If he by no means wrote one other phrase, Stephen King deserves to be remembered for this, his contribution to the "Catastrophe Novel" style. (NOTE: This evaluation applies to the ORIGINAL launch of the novel, not the "Particular Version")
It begins innocuously sufficient, with a military officer working away from his base. However he has left it too late, and he carries a brand new illness into the world. Over the following months individuals start to die, in small numbers at first, then of their tons of, hundreds and at last tens of millions.
The survivors, a disparate band drawn from all walks of life, discover they've to choose; to affix with the forces of evil, personified in Flagg (probably the greatest fictional villains in residing reminiscence) or to take a "Stand" for good, personified by Aunt Abigail, an outdated wizened black lady with a fundamentalist method to her religion.
Quickly all of the survivors are lined up on one facet or the opposite, and the ultimate battle for his or her future future is about up when the principle characters should take their very own "Stand"
The questions of religion posed by this, and the way every of the protagonists make their decisions, kind the ethical core of this ebook, and the rigours of fundamental survival when civilisation has fallen types the spine of the plot, however it's the characters who stick in your thoughts lengthy after you have completed studying.
King has at all times been good at "nation" varieties, however right here he exhibits a positive hand with such disparate individuals as a deaf-mute, a rock star, a storage employee, a pregnant teenager and her admirer-from-afar neighbour Harold (a gentleman so slimy you will really feel like taking a shower after simply studying about him)
You are feeling rapport with these characters, and are quickly cheering them on, and King has managed to reel in his propensity for "bloat", and would not let anybody character take over.
The ebook carries a powerful ethical tone all through, and at occasions appears nearly biblical in its "fire-and-brimstone" depth. In typical King style there are some terrifying set items, the decide of which takes place in a tunnel which is stuffed with useless and decomposing our bodies that have to be navigated with no mild. Not for the squeamish.
Lots of people have been daunted by the sheer measurement of this ebook. At over 1000 pages, it's not a fast learn, and within the early chapters it's typically troublesome to maintain observe of its giant listing of characters. Additionally, King appears to take enjoyment of slowing issues down and looking out in nice element at some fairly disagreeable deaths on account of the illness - a super-flu which leads to significantly messy fluid expulsion.
Nevertheless as soon as Flagg seems and begins insinuating himself into the survivors' goals. the stress begins to crank up and King is aware of the way to maintain you hooked, cheering the great guys alongside to the denoument.
I will not spoil it by making a gift of the ending, however the remaining "Stand" would not come fairly as anticipated, and has some really stunning penalties for the protagonists.
For a jaded horror fan introduced up on John Wyndham and John Christopher, this ebook revitalised my curiosity again within the late 70's. This was the ebook that introduced me again to horror, and made me wish to write it myself.
For that alone it is obtained rather a lot to reply for.