Why did I decided to read “The Stand” again, while an outbreak of Ebola virus started occurring in certain parts of Africa?
Truth is, I don’t really believe in anything other than coincidences, and it’ll stay that way. In an interesting manner, I picked up the book I loathe the most, the one I’ve read with huge glee three years ago. But now I’m an adult, and I am curious to see how my perspective towards that story had changed.
But, to no avail, my search for a different outlook failed. The book is stupendously well written, and the characters and story arch is so believable. As a result,I still look at it in the same way and I still regard it as my favorite book of all time.
And what makes it so interesting?
Is it because of the subject matter: a virus outbreak clears 99% of the human population, leaving the one percent to wander, trying to rebuild a somehow lost species, with evil lurking in every corner? Maybe it was, or maybe because it had the potential to be a timeless tale. Good vs Evil, the oldest story ever told. You might know one other book who uses that formula. Some people call it the bible, others call it primitive fiction. But that besides the point…
The reason I consider the 1978 Stephen King novel the best popular novel ever written it is because of the influence and impact it had on other well-known stories in western civilization, over the past thirty years. Lost, the ABC television show was pretty much entirely based on the philosophy of “The Stand”: the strongness of the characters, the evil entity wich dominated all of those people, and so on. Or perhaps, flash forward to today, where the most popular TV Show on air “The Walking Dead” as a lot of the same similarities.
The Ebola Virus is one of the many viruses known to man to kill viciously and without mercy but, curiously, it also one of the many who were portrayed by the media as being dangerous to all of the civilization. Somehow, the media propagates the idea of human annihilation, and is fond of it.
The swine flu, the bird flu, just to name a few, all victims of media frenzy and greed. “Captain Trips”, as Stephen King’s created virus was known as, didn’t even give time to media to react. In just a few days, almost all of humanity vanished. And that, folks, is what most resembles the truth. Because sometimes fiction is the representation of reality, a reality we can’t even fathom to replicate and build. Because, believe me… if an epidemic struck, we wouldn’t even have time to print a newspaper. It would be that quick.
“The Stand” is a book you must read. An ode to storytelling. Perhaps one of the few pop novels still relevant a hundred years from now.