Two Frogs

The Stand: Expanded Edition: For the First Time Complete and Uncut (Signet)


by Stephen King
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2003

I actually finished this book a couple of weeks ago, but it’s taken me this long to get around to writing a review. I guess that’s a sign that I neither really loved not really hated it. This was yet another read from that book group (which I’ve since unsubscribed from for too much political off-topic jabber), and they had elected to read the unabridged, uncut version of the book. I had never read the short(er) one, so I wasn’t inclined to object. The story is an apocalyptic narrative. Big, bad flu bug gets loose from a US military installation, and starts wiping people out all over the place (it kills more than 99% of those affected). The survivors end up splitting into two camps (good guys in Colorado, bad guys in (where else?) Vegas), and know they have to fight it out. The good guys win. Everything else is to flesh out that skeleton, and man, does it get fleshy! There is simultaneously too much and too little book here. There is virtually no mention of what’s going on in the rest of the world (did the flu get them, too?) and way too much detail about the Americans who survive. There are about 80 million subplots, some of which are interesting, all of which are tediously drawn out. The characters were engaging, but not terribly believable. All in all, I guess it was somewhat of a disappointment, especially considering the amount of time put in to actually finish the damn thing.

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