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am 18. Juli 2000
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...
0Kommentar|8 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 3. Juli 2011
Er schreibe so, "wie Hitchcock zu seiner besten Zeit filmte", hat mal jemand über Stephen King geschrieben. Jemand anders hat mal festgestellt, King habe gewissermaßen eine neue Art von Fans von Horrorgeschichten geschaffen - nämlich solche, die Schauergeschichten eben nur dann lesen, wenn sie auch wirklich von King sind.

Und der Autor selbst? Hat seine Werke in einer oft zitierten Aussage mal als das literarische Äquivalent eines Hamburgers mit Pommes Frites bezeichnet.

Ich finde, diese Aussagen beschreiben Kings Oeuvre schon ganz gut. Ich würde allerdings noch gern etwas hinzufügen: Das Schlechteste an Stephen Kings Romanen, die von der Kritik nicht immer zu Recht gescholten werden, sind in Wirklichkeit ihre Adaptionen für die Leinwand. Bei einigen der in meinen Augen schlechtesten Verfilmungen hat der Meister sogar selbst seine Hand im Spiel gehabt: Der unsäglich grottige "Rhea M - Es begann ohne Warnung" (basierend auf Kings Kurzgeschichte "Trucks") sowie eine vor geraumer Zeit fürs Puschenkino produzierte Verfilmung von Kings Roman "Shining" führen eindrucksvoll vor Augen, dass ein guter Autor nicht zwangsläufig auch schon ein guter Drehbuchautor sein muss.

Das Enttäuschendste am Buch fand ich den TV-Mehrteiler, den man daraus gemacht hat
Auch "The Stand" (deutsch: "Das letzte Gefecht") hat man dereinst so aufbereitet, dass auch ein bibliophobes Publikum etwas davon hat, und auch in diesem Fall zeichnet Mister King nicht nur für die Romanvorlage verantwortlich, sondern auch fürs Drehbuch.

Die Mini-TV-Serie habe ich mir, als irgendein Sender sie ausgestrahlt hat, angesehen. Wenn ich mich recht erinnere, war die sogar vergleichsweise manierlich geraten. Wirklich bleibenden Eindruck hat sie bei mir allerdings nicht hinterlassen, und das ist sicher auch ganz gut so, denn den Roman "The Stand" habe ich gern gelesen - und das auch noch beim wiederholten Male: eine Weile lang habe ich "The Stand" mit ziemlicher Regelmäßigkeit gelesen. Im Klartext heißt das soviel wie: Einmal im Jahr habe ich mich mit dem Wälzer ein Wochenende lang in Klausur begeben und habe meine Bekanntschaft mit Frances "Frannie" Goldsmith, Stu Redman, Nick Andros (siehe da, die drei fallen mir auch nach Jahr und Tag auf Anhieb ein - und den Rest bekäme ich sicher auch noch ohne Googeln zusammen, wenn ich ein bisschen länger grübelte) erneuert.

1168 Seiten Kopfkino

Auch "The Stand" steht sicherlich nicht für literarische Hochkultur, ist m. E. aber trotzdem lesenswert. Für ein werk der Unterhaltungsliteratur sägt "The Stand" mit seiner Vielzahl von Handlungssträngen sogar ein vergleichsweise dickes Brett: Wer wirklich nur leichte Heftchenromankost gewöhnt ist, der verliert wahrscheinlich schnell den Überblick, die Geduld oder beides. Im ungekürzten Original, erstmals veröffentlicht Anfang der 90er Jahre, ist Kings Endzeit-Schwarte stolze 1168 Seiten stark, und ein nicht unwesentlicher Teil des Wälzers besteht aus dem, was man gemeinhin Exposition nennt. Mit anderen Worten: King nimmt sich erst einmal gehörig Zeit, uns mit den Hauptfiguren des Buchs vertraut zu machen (und das sind nicht wenige).

Danach dezimiert King den Rest der Menschheit dann per Supergrippe ganz genüsslich und ausführlich. Und lässt nur noch ein paar versprengte Häuflein übrig, die sich dann peu à peu um einen von zwei prospektive Führergestalten scharen. Die eine davon ist ein uralte schwarze Großmama, beim anderen ist offenbar der Gottseibeiuns persönlich, der uns hier in Gestalt eines gewissen Randall Flagg begegnet.

Beide, die gütige Großmutter wie der finstere Flagg, verfügen offenkundig über die Gabe, telepathisch mit anderen in Kontakt zu treten. Jedenfalls tauchen beide in den Träumen der Rest-Menschheit auf, und die macht sich in der Folge auf den Weg - die einen nach Las Vegas, dortselbst Flagg ein wehrhaftes Imperium errichtet, dessen Einwohner er durch Angst und Schrecken gefügig hält. Die anderen zieht es zunächst an einen weitaus idyllischeren Ort, an dem, auf der Terrasse einer Farm inmitten wogender Felder, Flaggs heller Gegenpol bereits seine eigene Fanbase erwartet.

Was in der Folge passiert, lässt sich, wie so oft bei den Romanen Kings, in kurzen Sätzen zusammenfassen: Die Bösen rüsten zur alles entscheidenden Endschlacht, und getreu Edmund Burkes Mahnung, das Böse habe leichtes Spiel, solange die Guten nur nichts täten ("All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing"), müssen die Guten tun, was die Guten nun mal tun müssen. In diesem Falle heißt die Devise freilich nicht Drehen an der Rüstungsschraube, sondern, auch das wird den Guten in Träumen und Visionen mitgeteilt, eine kleine Abordnung in die Höhle des Löwen schicken - unbewaffnet und auch ohne sonstiges Rüstzeug; nicht einmal Proviant sollen die Missionare mitnehmen. Alles andere werde sich schon weisen. Was sich in der kurzen Inhaltsangabe hanebüchen ausnimmt bietet, auch das typisch für King, in der Langversion überaus spannende Lektüre. Die verdankt ihren hohen Unterhaltungswert nämlich nicht so sehr einer einfallsreichen und an Wendungen reichen Story (mal ehrlich: King variiert von jeher die immer gleichen Archetypen von Schauergeschichten - das aber sehr gekonnt), sondern vor allem der Begabung Kings, aus Tinte und Papier höchst lebendig wirkende Figuren entstehen zu lassen: die besten King-Romane waren nie die mit den scheußlichsten Monstern, sondern die mit den überzeugendsten menschlichen Protagonisten, um die man dann als Leser umso engagierter bangen durfte.

Genau davon lebt auch "The Stand": Von Figuren, die King uns so detailliert beschreibt, dass seine Leser sich ziemlich bald gut Freund mit den Helden seiner Geschichte fühlt. Und weil King sein Handwerk versteht, spielt er mit fortschreitender Handlung äußerst geschickt mit den Erwartungen seiner Leser - und führt einen an einer Stelle kräftig an der Nase herum: Ich erinnere mich nun gut daran, wie schockiert ich seinerzeit war, nachdem ich King auf den Leim gegangen war. Dass ich tatsächlich in eine Falle getappt war, ist mir natürlich, wie vom Verfasser geplant, erst einige Kapitel später klar geworden. Welcher gut vorbereitete Satz einem King genügt, seine Leser aufs Glatteis zu führen, sei an dieser Stelle nicht verraten - möge es genügen zu sagen, dass King einfach ein Meister des literarischen Cliffhangers ist. Den setzt er oft und gern ein, und nicht zuletzt deshalb sind seine besten Bücher wahre "page turners" - will sagen: Wenn man einmal mit der Lektüre angefangen hat, mag man so schnell nicht aufhören.

Kauftipp: die illustrierte Originalausgabe

Das Buch "The Stand", das für mich zu den unterhaltsamsten King-Romanen zählt, ist dafür ein gutes Beispiel. Wer sich nicht nur Gänsehaut verschaffen, sondern ganz nebenbei sein Englisch etwas aufpolieren möchte, dem kann ich das englischsprachige Original empfehlen; meine gebundene Ausgabe bietet neben dem Text übrigens die kongenialen Illustrationen, die Horror-Comic-Legende Berni Wrightson für die Neuauflage des Romans in ungekürzter Fassung angefertigt hat - für Zeitgenossen mit überdurchschnittlich ausgeprägtem Sinn fürs Makabre müsste das Grund genug sein, die günstigere Taschenbuchausgabe in diesem Falle links liegen zu lassen.

R e s ü m e e

"The Stand" ist m. E. eines von Stephen Kings besten Büchern; die Story fesselt vor allem dank des glaubhaft beschriebenen Figurenpersonals; sein Schreckensszenario einer Suppergrippe zeichnet King ebenfalls sehr realistisch. Dass King sich für seine Exposition der Handlung mehrere hundert Seiten Zeit lässt, zeugt davon, mit welchem Genuss King die Menschheit in diesem Werk literarisch ausradiert hat - ein Schelm, wer Böses dabei denkt.
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0Kommentar|17 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. März 2007
Wenn man sich des Stoffs von "The Stand" annimmt, dann sollte man das unbedingt auch in Form der "uncut edition" tun. Gerade die Teile, die in den anderen Ausgaben fehlen, machen den Charme dieser Version aus. Sie sind es, die das Gesamtkunstwerk erst abrunden. Wenn man erst mal angefangen hat, dann legt man das Buch so schnell nicht mehr aus der Hand.
0Kommentar|4 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 28. September 1998
I bought this book because so many readers said it was great. Well, I tried but just couldn't. It was way too long and the good vs. evil battle is just a bit much. How many devil vs. god books do we have to read. It's such a boring overplayed subject and the characters are so Disney and predictible. It just rambles on and on and I realize that so many USA writers follow this type of format. I have to wonder what sort of education these SK lovers have had. This book made me think I wasted my money. It sure as heck didn't scare me.
11 Kommentar|2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 12. August 1998
The more I think about this book, the more I like it.
The first 200 pages were the best in the whole book, detailing how the disease spread and society's reaction to it. After that the book changes tracks big time.
Yes the book is 1200 pages and yes, there are some slow parts. But those slow parts aid in character development which is where this book really shines. I will usually take a good plot over good characters, but this book is an exception. After the first 200 pages the plot deteriorates slightly but the detailed, interesting, believable characters almost make up for that fact. And unlike so many other authors, King isn't afraid to kill off a main character to keep us guessing.
A minor annoyance that I experiences was that because of the sheer amount of characters (and their different locations), this book tends to jump around a lot, which I found slightly frustrating at times. However, I don't know if it could have been helped.
I have had dreams about this book the week after I read it. It stands (no pun intended) as my first Stephen King book and I will probably read more of his work.
0Kommentar|Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 4. Februar 1999
Never has a book gone by so fast. King develops brilliant characters, most the sole survivors in their towns. The characters each have their own stories for a long while, each exciting novellas of their own. He has your excitment to a peak and then ends the chapter and goes back to another character he had left and does the same there. He ends up having you getting so into one character you forget the others and then he brings you back to them with an excitment that can best be described as that of opening a present on Chrismas morning...when you were 9. You become so involved that it hits you like a hammer when they meet up and you get excited about how they will get along. Yes, it is that good. No lack of character development here. Also, he starts in the world of today, and through a series of fully likely happenings comes to 6 billion people dieing in mere months. The story is wonderful. The characters are wonderful. It's a pure joy to read. Oh, and if you are frightened by the length of the book, don't be. I read the uncut hardback and loved it. And I'm only 14.
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am 26. März 2011
I got this book upon seeing all these great reviews. I have never been a Stephen King fan but I appreciate a good thriller (not sure I consider this horror genre really). I am now half way through and I am struggling to continue to read this. It dwells so much in the character's backgrounds/childhoods/traumas I forget where the main story left off or the other people's names when it does get going! I keep waiting for the story to get moving and I am still stuck in chapter upon chapter of character development I am bored to tears. So half way through I am tossing it. Gave it two stars-story had potential but became a flop for me.
11 Kommentar|Eine Person fand diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 25. Juni 2000
This book is the only book by Stephen King that was published in an abridged format first, before being published in full quite later on. The general idea is the destruction of the whole of humanity by a « superflu » - also called « Captain Trips » - germ produced in and leaked out of some military research center : biological warfare. This is a common theme in Stephen King's books or films. We find it in Firestarter, Golden Years, The Talisman (in collaboration with Peter Straub), and some others still. Only a few immune people survive, and there Stephen King revisits history. On one side, in Boulder, Colorado, the good ones, summoned and gathered by an old Christian black woman, Mother Abigail. The core group is composed of a deaf-mute man, an old intellectual university professor, a judge, a working-class Texan, a female student from Maine, a rock-star singer, and a mentally-retarded man. On the other side , the Devil, in the shape of the Dark Man (a common character in Stephen King's books like The Eyes of the Dragon, The Talisman, The Dark Tower, and some others, and also known as Flagg in some of these novels), also appearing as a crow, gathers in Las vegas all types of discontents, criminals and (ethics-deprived) technicians to revive the nuclear center and the air base near by and then to conquer the world. He hangs delinquents and those who resist his power (according to his law) to lampposts at street corners, like Hitler did with working class activists, trade-unionists and communists, crucifies some others, like the Romans did, and dismembers some more, like the Inquisition did. His main assistants are a killer he recuperated in a prison, and a crazy man, Trashcan Man, whose only pleasure was, has been and is to set things afire and blow up anything he may think of. The good ones have to save the world and can only do so by following Mother Abigail's recommendations she gets directly from God. Their first action is to send three spies. The judge will never reach Las Vegas. A girl will become the mistress of the ex-prison-inmate, and she will be discovered and will commit suicide. The mentally-handicapped man will survive and fulfill his mission because he is invisible to the Dark Man who can only see a moon (the man generally says M.O.O.N.-MOON to signify his understanding of some instruction or situation). But these were sent by the political governing committee of Boulder, duly elected by a general assembly of the brand-new community with the American flag, the American national anthem and democratic procedures in agreement with the American Constitution they revive for the occasion. But the old black lady, Mother Abigail, who had disappeared, unknown of all others, before that meeting, comes back later on and gives God's orders to send four (we may think of The Dark Tower, The Drawing of the Three, where the gunslinger draws three people from the normal world to save the underground supernatural world : a young boy, a drug-addict and a physically handicapped black woman in a wheelchair, thus building up a group of four) of the members of the governing board (the deaf-mute man, the old university professor, the Texan and the rock-star singer) to Las Vegas to be sacrificed there by being put to death by the Dark Man, also known as the Walking Dude, and thus save the world. The Texan will break his leg on the way and will be left behind with the old university professor's dog who will help him survive, thus reducing the pilgrims to three, a christian symbolical number. Later on the mentally-handicapped man will come across him and save him from a bad case of flu with the mental help of the deaf-mute, dead by now, who can speak in his visions. They will be the only two to come back in the middle of the winter, close to Christmas. This is both a realistic vision of the birth of Christ and the resurrection of the saving group. The others will be caught, interrogated and tortured, and finally set in place for public dismemberment. At this very moment the crazy man, Trashcan Man, arrives with an atom-bomb he has recuperated from the underground arsenal of the United States in Nevada, on a tractor. At this moment the magic of the Dark Man, his magical fire, will be redirected by God's hand onto the atom-bomb ; thus destroying the whole of Las Vegas, the Dark Man disappearing out of his shoes and clothes. He will find himself later on a quasi-deserted island, adopted by « savage » natives as some kind of God, thus starting his come-back. Then, the end is the possibility (that will only last as long as it will take the Dark Man to come back) for the good ones to feel free to go to various parts of the country, to become modern pioneers, to reconquer the world and reconstruct society nearly from scratch, with a symbolical birth from the female student in Boulder at a time that looks like Christmas. Life is possible again. What is essential here is that humanity in the midst of the worst catastrophy, goes back to the American democratic model, but also to the fascistic model. That is a typical case of the memory Stephen King has of both sides of history, the good one and the bad one, good and evil. But we note that humanity is saved by an old woman, a black woman, a Christian woman. She is the prophet of rebirth. This speaks to the minds of modern Americans engulfed as they are in long fights for civil rights (for the Blacks, the Indians or all ethnic minorities), for liberation of other groups such as women or gay people. We note that there is no gay element in any book by Stephen King, at least any obvious element that I have noticed, even if some relations between some men remind us of Whitman's « comradeship » or « camaraderie » between and among frontier men. Every element, like in all books by Stephen King, is symbolical. The new saviours are a deaf-mute man, a physically handicapped man (like in The Cycle of the Werewolf, also known as Silver Bullet, or in The Dark Tower, where the physically handicapped person is a black woman) and a mentally-handicapped man (such characters appear in other books too). In a way, a handicap is a key to the rebirth, the resurrection, the renaissance, the redeeming, the epiphany of humanity. Then we have an intellectual (like in The Dark Half - a writer, Salem's Lot - a writer, Pet Semetary - a doctor, by far more ambiguous, Misery - a writer, etc), a rock-star (This is less common, but references to rock music are extremely common in Stephen King's books, such as Christine), a working-class man (a common character indeed with the special case of Graveyard Shift), a female student (the role of girls and women is not marginal at all in Stephen King's books : The firestarter, Christine, Carrie, Cujo, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, Rose Madder, Dolores Claiborne, or even Misery). We could also point out the importance of kids as redeeming characters in these books. We work here on an alliance of the mind, the arts, industrial work, intellectual work, thinking. We could go into finer details in that symbolism. These symbolical elements come back again and again in Stephen King's novels. Humanity is always jeopardized by bad evil dark forces coming from men and women themselves, but led by men. But humanity always produces the individuals and the forces that can regenerate the world, though this regeneration is always temporary and requires some kind of faith, some kind of belief in the supernatural, in some other world, even if it is only literature. In fact Stephen King systematically explores all those worlds that lie beyond the limits of normalcy. But this regeneration is always temporary because humanity produces evil forces that can be easily manipulated by the Dark Man, « the Devil's pawn » as he is called in The Stand. The cycle of good and evil is always recurring. Even though Las Vegas has been totally destroyed, the Dark Man finds some new affiliates who will enable him to come back and exploit the darker side of human beings. Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, Universities of Paris IX and II
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am 11. Januar 2000
This book is basically about a government experiment gone wrong that wipes out 99% of the planets population. The survivors are drawn together through a series of disturbing dreams, some to the good side and the others to the bad side.
I will say that of the three Stephen King books that I have read I think this one is the best. I noticed that many other readers thought it was too long, but on the contrary, I think it was just right, if not too short.
First of all, it features multiple main characters. King gives the reader considerable detail into the lives and backgrounds of each character, which allows the reader to feel as though he or she knows the characters and has been in touch with the characters for a long time. You create a better mental image of the scenery that would not have been possible without the extra details. When they hurt, you feel their pain. When they are happy, you're happy for them. When they die, you feel sorry for them. You develop a caring and understanding for them that you would not have been able to do without the detailed descriptions.
Also, this book features illustrations in various chapters that helped augment the effects of King's phenomenal writing skills.
The three reasons I didn't give it 5 stars were because I didn't like the way that King didn't spend as much time on the bad guys as he did with the good; there were a few spelling errors that the editors missed (and I am not talking about the misspelled words that were intentionally misspelled for dialogue purposes); and there wasn't really a "stand" as the title says. Maybe he should have called it The Chain Letter of Death or something along that line.
Overall, I would recommend this book to those of you who can appreciate good character development and like science fiction because it appears be a 3-way split between suspense, horror, and sci-fi.
P.S. Please read my other reviews.
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am 3. Dezember 1999
I'm sure you read it all before, plague wipes out 99.5% of the worlds population, leaving about 3,000,000 or so people on the earth. Eventually, those people are going to (get together.)
In the story they wind up in Boulder, (all the good people) or Vegas, (all the damned people.) BUT, the only reason why this happened was because people were led to where they went by a higher power. Lets take away that higher power, and think what might actually happen when the dust clears! This is where this book captured my heart as the greatest work of fiction ever written. There is a conversation between a former college professor, (Glen Bateman, BA, MBA, MFA) and one of the lead charectors in the book, Stuart Redman. They meet on the road in New Hampshire, Glen is painting, Stu was walking from Vermont. MIND YOU, these two are meeting for the first time.
Well, Bateman begins to tell a story, his theory on how certain (post-plague) communities will succeed and certain ones will fail in the post appocolypse. His theories were grounded with thought, and research. He described how two (hypothetical) communities, one in Boston, on (Beacon Hill,) and one in Utica, (living out of cans,) and how they interact with each other because one has technology and one doesn't. How anyone can look at the future, and predict PROBLEMS that do not exist right now, the way King can do, in his stories is amazing. There are no words the describe the depth that was added to this book to suspend your dis-belief! I (me personally) felt like I was reading a story IN a story.
Even if you remove all of the (Dark-Christianity) from the story, the realism added to the book places you, (the reader,) as one of the post-plague survivers. Never before did I ever read such a log book, that I hoped would have been twice as long. Not a single loose end remained untied, not a single plot unexplained, everything came together in the end.
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