I've been attempting to read The Stand for the last few months. After starting up The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, I found out that many of his books coincide or correlate with his other novels. It took me till Wolves of the Calla to notice this and I figured I might as well read about the characters that happen in one series from the other novels. I thought that The Stand was going to have a character named Callahan. Little did I know, I screwed up on what book correlates with another. Callahan happens to be from Salem's Lot and not The Stand. That's one fail for me. =\ BUT! Randall Flagg happens to make a cameo... well, maybe more than that... in The Dark Tower so all is not lost.
If you haven't read The Stand and are not a complete Stephen King fan, I don't know if I can recommend this book to you. First, it's incredibly long! At a little over 1000 pages it'll keep you busy for a while unless you really get into it. It's also a little heavy on the detail side. In a novel like this, King could have cut down on some of the minutiae to cut to the chase. The book is about a super virus that takes out most of the American population, if not the world's. This might sound like I'm giving away a ton, but it happens early and they've made a TV series about it. It's also not that new of a concept after all these years. You'll have plenty of information about humanity getting back together. That's where it gets boring. There's only so much you can do to talk about people coming together and getting the power going. *sigh*
Just because the book is long doesn't mean that it was horrible. The underlying story is incredibly intriguing! The sub-plots are interesting as well. Most of the characters are fleshed out enough that you can enjoy them or want to know what happens to them. I do have some problems though. It almost seems that King wanted to get to the end too quickly after writing for page after page about development. A few of the characters that you expected to play a big part (b/c they had large roles at the beginning or middle) were marginalized by the end. Those were some of the more interesting characters as well. It also wrapped up a little neatly for me except for the Jurassic Park twist at the end. I'll save it for those that want to read it.
All in All, I would recommend the Dark Tower series first before going off to read this one. It also makes me want to read Salem's Lot. I'm again stuck in my ways with reading more novels from a specific author even if I don't seem to like him. A little strange. If you do like Stephen King then you can't wrong. Oh, if you don't like graphic sex scenes and cussing then don't grab this one. (I'm not surprised)
CBs - 5 of 10.... love the idea of almost anything post-apocalyptic but this one left me with concerns.