the_stand_coverI have had ongoing, low-level respiratory crap (medical term) for at least a month and today the bug responsible is staging a resurgence, rolling out more coughing and wobbly-headed paranoia. It’s time to revisit The Stand.

In case you’ve never read it, it’s set in a post-apocalyptic America after a majority of the world’s citizens have succumbed to a weaponized superflu virus known as “Captain Trips.” When the dust settles, groups of survivors begin to journey west, compelled to gather in…Boulder, Colorado, my home town! Those are the good-guy survivors, of course. The bad-guy survivors make a bee-line for Las Vegas. Wouldn’t you know.

I’m not going to recount the entire plot–read the damned book. It’s a terrific story of good versus evil with some of the juicy pulp details Stephen King loves to sprinkle in. It’s probably my favorite of his novels, although I vacillate back and forth between The Stand and It as numero uno. I have a deep appreciation for King, who is able to evoke my nineteen-fifties childhood more sharply than any other author I’ve read.

Until recent years, it’s been my annual tradition to reread The Stand at Christmas to balance out the more egregious aspects of the holiday, and to take advantage of the ever active flu season. But this year, the time is now. It’s hard to continue feeling sorry for myself and my puny little germ while reading about the wholesale destruction of the world’s population.

And I’ll be damned if I give into the oh-God-it’s-probably-terminal thinking that villainous bastard Randall Flagg uses to spread terror across the land.



Enter your name in the Wisdom Court drawing on Halloween by commenting on this post. The prize is your own copy of each book in the Wisdom Court Trilogy: Edge of the Shadow, A Signal Shown, and All In Bad Time.  All signed by me.