I Just Finshed King’s The Stand and I Think the Ending Sucked


I grew up reading Stephen King, so I’ve always had a soft spot for the guy.  I’ve read tons of his novels – Misery, Pet Semetary, Cujo, Eyes of the Dragon, The Bachman Books, just to name a few – but I never got around to reading The Stand.  Many people have told me that The Stand is one of, if not the, best novels King has written, and at over 800 pages, I knew reading it would be quite an investment of time.  I think King is a damn good writer.  Don’t get me wrong, he’s no F. Scott Fitzgerald or even Bret Easton Ellis, but he’s a helluva lot better than the Dean Koontzes and John Grishams out there, too.  So how did The Stand turn out? I was more than just a little disappointed.  Keep reading to find out why.  Major spoilers, obviously.


As is the case in most of King’s novels, the characters in The Stand have depth and feel like real people, complete with flaws, quirks, and even accents.  I think part of the reason I disliked the ending so much – more on that in just a bit – is because I had grown to really care about the characters.  I was fully invested in many of their fates.  Would Larry Underwood find redemption after spending his whole life an an arrogant jerk?  Would Stu Redman, a simply dude from East Texas, become one of the saviors of humanity?  Because the characters were so well-defined and seemed so real, the ending of The Stand totally undermined all that King had built up.  OK, so let’s get to the ending itself…

Randall Flagg – one of the coolest fictional villains in recent memory – has imprisoned Larry Underwood and Ralph Brentner in a pair of cages outside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  A crowd of Flagg’s followers gather around, anticipating Larry and Ralph being literally pulled apart.  The prisoners are at Flagg’s mercy, and all they can do is pray to God that things end well.  One of Flagg’s followers – Whitney – stands up to Flagg and, full of fear, tells him that what Flagg is doing has gone way too far.  Other members of the crowd agree, but they’re too scared of Flagg to say anything.  A savant of sorts and also a follower of Flagg, Trashcan Man arrives before the executions are carried out.  Trash has brought with him an atomic bomb that he found in the desert, presenting it to Flagg and hoping to make amends with him (Trash had previously sabotaged many of Flagg’s assets, including helicopters).


Flagg, who is much more than a man – you could say he is the personification of evil or, in The Stand, an Antichrist figure – emits a small, blue ball of electricity from his left index finger.  The crowd gasps as the ball moves toward Whitney.  It scorches Whitney’s skin and kills him before hovering in the air and increasing in size.  Ralph screams to Larry to look at the ball, claiming that it is the Hand of God (and Larry thinks that it does indeed look like the Hand of God) before the ball moves down toward the atomic bomb.  The bomb is detonated and everyone is Las Vegas, righteous and unrighteous alike, is killed.  There’s a bit of resolution regarding Stu Redman, Tom Cullen, Frannie Goldsmith and the rest of the Free Zone, but as for the big climax, that’s it.  Over 700 pages of buildup to a final confrontation, and essentially all we get is a big fat Deus ex machina.


So what does the ending mean?  Frankly, I think King invested so much time in his characters and the final confrontation between the members of the Free Zone and Flagg’s people in Vegas that he didn’t know how to end the story.  And this isn’t an uncommon aspect of a lot of King’s stories – the set up is terrific, the characters are fleshed out, but the story totally falls apart at the end.  In fact, in On Writing, King himself states that he creates his characters, puts them in interesting situations, and then simply writes.  I imagine that must have been the process here.  Why would the Hand of God come from Flagg himself?  What was the point of the members of the Free Zone traveling to Vegas in the first place?  King isn’t big on metaphor (and if he is, it’s high school-level metaphor, like a Christ figure), and so I take his ending to be fairly straightforward.

I have no regrets about reading The Stand, as the journey itself was enjoyable.  That said, I found myself incredibly disappointed with the ending.  King built up a huge, climactic confrontation, and in just a few pages, he nonsensically created a phenomenon that wasn’t remotely symbolic.  Essentially, King wrote a giant escape hatch into his novel.  Maybe someone can help me interpret the ending, but I’m pretty sure that’s all there is to it.  In fact, after I finished, I called two friends who I knew had read The Stand, too, and they both admitted being quite let down.  For those of you who’ve read The Stand, what did you think?  Were you as disappointed as I was?

  • ComfortableMadness

    I’m a big fan of King. However, his best writing, IMO, has been done under the Richard Bachman disguise. The Stand ending is pretty much the status quo of King endings. The Dark Tower was, much like you said, a great journey but as far as the ending goes, meh.

  • aechy

    Is it that the endings are bad, or that there’s no real way for him to end something that is so good? What would have been an acceptable ending, another 300 pages of redemption stories? Did you see the end of LOTR(movie, sadly)? It took 45 minutes of 8 different “endings.”

  • JZ

    The ending was perfect. Have you read the Dark Tower series? Theres a seven book journey with what I am guessing you would deem a bad ending. Endings are just that, the end of the story. I dont know what you expect to happen. I think King got across what he wanted to say, and told an excellent story.

  • Madison

    @ ComfortableMadness

    I LOVE the Bachman Books; The Long Walk is one of my favorite novellas.

    I probably would have been more disappointed if I wasn’t so familiar with King. It’s not like this is a concept unique to The Stand, as you said.

    @ aechy

    The whole journey, as I said, was terrific…and I don’t need redepmtion, or even necessarily resolution. I just wanted something that was maybe a bit more consistent with the themes and characters that had been building up for 700+ pages…

    @ JZ

    No, it wasn’t. By your argument, it’s as if any ending to a story is good, since it’s simply an ending. I agree that King told an excellent story, but see my comment above to aechy as to why it didn’t work.

  • Bill

    The unabridged version has a Coda wherein Flagg apparently escaped “divine justice” and hit Africa…I imagine that King wanted Flagg to survive since he’s popped up in so many of King’s other books including the Dark Tower series and Eyes of the Dragon

  • Madison

    @ Bill

    It was my impression that Flagg is immortal, essentially evil personified. Hence his appearance in those other titles.

  • Rob

    Its been a fair while since i read the book, so before i read your review i took a moment and tried to remember what it was that i really loved about that book.

    I came up with some of the same things that you did:
    -the characters were facinating in the way that they appeared more alive then usual fictional characters since they were flawed and i loved that part of his story.
    -the chapter that he spends relating the various ways that those people who were “lucky” enough to survive the plague die due to various expected things was amazing. A lot of these apocolypse stories either don’t touch on that aspect, or they just state “you either died in the (enter horrible event here) or you lived”. I like that there is a reference in the Stand to those that survived and couldn’t make it.
    -the story up to the end is stunning, you feel afraid for the characters, you feel sorrow and joy, he truely created some fascinating characters and left them in a dense and diverse story.

    As for what i had issue with, i totally agree the ending has always felt like a “hmm so now i am here….where do i go from here….” A friend who is religious has his own idea that the “hand of god” isn’t comng from Flagg persay, instead he created the energy but that because there were people of faith in the face of flagg, god could manipulate it. I can’t really argue with the way he sees it, but it doesnt strike me in the same way.

    One thing you might want to look at is there was a movie made of The Stand in….i think the 80’s? cant quite remember, but i do remember is was like 6 or 8 VHS cassettes long, and as far as i rememember i liked the ending there a bit better then the books… but i might be wrong its been bout 10 or 12 years since i saw it.

    Good review btw=) You might also enjoy “Dies the Fire” by S. M. Stirling, its also a apocolypse esc book series but is also very interesting.


  • Madison

    @ Rob

    I don’t think your friend’s interpretation is “wrong” per se, but that’s not what I got out of it. King didn’t make that clear. From your response, I assume you agree with me. There was really nothing to indicate that that was what was going on.

    I may actually pick up the Marvel comics series at some point; I’d rather read than put in all that investment to a movie. Although I imagine it’ll be remade at some point, right?

    Thanks a lot for reading.

  • Rob

    everything else is being remade these days, it’ll likely be on the list eventually. At which point given the trend of remades either:

    the ending will be better, but the story will suffer.


    the ending will be equally as vague, and the story “may” suffer


  • Don Megalo

    I loved the book but agree that the ending was weak.

    You really need to read the Dark Tower series though, it is his best work.

  • thejackyl

    Yeah, I agree, the ending was stupid. It felt like he just got exhausted and was like “fuck it, God kills everyone”. And then to add insult to injury we get to sit through 100 pages of Stu and Tom’s fuckin’ camping trip…fuck Stu. The only reason he survived was because he fell down a mountain like an idiot, and then was saved from death by another idiot.

  • Madison

    @ thejackyl

    Ha! Like your interpretation.

  • Bigmike1982

    I agree, the novel itself was fantastic and the ending was a let down, I mean come on, what are the odds all of Flaggs plans folding at one time, but I think after seven hundred pages you have to either stop and add another book or say f**K it, I was more curious how the free zone would turn out. And why make Stu travel all that way just to break a leg, it was like he was writing like he meant for him to die with the others but had a change of heart about him and Franny and her baby, and also I think the baby was meant to die, i.e. Franny seeing an empty crib when visiting mother Abagails’ deathbed, I think he was going darker but changed his mind. King seems to do that starts leading you one way and then goes off into another, still my fav modern horror/suspense author.

  • Madison

    @ Bigmike1982

    I actually thought that maybe Flagg would come back as Fran’s baby. That would have been awesome.

  • malaleb

    I just finished it last night, and while I was initially a little disappointed with how abruptly the action ended, I don’t the think the climax could have been any different.

    I agree with Rob’s friends about the “hand of god” literally being from God. It reminds me of one of those Old Testament stories where the prophets of the idol will do some sort small miracle/magic trick and then God goes “Oh yeah? Well, can you do this?” and one ups the false prophets with a bigger miracle. It is this combined with the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the destruction of the Israelites worshiping the Golden Calf (which was referred to in the book). Since human civilization has returned to a more unorganized and chaotic time, God has started working in ways more akin to Old Testament stories.]

    I also think it is effect BECAUSE it is so much different than what you expect. The four free zone characters set out for Las Vegas with no clue as to what will happen. The reader doesn’t know what will happen either, and just when the reader thinks he has it figured out (Oh hey, it looks like all of the people of Las Vegas are going to rise up and kill Flagg!), King completely subverts your expectation, showing that God (and authors) often work in mysterious and unexpected ways.

    I also think it is a satisfying ending to the main characters. Larry shows that he is not just a “taker” by almost becoming a sacrifice that allows people to see Flagg at his most evil. Ralph, despite being a more minor character, gets to be glorified by his hero’s death. The purpose of all of the Free Zone members traveling to Las Vegas only to die was to show Randall and his followers that Randall only has power over people if they let him.

    I feel like the uncut version of the book, which adds another 100 pages or so of ending, might be better because the relatively low key adventure of Stu and Tom traveling in the snow gives the reader time to reflect on the big confusing scene that just happened.

  • Madison

    @ malaleb

    I have to say, your point about Larry sacrificing was quite insightful. There’s a well-developed character arc right there.

    Your point about God working in “Old Testament” ways is also insightful.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • DpDawg

    Actually, I thought the ending was perfect as a Christian allegory. King takes the remaining “bad people,” has them gather in one place, and the explosion leaves the rest of N. America “free” to rebuild. It is much like the Flood, with only a chosen few surviving. Flag as the Antichrist can only act according to God’s will, so God wanted Trash to return w/ a bomb, God wanted Whitney to speak out, God wanted Flagg to show off and fry him, and then directed the ball lightening (?) to the bomb to wipe the earth clean with fire. Larry, Ralph and Glen were martyrs sent to complete the plan, so that none of Flagg’s people would be away (Although I always assumed his colonies in Oregon, California, and Washington continued to function but without the “Let’s Destroy Boulder” vibe). I was unaware of the unabridged version, but I always hoped there would be some sort of sequel to see if Glenn was correct- did humanity re-colonize the world, where did they go and why, how they did it, etc. It was always doubtful the Flagg could “die,” but certainly his corporeal self could be destroyed. Just my 2 cents.

  • Madison

    @ DpDawg

    Not a bad theory, but maybe a bit too much determinism for my taste. It seems as though free will is almost completely out of the equation.

  • Korinthian

    King isn’t really an above-average author. His hook is that he writes about interesting subjects and you can often tell that he doesn’t know how a book will end when he’s writing it.

    Personally I found The Stand too long for such a poor book, and yes, the ending was disappointing.

  • LordChristo

    I know this is kinda old, but the Marvel comics revisioning (well, not really, but whatever) is awesome so far. I highly recommend giving it a shot. The art’s fantastic, and. . . well, it certainly is easier then plowing through 9 billion pages of the book.

  • Madison

    @ LordChristo

    Maybe I will check that out, thanks.

  • RunningFox

    I just finished The Stand. Been reading reviews to find out what interpretations people had of the ending. Most seem disappointed at the Deu Ex Machina ending to the story and I can undersatnd why. On the one hand, it does appear an awful lot like King simply ran out of steam and had God himself come down and bring about the end.

    So did I like the ending? I remain undecided. But here’s my interpretation: First of all, I’m not so sure “The Hand of God” in literal terms was responsible for setting off the Nuke. I’m sure it was God who intervened, but did he reveal himself as a Hand, like He did in the cheesy movie version? No, I don’t think he did. From what I remember, Ralph looked up into the sky at the ball of light, and his faith, his longing for God at that moment to “show up” is what lead him to “believe” he saw the Hand of God. And because Larry was in the same state of mind, he saw the same thing too. It isn’t mentioned as far as I can remember that anyone else actually SAW the Hand of God at all.

    I’m a big fan of the TV show Lost, and I love how ambigious the show is. But I’m afraid the religious aspects of the show were a bit too on the nose for me regardless of whatever form God actually appeard in.

  • Madison

    @ RunningFox

    I don’t think I agree with your interpretation. If it wasn’t God that set off the nuke, then what was it? It was a blue ball of flame – or something like that – and was clearly supernatural in nature. It wasn’t figurative, because everyone saw it. The hand itself may have been, but I doubt it based simply on people already being aware of the supernatural.

    I may have to see the movie version!

  • Drikkirichards

    The ending was kind of a letdown but not that unusual, and telegraphed if you were paying attention. I’ve watched A LOT of movies and it is a common theme that as the capital EVIL gets bigger and bigger it starts to lose track of things like Flags holes in in ‘vision’ of things. Flag not ‘seeing’ Nadine killing herself. The eye of mordor(sp?) not seeing Froto coming. I could name other such plot devices in other movies. Evil gets careless and the Good guys manage to escape or at least the Evil is punished. The energy was supposed to kill the good guys but Flag lost control to the ultimate good. The nuke was not set off by Trash the ‘Hand of God'(was it really even a hand or was that just imagined by one of the characters?)set it off, as was mentioned in a previous post. The prisoners KNEW their trip was a sacrifice that was somehow necessary to keep the others safe also telegraphed in the lead in to the end. The moral of King’s story’s are often sophomoric but they are like the new age fairy tales and the morals of old being retold in new stories. Morals can be so simplistic as a few (or 1 person as in Terminator 2 or Armageddon)good people must sacrifice themselves for the good of the many. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few as a famous star trek quote. I’m so far down on the comments prolly no one will see this but i have read this book quite a few times and have seen something new in it each time I read it. I read it when i was in jr high and in high school and then the unabridged version when i was in my mid twenties and different things stood out to me at different times. Definitely a unique book for such a.. I can’t think of a word that pegs King he is definitely a unique writer outstanding horror and fantasy yet some of his books fall into neither category but the one thing they all seem to have in common they make you think. I think his biggest problem may be the very fact that he writes so much, his self described diarrhea of the word processor, that he starts to copy himself(It and Tommyknockers when broken down to a single sentence description would be the same sentence nearly) At times, I think, he does write himself into a corner. The Dark Tower series ending was a HUGE disappointment but the journey was exciting. I think that ending was rushed because of real life events not by planning, he was trying to end a story before his own life story ended. Fortunately he survived and maybe and unabridged version will appear that makes the ending make more sense. I digress, The Stand was an excellent book and the Mini Series while good also trivializes some aspects and at the same time I don’t think a feature of only Two hours or so would come close to doing it justice IMO. You can respond to me a drikkirichards@yahoo.com

    • Honest Iago

      I read it 🙂 After 7 years

    • Gina-Greg Knisley

      I read your comments as well! thought Id let you know.

  • Jose

    Ending stupid. Don’t bother to read.

  • archworf

    What hubris to assume “the end” of the book is over a hundred pages away from the last words King wrote! Stu’s return is not epilogue but the completion of the protagonist’s arc. Did Tolkien (or even Jackson, who truncated “The Ordering of The Shire”) say “Right, mate, the Ring is gone, THE END. Who cares about the PEOPLE WHO THE BOOK IS ABOUT?” Tell you what, guys, write ONE BOOK that anybody other than a loved one could even finish, then get back to me before blogging ” I Just Complete Misunderstood CARRIE and Don’t Know Why it Didn’t End When The Bucket of Pig Blood Hit Tommy in the Head ?!”

  • Madison

    @ archwolf

    Sorry, but character arc and a satisfying ending aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Hubris? Hardly.

  • Addy

    I fully agree with your analysis of ‘The Stand’ , in fact , it is pretty much how I felt about the ending , which was a major disappointment after a fantastic buildup.

    Like you say , King’s main strength is his characterisation and fleshing out the little idiosyncrasies all readers love. ‘The Stand’ is purported to be his magnum opus , and to an extent it is , but the ending is a major blemish which is hard to ignore.

    Larry Underwood was a character I had come to really like and you would think there was redemption at the end for him(and I don’t mean death by the ‘hand of god’) but he was swiftly eliminated along with all the major characters except Stu to facilitate an unsatisfying ending. Nick Andros , who was a deaf-mute , was also killed off in a blast. Realistic endings are nice but in this case it was obvious that King had no clue how to end what he had started , so he decided to cop out by killing everybody.

    A better plot could have had two growing groups led by two opposing forces , developing independently of each other , starting society from the very beginning in their own way and finally meeting in a grand battle , good vs evil , god vs satan etc etc. It would have made it even longer but I think that point is moot because it was pretty long to begin with.

    I have to say , i found it massively underwhelming after the fantastic first half with Captain Trips and how it spread through America and the superb character development(King is the best at it , no doubt). It did not even make sense , I am afraid.
    I also dislike the way King introduces dispensable characters(Dayna , Judge , Weizak) for the sole purpose of ‘increasing the body count’ so to speak.

    Anyway , the book was like a great evening drinking fine wine only to end up throwing up at the end of it, that is how I feel about it.

  • Jeff

    Yeah, I agree – The Stand as a book was amazing… until the end. But if you are a King fan, you expect it somewhat. He definitely runs out of steam and ideas due to his writing approach. He never plans a plot according to On Writing (or rarely – Maximum Overdrive he actually did plan out). The downside of that approach is sometimes you write your characters (and story) into a corner and the only way out is to simply end it with a plot device. To me, it makes the book flawed and only half of what it could have been. His biggest flop on that weakness though to me was IT, come on – it was an alien? Really? It surprises me the Stand actually got by his initial readers, agent and editor with such a crappy ending – such a shame.

  • JoMan

    King said in an interview he wanted GOD to be a major character in the book, rather than an abstract concept that shuns vampires when they see a cross. He thought “why is God only important in the form of the cross, why is his influence not more fleshed out”. So, in this story he made God an ongoing part of the story and an obvious (often thought as overly-obvious) appearance by God at the end as having been involved in the plight of the “good side.” The “overly-obvious” work of God at the end of the story was meant to “shine a light” on King’s desire to make God a character in the story. To make God more interpretive or metaphorical, as in many stories, such as LOTR, was just not on his agenda. Did it work well, not really, but, I guess, King wanted it and did it, for good or bad.

  • BillS

    I’m a little surprised by the people who criticize the ending of The Stand because Stephen King employs a deus ex machina to resolve it. Meanwhile they missed that it was God’s hand that wiped out over 99 percent of the population in the first place.

    The Stand is very similar to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark. Instead of a super-flu, God creates a great flood that cleanses the earth; laying waste most of humanity, while sparing none but a handful of good people and animals, of course. What’s different in The Stand is that this time, the Devil has a dog in the fight named Randall Flagg and Mother Abigail, his level adversary, represents the side of God as the leader of the Free Zone. So we wind up with two societies, one good, one evil, both who’s own choices will make its fate and determine who will inherit the earth. HEAVY; and it’s important to note that King seems to be making a point by having God reboot civilization by means of its own evil invention. Poetic.

    Several readers are of the opinion that the ending trivializes the Free Zone’s heroic and epic journey to halt the threat of those on the other side of the fence, that fence being the Rocky Mountains no less. If you’ve read this book and you came to that conclusion yourself, then it’s no wonder why you’d feel let down.

    So, here’s what I think some of you missed. If the Free Zone hadn’t sent Stu, Larry, Glen and Ralph to Las Vegas to stand against Randall Flagg and his minions, then Randall’s anger wouldn’t have led him to expose the depth of his depravity by orchestrating the public torture and execution of both surviving Free Zoners Larry Underwood and Ralph Brentner. It was this act of barbarity that drove minion Whitney Horgan to protest in front of the public gathering and it was in that moment of humility and feelings of betrayal that Randall, like everyone else who had survived the flu epidemic, made a choice. Using his magic he produced a hot blue ball of lightening, made for ruin. His choice was revenge.

    Randall Flagg worked his evil invention both to kill Whitney and to amaze the now turning crowd back into complacency. At that same moment Trashy shows up with his own device, a surprise for his leader, an A-Bomb. So while Randall, distracted, turned his attention towards this unwanted hazardous gift, God’s hand once again used two more of mankind’s devices of destruction, combined together against all of neo-western society, and vaporized Las Vegas, blowing it’s radiation westward, leaving the Free Zone to inherit the earth. Job finished, the Ark gently comes to rest on top of Mount Ararat.

    If you still don’t get the ending, it’s that King seems to believe that it’s us who ultimately decides our own future, but it’s the righteous man (baby can you dig) who will be handed the keys to that future. That much God will make sure of. I guess it didn’t have to go down this way, but that’s how God rolls in the universe according to King. Randall Flagg had his chance and so did his followers, but the good people of the Free Zone brought out their true nature and wrong choices were made. Personally, I thought it was a pretty cool conclusion and it was the perfect ending to a perfect novel. I’m sorry if you’re experience “sucked”.

    • Matrod

      I just finished reading the book, and I agree with you in some aspects, but here are the ones I disagree with.
      1. Flagg already knew that Whitney was going to make his public speech, so he didn’t choose the “revenge” path, but rather he just wanted to show the people, what would happen if they became insurgent.
      2. There actually were some people in Las Vegas who wanted to leave, they just didn’t because they were afraid of the consequences and I think Flagg gave them good examples of the punishment for betraying him, but still maybe some of the people would have liked to go to the Free Zone, but were captured in Flagg’s dominions.
      3.(And this is the point, that I really didn’t like at all) There were children in Las Vegas!!, I mean, maybe their parents chose wrong, but why did they have to be punished with death over a choice they didn’t even make. This is the point that concerns me the most about how King sees God, and don’t get me wrong, I love his novels, but man!, he really didn’t think this ending through.

      • John Powell

        Children died in the biblical flood in the story of Noah’s Ark, too.

    • RockyJohan

      I think you are wrong.
      King isn´t a big fan of religon.
      Maybe the ending is supposed to reflect the shittiness of the first testament God or maybe it i just a really bad ending. Maybe both(Well both is still pretty bad imo).

  • MichaelM

    BillS nailed it. And a previous commenter astutely mentioned that the uncut version of the book helps to give you time to reflect on things. I read the uncut version. I imagine had I read the original version I admit I might have gone to bed a bit perplexed myself.

  • mimi

    Oh BillS job well done sir!

  • Bryce

    The ending of this book is clearly left open. Flagg survived and so did some main characters. I personally want to see a sequel. The person who wrote this blog is an idiot. You sound like you didn’t really read the book completely or simply have very poor reading comprehension. The ending most certainly did not suck and if it did, you shouldn’t read. You probably shouldn’t breed, either. Did you read the entire book or just skim it, you moron? I hate stupid people who judge a work of fiction based on the ending alone. Anyone who read the full uncut version and thinks the end sucked is likely illiterate. Seriously, who the fuck do you think you are? Where is your awesome work of fiction that is anywhere near as good as even the worst thing SK ever wrote?

    • Kamil Marchewka

      Way to spit some hate. Considering how you lashed out at a human being for simply stating his or her opinion, I think you must be all the things you’ve mentioned. I just finished reading The Stand (uncut) and I think the ending was a major let down as well, so the author of this blog is not alone. I don’t really mind the confrontation in Las Vegas, but I felt the ending was really rushed once Stu got back to Boulder. This was my first King’s book and I don’t anticipate to read any more. I felt it was a bit on a simple side, very black and white, with no grey area in between. Real world simply isn’t like that.

  • Louis

    I completely agree that the ending was a let down. Where was The Stand? Where did Good fight Evil? Where was the image that is on the front cover of the book? I was so excited the entire time for there to be an epic battle between Flagg and God’s representatives and it was over. It was like if the Second Death Star blew up before Luke could confront Vader. It was like if Voldemort had dropped dead before his attack on Hogwarts.

    That’s just my opinion at least…

    • Honest Iago

      I agree, the book is called “The Stand”, however there was no stand, the “good guys” go over to las Vegas, and yes, maybe their presence accelerates the destruction, but my interpretation is that RF had already lost control anyway, lots of people were looking to leave, even his right hand man had become disillusioned with RF and was only staying out of a sense of duty. Flagg had lost it long before Larry and the others arrived, their presence may have accelerated the explosion, but I kind of think that without safety’s and such, that bomb was destined to go off anyway, or at least kill everyone locally with its radiation….
      I was disappointed that there was no “stand”, no confrontation between good and evil, and that the characters we had spent so many pages getting to know, died as a consequence, not even as a cause.

  • Daniel Goldstein

    I couldn’t agree more. Having a radiation ravished Trashy pull up with the A Bomb was such a funny image, but one not befitting the tone of the book. A showdown with Mother Abigail and flagg would have been much better as Mother Abigail sheds her skin or something and she’s made of beaming light! That sounds awesome actually. As far as pacing, King should have spent more time in vegas. Instead, we get 800 pages of free zone: including entire minutes of the Crisis committee meetings, and a quick look at Vegas right at the end. When King finally took us to Vegas I found the inner struggle of the people there to be very intriguing. Some seemingly good people had chosen to be there and were clearly torn about it… We see this when Larry and Ralph try to get through to the cop who captured them. Would have loved to have heard that guys backstory… What was the circumstance that brought him west and not to Boulder…. All that being said, i loved the book. just felt a little cheated.