A few years ago, I read the original release of The Stand. I decided to do so because it was shorter and I was kind of afraid of the book. It had grown to the heights of War and Peace in my mind but I love King and I wanted to get through it. I loved the book but once I finished it I started to get the feeling that I had made the wrong choice. If I was going to spend three weeks reading the book, I may as well spend those weeks reading the complete uncut edition. I finally gave into that nagging voice and decided to read the big one. I mean, what if I missed something?
My honest opinion: I’m glad that I read the long one and I still love the book but you could probably get away with reading the shorter version. There was only one thing that I actually noticed being different and its absence from the original release didn’t leave a gaping hole or anything. I prefer the time setting of the original release, actually. The small updates to pop culture and dates felt a little wonky to me.
I’ve heard of people who read this book again and again. I can understand it. It’s a great book. The post Captain Trips world that King creates was vivid enough to seep into my dreams. The characters feel real, even the bad guys. They all have a real sense of humanity about them.
Repeatedly now I have tried to come up with a plot summary for you and I just can’t. There is so much here and so many stories and characters that I feel like I would be doing the book a disservice in leaving something out. Suffice to say that The Stand is a post-plague world that feels close enough to our own world to be scary, that he seems to really think things out down the line and around corners, if you will. This is 100% worth the read for me.