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One man escapes from a biological weapon facility after an accident, carrying with him the deadly virus known as Captain Tripps, a rapidly mutating flu that - in the ensuing weeks - wipes out most of the world's population. In the aftermath, survivors choose between following an elderly black woman to Boulder or the dark man, Randall Flagg, who has set up his command post in Las Vegas. The two factions prepare for a confrontation between the forces of good and evil.
This edition is no longer in print following the 1990 publication of The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition
The old Chevy came out of the Texas dusk at near walking speed, a Pandora's box of nightmare and death. Up ahead the lights of Bill Hapscomb's Texaco station glimmered...the box was about to be opened...the dance of death about to begin.
But the survivors of the dance have learned to fear something much worse than death because the dark man is on his way. He is known as Randy Flagg, the Walkin Dude, the man with no face. He is a drifter with a hundred different names; he is the magic man; he is the living image of Satan, his hour come round again.
He has summoned the weak and corrupted to his side, and the rest have been warned: Sooner or later you will have to do battle for your lives and more than your lives. Sooner or later you will have to make your stand.
The Stand is a story of dark wonders and irresistible terror, an epic of final confrontation between Good and Evil.
For a long time--ten years, at least--I had wanted to write a fantasy epic like The Lord of the Rings, only with an American setting. I just couldn't figure out how to do it. Then, slowly after my wife and kids and I moved to Boulder, Colorado, I saw a 60 Minutes segment on CBW (chemical-biological warfare). I never forgot the gruesome footage of the test mice shuddering, convulsing, and dying, all in twenty seconds or less. That got me remembering a chemical spill in Utah that killed a bunch of sheep (these were canisters on their way to some burial ground; they fell off the truck and ruptured). I remembered a news reporter saying, "If the winds had been blowing the other way, there was Salt Lake City." This incident later served as the basis of a movie called Rage, starring George C. Scott, but before it was released, I was deep into The Stand, finally writing my American fantasy epic, set in a plague-decimated USA. Only instead of a hobbit, my hero was a Texan named Stu Redman, and instead of a Dark Lord, my villain was a ruthless drifter and supernatural madman named Randall Flagg. The land of Mordor ("where the shadows lie, according to Tolkien) was played by Las Vegas.
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