Warning: This article may contain spoilers.
This book takes a while to get into because of all the background story for everyone. But like a real epidemic it slowly creeps up on you. Slowly it grips you. If I could sum up this book in 1 sentence it would be: “I can’t believe I took so long to read a Stephen King book!”. Of course, it does me no good that there is an Ebola outbreak occurring now. Bad time to read this book, but it was still incredible. You see how this disease grips the country as one by one people start getting sick with this “super flu”. It’s definitely scary to see and even think about how quickly an airborne killer disease could spread. At one point it was so fast like, “An infected truck driver walks into a diner for lunch, while he’s there he infects the waitress and a family of four. The kids go playing with some other kids and infect them, …” and so on.
It shows you how utterly unprepared the world would be for a disease that was easily transmitted through the air. It also let’s you think about the possibility of what the government would do, at all cost, to cover up their indiscretions. Willing to force the media to lie for them, by threatening them. Gunning down people in the streets trying to keep people from leaving their towns and spreading the disease. People start dying so fast they literally die in the streets and in their cars. Bodies piled up high in truck backs and are dumped by the hundreds. Eventually only one-one people remain and they will choose a side. Will they be good or bad? And when everyone comes together in their own side, people will try to pick up the pieces. Our main characters make their way over to Nebraska, to join the old woman, mother Abigail. Then they move to Colorado. Others follow Randall Flagg, the dark man, the walking man. Flagg plans to kill everyone who follows mother Abigail but will he succeed?
I didn’t expect that no one would die in this book, of course. However, prepare to lose some of your main characters. The book takes place over several months. You get to learn the backgrounds of some of Randall Flagg’s followers as well, so you get a good understanding of the motives of everyone. You even learn of some who struggle to be good but slowly lose grip and switch sides. This book makes you think of how you would keep your own humanity in a similar situation. Some people take advantage of others while others try to help one another. All in all, it’s like everything in a struggle. Even to the end you do not know who is the winner.
About the Author:
Stephen King is the author of more than fifty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Doctor Sleep and Under the Dome, now a major TV miniseries on CBS. His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller as well as the Best Hardcover Book Award from the International Thriller Writers Association. He is the recipient of the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.