Check out my The Stand book summary and review that I created to help you understand the basics of this great book. The Stand is a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel by American author Stephen King and first published in 1978 by Doubleday. The plot focuses on a deadly pandemic of armed influenza and its aftermath, where some survivors gather in groups, each led by an idol of good or evil and seemingly lucky to clash with each other.

King began writing the story in February 1975, seeking to create an epic in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings. The book was difficult for him to write because of the large number of characters and story lines.

The Stand

In 1990, The Stand was reprinted as a complete and uncut version. King initially retrieved more than 400 pages from texts shortened from his original manuscript, revised the order of the chapters, shifted the setting of the novel from 1980 to 10 years ago, and corrected several cultural references accordingly.

The Complete and Uncut Edition of The Stand is Stephen King's longest solo work, surpassing the 1,152-page, 1,138-page novel Brick. The book has sold 4.5 million copies.

The Stand book summary :

A highly contagious and deadly strain of influenza has been developed as a biological weapon in a secret laboratory of the US Department of Defense in Northern California. It is estimated to be 99.4% fatal. The complete and uncut version contains details of the security breaches that led to the development of the virus and the accidental release.

Security guard Charles Campion was able to escape before the facility was locked down and took his family out of the state. A few days later, his car crashed into a gas station in Arnett, Texas. Pedestrians and ambulance crews were infected by the dead Campion and his dead wife and children.

The United States Army is trying to isolate Arnett, trying to execute civilians in order to execute him, but in vain; Named "Superflu" or "Captain Trips", the virus spread across the country. The government then (unknowingly) guaranteed their agents the destruction of the USSR, its satellite state and the virus in China.

When martial law fails to contain the virus, global epidemics kill almost the entire world's population within a month. Massive abandonment and rebellion led to the collapse of the military, and society soon followed with almost extinction of humanity. Some of the few who are immune also die, either unable to accept the loss of their loved ones or unable to survive in a world where they have to defend themselves.

Stuart "Stu" Redman, one of the residents of Arnett who encountered Campion, has demonstrated resistance to the virus. The CDC forcibly detained him at a research center in Stowington, Vermont, in the hope of finding a cure. Stu fled after the staff became infected, killing one in self-defense.

He met Glenn Batman, a professor of sociology, and his dog Kozak, Frances "Franny" Goldsmith, a pregnant college student, and Harold Lauder, an overweight teenager. Stuart and Franny are attracted to each other and eventually fall in love, then enter into a marital relationship. This angers Harold, who grew up with Franny and has an unhealthy obsession with her; He then plans to harm the couple out of romantic jealousy.

Most of the survivors have basically the same two dreams. In one, "Mother Abagail" Fremantle, a friendly 108-year-old black woman living at the Hemingford Home in Nebraska, invites them to her farm.

They also dream of a terrible "dark man" who calls himself Randall Flag, among other things. People find one or the other. Stu and his team eventually meet Mother Abagail, who is convinced that God has chosen her to do His will.

The group travels to Boulder, Colorado with other survivors. These include Larry Underwood, a disillusioned pop singer; Nick Andros, a deaf-mute drifter; Tom Cullen, a kind, mentally handicapped man; Nadine Cross, a teacher in her 30s who is still a virgin; And Ralph Brentner, a farmer of a good nature. When survivors begin to enter, the group begins to organize hundreds of residents.

 They established their community as a "Boulder Free Zone", a democratic city-state modeled on the earlier ideals of the United States. Meanwhile, Randall Flag, who possesses supernatural powers, created his own omnipotent society with psychopaths as his lieutenant in Las Vegas.

His people worship (and fear) him as the Messiah and bow to his iron fist dictatorship. He carries his dissatisfaction with drug addicts and others who are crucified. Flagg rescues the genocidal Lloyd Henryd from his prison and makes him his right-hand man.

A pyromaniac, nicknamed "The Trashcan Man", blows up an oil tank in Gary, Indiana and travels to Las Vegas with a murderous lunatic named "The Kid". After sending a pack of wolves to kill Flag the Kid because he wanted to kill and seize the flag, Trashcan Man goes to Las Vegas,

From there he is sent to find a stockpile of weapons for the flag, when the flag is ready for battle. Free zone. However, the people of Flag soon get tired of his dictatorship and many try to leave secretly.

Mother Abagel, believing that she had sinned out of pride, went on a spiritual journey into the desert without consulting anyone. In his absence, the Free Zone Leadership Committee decides to send three people to secretly spy on the flag, but the flag already knows who the two of them are.

One, Judge Faris, was killed in a gunfight with Flag's men, and the other, Diana Jargens, was taken prisoner, but was able to kill herself for not disclosing it to a third spy (Tom Cullen). Harold and Nadine secretly express their loyalty to Flag, who actually wants Nadine to be his wife and mother of his child. Harold planted a bomb in the house where the committee would meet.

The blast killed seven or eight people, including Nick Andrews and Susan Stern, but other members of the committee escaped unharmed by the sudden return of Mother Abagail and Franny's late warning. Before she died, the furious mother, Abagel, told God's will: Stu, Glenn, Larry, and Ralph (all the other committee members except the pregnant Franny) had to walk to Las Vegas to face the flag. He added that only three of them would be found there.

Harold and Nadine also set off for Las Vegas, but in a motorcycle accident on the way (due to the destruction of the flag Harold) Harold broke one of his legs and Nadine left him to die. Gradually becoming infected and gangrenous after enduring several days and nights of his broken leg, Harold regrets his malicious behavior, admitting that he will soon die and commits suicide by shooting himself in the head.

Nadine, going alone, finds the flag in the desert near Las Vegas and she conceives him; Horrible experience (his face turns into a monster) lets him lose his mind. Flagg brings her back to Las Vegas as his bride, but he persuades her to kill him and their unborn child.

On his way to Las Vegas, Stu broke his leg and persuaded others to leave him. The other three were quickly captured. Glenn refuses to walk in front of the flag, and when he insults the flag, Lloyd kills him at the flag's direction. Flag gathers his people to witness the execution of Larry and Ralph.

Shortly before being torn to pieces, Trashkan Man pulls out a nuclear warhead (a penitential attempt to blow up the flag's experienced pilot crew) and detonates the "Hand of God" bomb, destroying Las Vegas. As well as Larry and Ralph.

Boulder residents anxiously await the birth of Franny's baby. They fear the baby will die of superflu. Shortly after the birth of her son, Stu returns, rescued by Tom. Children get superflu, but can recover. When Franny becomes pregnant again, she and Stu Boulder decide to leave and return to Franny's hometown of Ogunquit, Maine, so they establish a former settlement and raise their children in peace.

The full and uncut version has a conclusion that the flag wakes up with a memory loss on a beach. Out of the forest came out a dozen black-skinned men with spears who finally bowed and worshiped him.

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