Salon interviews Stephen King about his great novel, thirty years after it was first published. King calls it a work of “dark Christianity,” which should surprise nobody who’s read it.
It was some years after the book was published that I found out about it. I was in college when some of my dad’s graduate students stopped by my parents’ house one evening. We got to talking about books, as you do with grad students from the English department. One of them recommended The Stand. He said it would scare me — it was about a plague that kills 99 percent of the earth’s population, “And then things really get bad.” He told me it was written by a guy named Stephen King, an author I had never heard of.
It’s still my favorite book.
My only quibble with the Salon interview is that writer John Marks calls the Stand miniseries “mediocre.” The miniseries was excellent and often moving. Molly Ringwald, however, was so bad that she ruined every scene she was in. But the rest of the cast is terrific.
To this day I can’t see a crow sitting on a telephone pole without thinking of the walking man, Randall Flagg.