The Stand

Posted on August 31, 2010

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Last year, my seniors had a list to choose from for an outside read every quarter. I told them at the beginning of the year that whoever got to me first, I’d read the book they chose with them – as long as I hadn’t read it before.

The Stand was on this list. I honestly never anticipated my students choosing the book. It’s massive. And scary. And Stephen King.

One of my students chose the book.

“Hey Mrs. Ramirez – have you read The Stand?

My heart sank a little, knowing what was coming. But, I made a promise and I intended to keep it. “No. I haven’t.”

“Really?! Awesome. You uh…wanna read it with me?”

And so I did.

Note: don’t read this book when there’s say….a swine flu outbreak. A mass virus spreading like wildfire in the beginning of a book you’re reading isn’t necessarily the most conducive to maintaining common sense – especially when news outlets everywhere speak of the demise of society because of the sickness going around…in real life.

Aside from that, I loved this book. Like…I couldn’t put it down.

There’s not much I can say about the book without giving a huge majority of the plot away, but King weaves a story of good vs. evil in a way that’s engaging without getting preachy or worse…missing the point completely. As humans, we struggle with choices we make. Is redemption possible? Is hope truly accessible in times of tragedy?

The size is daunting. 1000+ pages can turn any reader away – even those who spend hours with their noses in books. But this one? It’s worth it. One page at a time, King builds a story that’s remained in lists for the past 20 years. Stories hold truth. And with The Stand, King reveals the truth that even in moments of darkness, goodness will always be calling us home.

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Posted in: Book Review, Teaching