Well I just finished The stand and have even banged out a review for fantasybookrefview.co.uk.
In general i really enjoyed it. It is one of the books where King's style impressed me, albeit I thought the politics got a bit draggy and directionless, ---- something King admited himself.
Still even with all the apocalypse stuff now the stand still, ---- wel stands out.
My only major issue was basically King wasn't great at female characters, indeed my lady acuses him (especially with characters like Franny), of writing women as what she referd to as "wet tissues" and really in the Stand the fact that the majority of tthe female cast basically sit around, cry have babies and get hysterical didn't help.
~Actually Fran sort of annoyed me with how childish she was.
Beware! spoiling spoilers!
i really liked Larry and his issues with Lucy, particularly because Lucy was just nice and so the potential Larry/nadine/lucy traingle was an interesting one, indeed it is sort of amusing that Nadine is probably the most three dimensional female character in the book.
That being said I hated the fact that basically you don't see anything of Lucy after Larry has got himself blown up and the implication is that she's happy because she's had babies, because all women want babies!
Anyway I've talked about that in my review so methinks I'll stop.
In general though there was so much good stuff here. Flagg is just awesome, indeed I could've stood a bit more of him, and I love how complicated trashcan man was.
People cryticise the hole dreams/hand of god thing, though to me that was okay since it worked in context of what was going on, indeed I find it interesting that one of King's inspirations was George Stewart's novel Earth abides which is also about a virus wiping out the world's population, since that book had such cardboard characters and is so blatantly moralistic and so bloody dated in its stereotypes from ratial to gender it was actively painful to read, so many points to king for sorting things out.
I did find the hole evil government thing a bit odd, ---- then again these days it would've been the evil companies, which I suppose now pretty much mean the same thing (especially in America).
either way, very awesome, and still! lots of fun, and a crying shame king had to cut a chunk from the first edition, though thankfully both times I read the stand it was the longer version.
I'll post up a link to my review when its up.
Actually that's three king books I've reviewed now, Under the dome, Joyland and The stand (I meant to do cell after I read it last year but never got around to it and no, I don't review short story collections).
Hmmm, methinks Rose madder or maybe needful things next, neither of which I've read before, actually I'm tempted to do Rose Madder as it's one of my lady's favourites, though I'll probably give King a bit of a rest for a while.
With our dreaming and singing, Ceaseless and sorrowless we! The glory about us clinging Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing; O men! It must ever be
That we dwell in our dreaming and singing, A little apart from ye. (Arthur O'Shaughnessy 1873.)