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The Stand

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Grover Gardner
Length: 47 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,131 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.

And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides - or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail - and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.

In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.

Now Stephen King's apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition includes more than 500 pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.

For hundreds of thousands of fans who read or listened to The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King's gift. And those who are hearing The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.

©1978 Stephen King (P)2012 Random House

What the critics say

"A master storyteller." ( Los Angeles Times)
"[ The Stand] has everything. Adventure. Romance. Prophecy. Allegory. Satire. Fantasy. Realism. Apocalypse. Great!" ( The New York Times Book Review)
"As brilliant a dark dream as has ever been dreamed in this century." ( Palm Beach Post)

What members say

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Brilliant

I read the book years ago and fully enjoyed listening to the audio version. Brilliantly narrated by Grover Gardner. Add this one to your audio collection.

12 people found this helpful

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Excellent

The best novel Stephen king has ever written and Grover Gardner does an amazing job reading it #Audible1

8 people found this helpful

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  • rob
  • 2017-09-14

Fantastic

Totally worth my credit! Despite being long, I wanted more by the end. The reader was fantastic, brought the characters to life!

8 people found this helpful

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Not a fan of the reader but a great book.

So good, reader was meh. I really loved reliving this book again 10 years later.

3 people found this helpful

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Storytelling carries this long book

The book itself is quite long, however, the storytelling by Grover Gardner is extraordinary. While King's writing does get heavy, his ability to bring closure to a huge list of characters in this book is impressive. Constantly reminding the reader of Fran or Stu, to smaller characters like Dayna or Kojak, and where we have seen them before.

There's a reason they call him the King of Horror. King's ability to piece together a vivid mental mosaic of the horrifying near extinction of modern society creates a perfect premise for which we begin this tumultuous adventure.

I avidly recommend this.

- B

3 people found this helpful

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Captivating

#Audible1 one of the best audiobook I have ever listened to. Great story and performance!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Presentation of a Classic Story

Living in The Stand's universe for 48 some hours was a deeply entertaining and immersive experience thanks to a combination of Stephen King's excellent world-building, and Grover Gardner's fearless commitment to the material.

#Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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Amazing narrator

Loved it. Personally had a few false starts with it, but I think it was mostly reluctance to tackle something that's 47 hours long. Well worth it though! amazing narration and story. Great characters.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story

The Stand is excellent. Narration was good, but narrator's female voice was a little weak.

2 people found this helpful

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One of King's Best

This story immersed the reader. Within a few paragraphs, you are part of the world King is creating. He is a master of creating different plotlines then weaving them together, nearly seamlessly.

Performance by Grover Gardiner in this instance is fantastic

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gretchen SLP
  • 2019-10-21

Absorbing But Dated Apocalypse ☄️💥⚰️⚰️⚰️⛪️👁🙏

Nobody’s perfect, and few authors are perfect (Virginia Woolf put the number at two: William Shakespeare and Jane Austen). I like and respect Stephen King, and am sure the world has benefited from his existence. We are better off for having him among us.

And I mostly enjoyed the experience of reading this book. I finished the entire thing in a week or so, always eager to discover what would happen next.

That said, this book has some serious problems, and if this is his best, it’s hard to have confidence that the others will be any good at all. I wish he had taken the time to do a serious edit before the 1990 reissue, instead of just adding back in the 400 pages that the publisher forced him to cut in 1978 for budgetary reasons. There’s not only a lot that should have been cut (no road trip lasting for months should make the READER feel like it’s taking months to advance the plot), there’s a ton that should have been added or changed. The casual racism of the book alone is embarrassing. In a world in which 99% of all people die randomly, why does the surviving 1% include no (or almost no) people of color? Why is a black woman always referred to as a black woman, while a white woman is just a woman? And for the love of all that is good and pure, why would the face of evil incarnate EVER be referred to as the Black Man when he goes by about ten other names in the story?

The casual sexism of the book is also surprising coming from an ostensibly liberal thinker like King. His favorite female character, Frannie, gives up all her own goals and dreams the second she finds out she’s pregnant, even though she has no wish to remain with the father. As soon as she becomes somebody’s “woman,” what little personality she had is largely eclipsed. She’s a vessel for procreation, nothing more. Three new, strong, interesting female characters are introduced. This looks promising. These three are warriors. I’m looking forward very much to their heroism in the final battle between good and evil. Nope. The author kills them off and nobody sheds a tear. The road trips—Tolkienlike in their seemingly endless quality—involve groups of exclusively male leaders. The women literally stay home reading recipe books and baking pies, even when there’s no electricity.

I have a special bone to pick with the author over the character of the “deaf mute” Nick Andros. I know King has said he hates to do research, but for crying out loud, surely by 1978, or at least by 1990, he could have bothered to discover that deaf people, if they remain silent, are doing so by choice, and that their vocal cords are by no means defective? A deaf person absolutely can and will cry out in fear and pain if physically assaulted. Also, deaf people are capable of being brilliant just like hearing people are, but even the most gifted among them likely won’t write like Shakespeare, especially if they were never educated. And where’s any mention of ASL as a method of communication?

Also, as a breastfeeding advocate for new mothers and their infants, I’d like to know what earthly reason there could be for refusing to allow a new mother to nurse her infant on demand just because he is ill. Surely, even without doing any research, as a parent himself King is aware that breast milk helps to confer some level of protection, if not total immunity, from diseases. Given that the infant’s mother has immunity from the Superflu, it would have seemed especially important to encourage that mother to breastfeed, not tell her she can only try it “in a week or so,” at which point successful lactation would likely be very difficult, if not impossible.

And I join the legions of King fans who wished for a better ending. If you’re going to complicate the apocalypse by throwing in Christian theology (and do forget polytheism, or even Islam or Judaism; Christmas is the only holiday observed in the post apocalyptic world) and you’re going to bother to spend an entire 800 pages setting up and preparing the reader for an enormous confrontation between good and evil, then by god, have an epic battle at the end, Harry Potter and Voldemort style! Don’t just end it all with a literal bang and a whimper! Holy Christmas, that was disappointing. And I hated seeing my favorite characters die (often in mundane ways) while less important characters lived. The stereotypical male/female relationship of Stu and Fran is so all-important to King that after we are forced to suffer through chapter after chapter and month after month of the final road trip of three characters as they journey back to Boulder, he seemingly forgets to even tell us, much less show us, what happened to the other two once Stu is reunited with Fran. (The fact that one of those two forgotten characters is the story's only canine character is NOT going to sit well with readers who are dog lovers, and anyone who loves or works with an individual with an intellectual disability will not appreciate the sudden and unexplained disappearance of the book’s sole intellectually challenged character, who should have been the hero.)


Despite all this, the Plague chapters at the beginning were worth the price of admission all by themselves, and Grover Gardner’s narration is fantastic (except for one time when he attributes a statement about a woman to “the woman “ instead of “the judge” as written).

Grade: B
Bechdel test: Pass, I think, just barely.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Meaghan Bynum
  • 2012-02-20

My First Completed Stephen King Novel

Before I get into my review, I have to say I've been terribly disappointed in a lot of the reviews of this book. The book is almost 48 hours long, yet most people barely have two sentences to say about it. I know most people have read this edition before, but for people like me, there aren't that many helpful reviews.
I've read many many books in my time, but nothing has ever captured my attention the way The Stand did. It starts off with a sick man plowing into a gas station and spreading the disease to about 3 or 4 people there. However, what intrigued me the most was not the characters themselves, but how they changed and grew. There are some obviously "Good" people, and there are some "Bad" ones. However, I felt like King also put some in the middle. He left room for people to change. The story, for me, was not predictable or dull, and by my experience, most 48 hour long books do get dull somewhere. This one never did. The narrator was fantastic. I thought he did a fabulous job. I can't recommend this book enough. I'm glad I started it, but I will warn you, you won't want to put it down. I finished it in 6 days if that tells you anything. Thank you audible for giving me the opportunity to enjoy this masterpiece. I will definitely be revisiting it again.

1,027 people found this helpful

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  • Hunter
  • 2012-03-27

Well worth the credit

I have seen some complaints about people not giving an idea of what the story is about, so here it is briefly: It is not a "horror" novel, even though it is billed as one. In the beginning of the story a super flu wipes out most of the earth's population. There is no gratuitous gore, but there are some scenes dealing with lots of dead people. The rest of the book is about the struggle of the survivors to survive, and the battle between good and evil, God and the devil.

Stephen King's talent lies in his ability to spin a tale, to develop interesting characters that you can relate to, to put you in the mind of his characters, and make you live the story. In that regard this is one of his best works. I first read the original story probably 25 years ago, and it made a lasting impression on me. The extended version is even better.

Highly recommend this one. At first I had a neutral opinion of Grover Gardner' s voice, but after a while I grew to enjoy his narration quite a bit.

228 people found this helpful

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  • Keith
  • 2012-02-22

Worth the wait!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Stand to be better than the print version?

From what I've listened to so far the narrator (Grover Gardner) does a great job! He pulled me into the story with no distracting affectation that you get from so many other recorded books of the horror/fantasy genre. However, the daunting 48 hour listen may have me augmenting the audio edition with my paperback.

What other book might you compare The Stand to and why?

Grant's Pass - by Amanda PIller. A post-apocalyptic anthology, well written and very fun to read. At times I felt that this collection was the 'lost chapters' of The Stand.
Swan's Song - A very good read in the same vein, Robert McGammon is another of my favorites (unrelated but other great books by him: Boy's Life and Going South)
The Road - by Cormac McCarthy. Grittier and darker than The Stand but evocative (the book is better than the movie and I liked the movie)

Which scene was your favorite?

Gosh, so many! - the tunnel, the...hey, I'm not gonna spoil this for first timers! Read it and love it! Once everyone is up to speed, I may update this.

Any additional comments?

To all those folks who won't read this just because it's by Stephen King - please do yourself a favor and get this book. Although is has some 'horrific' scenes, the character development and story arc are some of the best I've ever read. Don't be put off by his reputation as Master of Horror - he's also a Master Storyteller; remember, this is the same author who gave us Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption.

Now, if we can just get Peter Jackson to take a peak at this little book....

247 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-01-15

Man this was long.. but man was this worth it!!

47 hours. I listen mainly on the way too and from work. This took almost two months to finish. There were times that I was ready for it to be over.. but then something so poignant and superbly written would be read by Grover Gardner and I was in love with the book all over again. I know that King wanted this to be his "Lord of the Rings", his epic tale of the fight between good and evil and it was thrilling and gripping and left me laughing and smiling and loving the characters. I loved how well Grover Gardner narrated the different voices for the characters. He truly is one of the best out there. And every time Tom Cullens says, "Laws yes", I had to smile. Fantastic book. Don't give up on it- go on the journey, you won't regret it!

14 people found this helpful

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  • Grant
  • 2012-05-24

A Post-Apocaltyptical Brain Vacation

Unlike many diehard King Fans, I never read The Stand as a teen. In fact, I only got into King after appreciating much of his later work, like Duma Key, Under the Dome and 11-22-63. This completely unabridged reworking of the original, with many previously cut passages re-added by he author, is a gem. A vacation for the brain. Normally, I view a book this long (48 full hours!) as a mountain to scale. But King turns long works into something more like a wave that is ridden. I listened to the whole thing at normal speed, with complete and utter enjoyment. The characters in this book are both lovable and despicable. There's no waste or self-indulgence here. Just damn good storytelling. More. Please.

102 people found this helpful

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  • bonita
  • 2012-02-14

It's finally here! Complete and uncut!

I've read this complete and uncut novel before, as it was available via the National Library Service for the Blind. But alas, it was just available for rent. But now, some 22 or so years since it was released in its entirety, I couldn't help buying it. It was actually the first thing I did when waking up on Feb 14th since audible gave me the heads up concerning it arriving on audio.

Don't pass this title up. Most of King's fans say that it is his best work ever. Well, for me it ties with It and The Dark Tower series.

Having read both versions-- this uncut doorstop of a novel, and the dinky little 800 someodd pager published in the late 70's... I prefer the one you're hopefully about to download or have already downloaded. I wouldn't have purchased the original edited edition if Random House had released it. So don't let the title confuse you, folks. It is indeed the complete and uncut edition, and well it should be. King himself says he can't abide abridged audio books. Well spoken, wordslinger! And we all say thank ya.

My opinion of said novel? C'mon, it's Stephen King. And it is one of my all time favorites which I at long last own. It's a post apocalyptic epic featuring one of the best villains of all time. It's got romance, horror, etc. Just use a credit and buy it already! Now to submit this and take care of this bothersome stuffy nose and cough of mine.

264 people found this helpful

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  • Suzn F
  • 2012-03-21

I'm a Fan

I can't say that this is my very favorite SK book ever, but I did really love it. I liked the characters so much. Nick who couldn't hear or speak yet he had so much to say and many people followed him. I have had dreams like this where we are all beginning again and SK makes it all come alive in his book. Grover Gardner is one of my favorite narrators ever, what talent!!!!! Yea this is a good one for sure.

64 people found this helpful

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  • Derek B.
  • 2012-02-14

Downloaded at 2 am on the 14th

I downloaded this just as soon as it showed up and so far I can tell you a couple of things:

#1. The reader is doing his part and his style fits what I was expecting!

#2. The story, for those that don't know what it is about, is classic King but with an apocalyptic type of plot. The character building is huge and wonderful here but don't worry your self as it DOES NOT SLOW DOWN THIS BOOK at all. King gives us maybe the biggest and best set of characters that he has ever had published and I'm not kidding about that!!!

#3. The overall feel of this classic is ....well it's just classic! It got me from the first few minutes on and carried me on a journey that somehow leaves no doubt that I learned a few things that are useful in life, but I'm biased when it comes to The Stand as it has had a place in my heart for years. If you are looking to get into a very long book that will teach, scare, bring sadness and joy as well as new memorable characters into your thoughts then you have found a classic for sure!

Just keep that in mind that many of us readers are revisiting this book in it's new form and are only looking for word that the reader has delivered what Stephen King wrote for us many years ago so all the reviews may not be what a new reader is looking for. I hope I was able to give you a review that will help in some way.

144 people found this helpful

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  • andres
  • 2018-09-19

King at his best and worst

Story starts off great. Good world, great characters. About half way through the book the story completely falls apart. King is completely focused on his characters and lets the narrative fall apart. Ends up being unreadable. There is no narrative holding the world together. It is just an initial world and some characters run amok. It feels like King had no idea how the book was going to end. He just had an initial premise and some interesting characters, put them together and wrote the book chapter by chapter. I am all about character development, but without a good STORY to place the characters into, a book becomes an exercise in character development rather than an interesting piece of fiction. Terrible book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • FantomWriter
  • 2016-08-06

Excellent !

Avez-vous d'autres commentaires ?

Voici une excellente histoire mais très long. Je ne sais pas si je l'aurais apprécié autant en livre. Grover Gardner a fourni une magnifique lecture qui arrivait à garder mon attention même dans les longueurs de la narration. Le résultat : une très bonne expérience tout du long.

4 people found this helpful

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  • D
  • 2018-10-18

Mammoth storytelling

The reader is fantastic, mammoth story brought to life. Stephen King brilliant as always is.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michael
  • 2020-04-14

A really great book

This was a great read. More than just ‘genre’ fiction.

I had to remind myself that this book was written before I was born, and some of the language and perspectives of the characters and narrators aren’t socially progressive by today’s standards, even though it was set in the future which of course now the past !

The voice actor’s use of regional accents adds a lot to making the characters come alive. This is a long listen but for me the story never dragged.

One of the best reads in a long time

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-07-03

When the good adaptation?

The voice acting was amazing. I can't unearned Grover Gardner chanting "Baby can you dig your man?". Can she?

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  • Pauline D.
  • 2019-06-01

Vive l'apocalypse

Un des meilleurs romans de Stephen King, une histoire noire à souhait à vous empêcher de dormir. Le livre est certes assez long mais vous ne verrez pas le temps passer, on s'attache très facilement aux personnages ou au contraire on souhaite leur mort assez vite. Bref on ne peut pas rester indifférent devant The Stand. Les rebondissements et dénouements sont menés de main de maître bien que certains passages soient évidents.

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  • Carlos Breddels
  • 2019-02-26

I hate to ride that band wagon but....

une histoire indémodable, un décor post apocalyptique mais réaliste, des personnages accessibles et complexes comme on les aime chez le grand Stephen King et le narrateur c'est peut être le plus doué de tous; Grover Gardner... des frissons garantis !