Stephen King's The Stand is a thrilling novel that portrays the forces of good against evil. In the year 1991, a plague strikes America, leaving only a few thousand people alive who are "immune" to the epidemic. Of the survivors, those who serve G-d instinctively join in Boulder, Colorado, while those who worship the "Dark Man" are drawn to Las Vegas, Nevada. The two groups separately re-build society, until one must destroy the other. Franni Goldsmith comes very close to killing herself. She thinks she can not deal with her parents' deaths, being unwed and pregnant, and having the only other survivor in her hometown of Ogunquit, Main be her recently deceased best friend's weird brother Harold Lauder. Fran puts aside her personal feelings for Harold aside, and goes with him to the place in her dreams, to Boulder, Colorado. On their way, they meet up with six people from various states in
who joined them on their journey. Fran is disturbed by her dreams, as all of them are by their own. She dreams of an old lady named Abigail, in Colorado. This lady is kind and loving and promises to protect them from the evil. In the dreams there is also a "Dark Man". He is always there lurking, waiting to attack. Harold admits to himself that he is in love with Fran and goes crazy when he realizes how serious Fran has become with Stuart Redman, one of the newcomers to their traveling group. Harold becomes insanely jealous and plots to separate them, even if it means murder. Harold doesn't admit it to any of them, but his dreams are different from theirs. In his dreams the "Dark Man" offers Harold power and respect, something Harold could never imagine in the past. Harold knows his destiny is to go to Las Vegas. The group arrives in Boulder, and soon after are joined by over one thousand others who dreamt of Abigail and this place. They inevitably form a society where they settled and has meetings to decide what they would do about the "Dark Man". Abigail tells the people that three of them, including Stuart, must be sent to destroy the "Dark Man". Meanwhile Harold secretly leaves with the "Dark Man's" bride-to-be, Nadine, to Las Vegas. Harold is ready to kill Stuart, but is killed instead by "the will of G-d". Nadine makes it safely to Las Vegas before Stuart and his two companions are about to be hanged. Out of the sky "the hand of G-d" comes and destroys the "Dark Man" sparing the three men. After much hardship, Stuart returns to Fran and her newborn son and together they plant the seeds of a new society. The Stand is a book about human nature. It shows people's inclination toward good or evil. Mostly, it shows how it is in man's nature to build society and to fight for his beliefs. I found this book to be extremely entertaining because it was well written and somewhat realistic, despite it's supernatural aspects. I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys roller coasters, horror movies, or a good old fashioned suspense novel.