Since The Stand is such a large novel, coming in at just over a thousand pages, and divided into three books. I’ve made the decision to do a mini review for each part. Our story starts at a secret government base out west (I believe it’s in California). A lone security guard named Charlie is the first to notice something is wrong The numbers on the clock have gone to red meaning that one of the viruses that are being created there has escaped. Instead of following procedure and locking down the facility Charlie makes a run for it. If it wasn’t for Charlie our story would of come to an end. The government would’ve covered up all that happened and we would’ve been none the wiser. But Charlie makes it out collecting his wife and young daughter and heads east exposing many people along the way.
Charlie makes it to a small Texas town just north of Arnette where he crashes the gas pumps of a small Texaco station. With his wife and small child already dead Charlie soon follows. But before he does he exposes the small group of locales gathered and the station one of them is Stu Redman.
We also meet Frannie Goldsmith a young college student living in Ogunquit Maine who recently found out that she is pregnant. Her mother doesn’t take the news well. Frannie has the support of her father and this creates a rift with her mother who comes down with flu like symptoms and after a few days dies. Her father soon follows.
In California Larry Underwood is finally on the verge of making it big after playing in numerous bands and singing in small nightclubs. With the single “Baby Can You Dig Your Man?” Climbing the charts Larry has a hit on his hands. But he begins partying a little too hard and after receiving advice from a friend he decides to lay low and visit his mother in New York. While there his mother also develops flu like symptoms and passes away.
In Shoyo, Arkansas deaf mute Nick Andros has just left a local bar and continues his trip heading somewhere north when he is set upon by Ray Booth and some of his friends. Nick is almost beaten to death and loses consciousness. He wakes up in a small jail cell where meets John Baker the local sheriff who rounds up the guys who beat up Nick. He also gives him a small job helping around the station. Soon after Sheriff Baker and all of the residents of Shoyo die from the flu.
Lloyd Henreid and Poke are on an international crime spree having murdered a total of six people in Arizona and Nevada. They are low on cash and decided to rob a convenience store in a small town. But their plans go south when they discover and off duty lawman is in the store Lloyd’s partner is shot and killed and Lloyd is captured. Now incarcerated and possibly facing a death sentence Lloyd believes things can’t get much worse. But they do, people in the jail start to become sick and die the guards and staff leave and never return. So Lloyd finds himself alone locked in a cell without any food. Facing a slow death by starvation.
While we meet these characters the world is rapidly going to hell. The super flu known as Captain Tripps is killing everyone at an alarming rate there is no cure and only a small number are immune. Within months the world as we know it is no more. Stu Redman after being one of the first to come across the super flu is taken by the army and taken to CDC in Atlanta after spending some time there he is taken to New Hampshire. He realizes that the hospital that he is in is becoming more of a prison. He is able to escape and begins heading toward the ocean. He meets a man named Glen Bateman and his dog Kojak. He also meets Frannie Goldsmith who along with Harold Lauder decide to go try and find other people.
Larry Underwood has left New York to do the same.
Nick Andros has also left and along the way meets a slightly retarded man named Tom Cullen. All of these characters dream about and old women named Mother Abigail who is in Nebraska and tells them to come see her whenever they like. They also have nightmares of a man with no face that some have called the Walking Dude.
This is just the start of a massive adventure. All the characters are incredible thought out and we find out all about there background and what they were like before the shit hit the fan in between that we find out how the world is coming to an end and how the government is dealing with the crisis. It’s fascinating to see how the virus travels through out the country and how the few who survive are dealing with the new world around them.
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