I have been an avid fan of Stephen King's for some time now andI have only one regret: that I hadn't read this book until justrecently. It has been lying in my bookcase for three years now in the Stephen King "section", doing nothing more than gathering dust. Little did I know that this tome of a novel would turn out to be one of the best books I have ever read, both of Stephen King's and of any other author.
King's tale of a government-produced superflu gradually "cleansing" the world of 99.4% of it's population and then leaving the few survivors to combat an even greater evil and take a last stand in their lives was both chilling and fantastic at the same time.
His truest talent is his command of his characters. I raced my way through this 1141 page story in less than two weeks, (something that should be considered nothing short of a miracle for me,) and it got to the point that I was so into the story where I would actually root for some characters and cry when others perished. King's knack for giving heavy background behind his characters and making them so as the reader can identify with them and truly believe they are, in fact, not characters at all but real people, is great and never better in any of his other stories, (with the exception of "It", still my personal favorite.)
The story and the way it is told is superb, (even at page 1141 I didn't want the story to end.) The characters are ones you'll remember long after you finish the story, and the case King is trying to make about humanity, and it's savage tendency to separate into good and evil, is thought-provoking. Yes, the world still goes on and changes, but do human beings ever learn anything from these changes? I don't know...and I don't think I want to know.
Stephen King is a treasure of the literary world and, in my opinion, often overlooked and scoffed at because of the nature of his writing at times and the genre of which he writes...