Books: Friday Roundup

I finally finished reading The Stand, that not-so-little book by Stephen King.
And I liked it.
I'll say up front that this was my first King novel ever, so going in I wasn't quite sure what to expect. But I'd read On Writing and loved it, so I figured I'd dive in at the deep end of the pool and tackle this 1,000-plus page behemoth all in one gulp. Happily it went down with no real hiccups.
For those not familiar with The Stand, it basically runs like this: a government-funded virus gets loose, killing 99% of humanity and setting the stage for a post-apocalyptic battle between the forces of good and evil. We've got the devil in Las Vegas and a ragtag band of survivors united under a 106 year old black woman in Boulder, Colorado.
The novel tackles some pretty heavy and epic stuff, but King never gets lost in the book's wide breath. In fact, the tons of details and well-written characters ultimately turn out to be The Stand's greatest strength.
For all it's perks, however, the book suffered from a few problems. Namely, the ending, which i felt was over in a flash and didn't really serve to justify the 1,000+ pages of character and plot buildup. It's not like it was a bad ending by any means, just a quick one. But I suppose any wrap-up would seem shortchanged after 1,000 pages of buildup ...
The bottom line is that The Stand is a book that's worth your time. It's a great summer read and a must for anyone interested in post-apocalyptic fiction.

The Stand, by Stephen King: B+

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