My favorite Stephen King books are, unfortunately, some of the longest Stephen King books in existence. I have been trying without success for literal years to talk my friends and family into reading them, it has not worked.
No matter how much I’ve talked up the benefits of being literate in some of the greatest horror, sci-fi, and fantasy novels of our (and potentially all) time, I’ve had exactly two takers, one of whom read a short book and the other of whom borrowed my copy of "IT" and is still in the process of reading it. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m being too broad with my suggestions. I need to narrow it down from a handful of enormous books to one and in my effort to convince you all to read Stephen King,
I’ve chosen the big daddy of Stephen King novels: "The Stand."
The unabridged version, because we aren’t quitters. Right?
"The Stand" clocks in around a thousand pages. Since Stephen King books are often in trade-paperback form, that works out to create a book that’s roughly the size and shape of a brick. I could kill someone with my copy of "The Stand." There’s a benefit right there, for those of you on the fence about it: In a pinch, your copy of the book can be used for self-defense. If that’s not enough to sell you on it, you can, with some work, create a fake cover for your book and go read it out in public to convince strangers that you’re a literary, erudite individual.
Still not convinced? I can tell you that "The Stand" revamped and redefined the apocalypse genre, to the point where almost any disease apocalypse movie after 1990 can find its roots in the book's voluminous pages. Fans of the apocalypse genre, fans of "I Am Legend," and anybody who knows just a little too much about Ebola will find something to like.
It’s also worth pointing out that "The Stand" was so popular in its original, abridged version that Stephen King eventually released the unabridged version which is, as you might imagine, even longer than the original. That means that thousands, dare I say millions, of people, made it through this intimidatingly large book and wanted more. If they can do it, so can you!
There is something in this book for everyone. Religious allegory? Check. Apocalypse? Check. Romance, both supernatural and otherwise? Check. Dueling utopian and dystopian societies? Check.
It’s ridiculously long, but in my opinion, it’s worth every page. To my friends and family: you all should listen to me at long last and read it so I can finally talk with you about it instead of glaring balefully at you when you don’t get my references.
Everybody else: read it and enjoy it so we can finally get that movie they’ve been talking about forever.
After all, what do you have to lose? Even if you don’t enjoy the book, you can still get bragging rights for having finished it.