its 360-degree turn, hitting the island again, broadside this time. The rear end popped up on the island and knocked the regular gas pump asprawl. And there the Chevy came to rest, trailing its rusty exhaust pipe behind it. It had destroyed all three of the gas pumps on that island nearest the highway. The motor continued to run choppily for a few seconds and then quit. The silence was so loud it was alarming.
"Holy moly," Tommy Wannamaker said breathlessly. "Will she blow, Hap?"
"If it was gonna, it already woulda," Hap said, getting up. His shoulder bumped the map case, scattering Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona every whichway. Hap felt a cautious sort of jubilation. His pumps were insured, and the insurance was paid up. Mary had harped on the insurance ahead of everything.
"Guy must have been pretty drunk," Norm said.
"I seen his taillights," Tommy said, his voice high with excitement. "They never flashed once. Holy moly! If he'd a been doing sixty we'd all be dead now."
They hurried out of the office, Hap first and Stu bringing up the rear. Hap, Tommy, and Norm reached the car together. They could smell gas and hear the slow, clocklike tick of the Chevy's cooling engine. Hap opened the driver's side door and the man behind the wheel spilled out like an old laundry sack.
"God-damn," Norm Bruett shouted, almost screamed. He turned away, clutched his ample belly, and was sick. It wasn't the man who had fallen out (Hap had caught him neatly before he could thump to the pavement) but the smell that was issuing from the car, a sick stench compounded of blood, fecal matter, vomit, and human decay. It was a ghastly rich sick-dead smell.
A moment later Hap turned away, dragging the driver by the armpits. Tommy hastily grabbed the dragging feet and he and Hap carried him into the office. In the glow of the overhead fluorescents their faces were cheesy-looking and revolted. Hap had forgotten about his insurance money.
The others looked into the car and then Hank turned away, one hand over his mouth, little finger sticking off like a man who has just raised his wineglass to make a toast. He trotted to the north end of the station's lot and let his supper come up.
Vic and Stu looked into the car for some time, looked a teach other, and then looked back in. On the passenger side was a young woman, her shift dress hiked up high on her thighs. Leaning against her was a boy or girl, about three years old. They were both dead. Their necks had swelled up like inner tubes and the flesh there was a purple-black color, like a bruise. The flesh was puffed up under their eyes, too. They looked, Vic later said, like those baseball players who put lampblack under their eyes to cut the glare. Their eyes bulged sightlessly. The woman was holding the child's hand. Thick mucus had run from their noses and was now clotted there. Flies buzzed around them, lighting in the mucus, crawling in and out of their open mouths. Stu had been in the war, but he had never seen anything so terribly pitiful as this. His eyes were constantly drawn back to those linked hands.
Meet the Author
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. Among his most recent are 11/22/63; Full Dark, No Stars; Under the Dome; Just After Sunset; Duma Key; Lisey’s Story; Cell; and the concluding novels in the Dark Tower saga: Wolves of the Calla, Song of Susannah, and The Dark Tower. His acclaimed nonfiction book, On Writing, is also a bestseller. He was the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and in 2007, he received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. He lives in Maine with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.
- Bangor, Maine
- Date of Birth:
- September 21, 1947
- Place of Birth:
- Portland, Maine
- B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I first read the originally-published version of The Stand in 1984. I became so immersed in it that I would pause from reading, look up and around me, and for a long, unsettling moment feel that I was one of the survivors of Captain Tripps. I since read that version another time and then read this expanded version a few years later. I am about to read it once more. No other book calls for me the way this one does. The Stand is an tale of the epic struggle between good and evil. It is God vs. the Devil. Liberal vs. conservative. It is the battle between the good angel and the bad angel that reside on your shoulders, whisper advice into your ears and use your mind as their battleground. One side will lose. In the end, we (the survivors, yes, you will be one too) learn that while we don't get what we want, we do get what we need. Where will you make your stand? M-O-O-N. That spells The Stand.
I'm a huge King fan, but no book I have read of his has beat The Stand.
Now, in my opinion, the details and work that he puts into his characters in this book absolutely makes the book. I won't lie though, it's not for everyone. I've tried to encourage family and friends to read it, people whom I thought would have loved it, and it was just too long for them to get into.
If you're not used to reading 500+ page books, you may fall out of interest. For me, I personally wish the book was LONGER. I just get can't enough, and I've read it 3 or 4 times already, and am currently reading it again.
The characters feel real. They have weaknesses, faults, and real thoughts. King's usually pretty good with giving his characters real thoughts. You warm up to the characters, you start to LIKE them, to feel connected to them. And there's some great ones in here, especially if you get the expanded version.
Why haven't I read anything quite like this before? I mean, sure, "the end of the world" stories have been played around with, but this is definitely more realistic than any of the other's I've read. The plot isn't perfect, but that's ok. It's engaging, and it's the kind of scary where you're just hoping that nothing like Captain Tripps (the virus) ever comes to your front door. Not to mention some of the most interesting antagonists I've ever met on paper.
I would definitely say that this is a MUST read for anyone who calls themselves a Stephen King fan. And for the rest of you, even though it's long, just stick with it. It's such a rewarding book to have read and I still think back to it when certain social situations and topics come up.
As an avid Stephen King reader I may be biased, but this was one of the best books I have ever read. While the beginning of the book was a bit slow, its steadily increasing pace kept me intrigued the whole way through. The detailed character descriptions give you insight and help you understand the relationships between the characters. Each character has personality traits and flaws that make them seem like the kind of people you might find in your own town. Mr. King did an excellent job of taking a difficult topic to imagine, seem so real and ominous. This is an excellent book for a book club because its ideas on society, human nature and the battle between good and evil bring up many deep and thought provoking points. I have read this book 6 times and I still have trouble putting it down when I start to read. Its not a book that I would recommend for people with light hearts or stomachs, however.
It may be massively long, but this book is worth every minute you spend reading it. The details with which King builds his characters never ceases to amaze me.
In this book of what could be a possible future a super flu, nicknamed the ¿captain trips¿ by those who survived, wipes out half of the human population. And then the survivors start having dreams that tell to come to Nebraska. But evil is growing as the heroes are regrouping and its getting ready to wipe every one out and rule what is left. And on top of that they have a entity known only as the ¿dark man¿ to deal with can the nine who survived make the stand? Find out in this book. Some of the things I liked about this book are the way the narrator changes after every chapter. And I was I intrigued by the sheer complexity of the story. Some things I didn¿t like was you would be getting in to one characters story and then you would get to a new chapter and you¿d have to get into the story again. Another thing I didn¿t like about this book was the way it ended. But overall it was a good book.
The Stand, a book written by Stephen King, is about people who are trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic setting. They're attempting to survive after a very large sum of the population gets wiped out after a virus called the "superflu" infects them, but they soon find out there's more to it than just that. The Stand was directed to an audience of mostly older teens and adults. It was written to make people about certain possibilities and also to frighten or gross people out. I give The Stand four and a half stars, out of five. The best thing about The Stand is that it has touches of romance, suspense, gore, realism, and parts that totally mind freak you. Parts of it start to drag on a bit but it always ends up being a good chapter. All the characters are interesting and make you want to know more about them and more about what happens to them. In my conclusion, I think this book is great and I recommend to anyone. It's good for Stephen King fans and also good for people aren't fans of him. I've been a Stephen King fan for a while but this certainly one of his best books, in my opinion.
Stephen King writes another outstanding book with everything. I wasn't born when the orginal can out and started to read King in 8th grade so I picked up The Stand Uncut. The book was a little slow but picks up quickly and slows down at some parts but I didn't mind. This book is not for everyone but if your looking for a detailed story and don't want to read a series, The Stand is a must.
OFF THE CHARTS !!! The Uncut Version is Incredible..I read the edited version first, then when the Uncut book came out I got it, and WOW... !!!. I tried to keep up when King first began, even his alter-named (Backman) books, there are so many now. I have kept my hardcover King books, and re-read them every so often and even though I know the plot they still freak me out !!!! Still a top Author in my Library .
I loved the reality of this book. It is very touching but true. I loved this book all around. If you want a book that sucks you in and wont let you out, this is the book for you.
I just finished this book last night and I couldn't wait toe write a review. I totally loved this book and would reccomend this book not only to people who don't read the classics but want an epic book that could compete with books like "Lord of the Rings," but also to people who only read classics and feel that it's a waste of time to read a Stephen King book. First off, Stephen King, in my opinion, is one of the best writers of his "class." Furthermore, The Stand is the best work of his that I have read (I plan on reading the Dark Tower series soon which is also considered on of his best). This is an extremely long book (1,141 pages) but I just couldn't stop reading it and I finished it in about a week and a half. It had the classic "good vs. Evil" story going on and it had some of the best characters I have ever seen. All in all, evevery person who is literate should read this book(as long as they don't mind some cursing and some sex, but who doesn't).
Didn't think I would enjoy a "horror" book but a friend recommended it and I really enjoyed it.
Amazing.Emotional.And well written. He took so many aspects of humanity and created a fantastic book. Because it is such a long book, it took me about 1 month to read the book. But when I finished, I wanted more! I cried, laughed, and thrilled. And I love the characters in this book, especially Nick Andros. Not to mention Stu Redman.Stephen King captivated me with his writing.
I can usually tell from reading the first 5 pages weather or not I will love the book; With this one I knew from the 2nd page. I was hooked and hooked bad! King drew me into the story and the more I read the more I felt as though I was Living the story (so much so by the middle of the book I felt as though the real world just a dream). Absolutely Loved this book and I surely recommend it to everybody!
It is a classic tale of good vs. evil. However, the characters are rich and deep, giving the story a authenticity rarely achieved in post-apocalyptic tales.
THE STAND is arguably the best book ever written....if ever there was a story depicting the true nature of a wide variety on US citizens in a time of crisis and the struggles with surviving in a post apocalyptic world, the stand delivers...a must read for anyone with the patience of 1100 pages...
This book is by far one of my favorite SKs out there, but it is by far one of the scariest that I have read. Once you finish the book, and really start to think about what happened, it sends chills down your back for weeks to come.
I enjoyed The Stand. It is, in my opinion, Stephen King's best novel he has ever written. I read both the 800 page version and the much longer 1400 page version, and still found both stories to be great. The story concerns a man-made plaque, yes man-made, that wipes out more than 99% of Earth's population. It is fast and within a few months everybody is dead, except for a few survivors who start having dreams of a dark man named Randall Flagg and a kindly old lady named Mother Abigail. These dreams eventually lead to survivors taking either the side of Randall Flagg, the evil side, or Mother Abigail, the good side. All the characters are deep, and even minor characters are given an in depth view. I believe that is one of the reasons The Stand is one of Stephen King's greatest novels ever. The details are rich, and the story itself is epic in scope. These are also reasons for this being one of the best he has ever written. I've read just about everyone of his stories and novels, and The Stand still stands out over all the rest, and that is saying something. This is the same author of It, The Mist, Carrie, The Shining, Salems Lot, etc. I didn't much like The Tommyknockers, but everything else he has written, including the Dark Tower series, has been above average. That's why I consider The Stand his greatest work ever.
I have to let you all know this is My most Favorite Book ever. I've always liked most books written by Steven King. This is my fav. Though. The book my be long, but well worth your time spent on reading it. The main idea of this story is almost to believable. The way he tells it just glides along so quickly & something else is started. I love most of the people he writes about. They seem almost real at times. It's well thought out on how life could be & how you may need to survive in it. I've read this book like 20 times or more, so of coures it's the very first i purchased when i got this NOOK as a Christmas gift. About the only part I have hard time believing is everyone having the same 2 dreams. Also I was not happy about how the die towords the end. I just thought maybe they could of found a way for Larry, Ralph & Glen. Larry & Stu were my two favs. of all the people. Fran comes in third. Ialso thought maybe Harold should of been reformed to the good side, instead of what happens to him. I also would not of minded if he had made the story twice of long. Then SK could of delved even more into the main people & even more on some of the minor people. I sure hope you enjoy this Book as much as I DO! I try to reread it like maybe once every 18 months or do. And I usually feel like i find out something new or even absorb it differently to make it more enjoyable to me. Happy Reading!
In a culture oversaturated with post-apocalyptic yarns, this one is a shining gem that puts nearly all others to shame. The characters are unforgettable and diverse, and King's other-worldly storytelling ability is as on point as his fans have come to expect. Hundreds of pages will buzz by as you become consumed and enter this broken but refreshing world, and when it ends, you might feel as if you left something in those pages.
It may be a little slow at times but its sooo worth it its really good! Check it out!
Stephen King has got to be an amazing writer if someone who is not easily scared can look at the covers of one of his books and think "Oh God, should I read this?" He is just a spectacular writer.
One of the best post-apocalyptic works ever made and one of my favorite books written by Stephen King. Epic and shocking and masterfully-written - I've read it three times and it gets better with each read!
This is an amazing read! It is very long but so interesting I could not put it down!
This is easily one of the best books I have ever read. Day 1 - I couldn't put it down, read all night. Day 2 - Read all day, but I managed to squeeze in a couple of meals. Day 3 - Finished it. Whew !! I'm exhausted. Stephen King is a genius !
My headline says it all. Any King fan already knows it, and anyone who hasnt read this but likes King's style will love this. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-crafted story, with richly drawn characters and complete with the ultimate villian. If I had only one book on a desert island, this would be it!