The Stand is the sixth book published by Stephen King; it is his fifth novel, and the fourth under his own name. The book was the last of King’s novels published by Doubleday in 1978.
The novel is a post-apocalyptic horror/fantasy story that re-works the scenario of King’s earlier short story, “Night Surf.” A longer edition of the novel was later released in May of 1990; King restored some text originally cut for brevity, added and revised sections, changed the timeframe of the story from 1980 to 1990, and updated several pop culture references accordingly to the time.
A deadly virus called “Captain Trips”, engineered as an advanced biological weapon by the government, is accidentally spread across America, causing 99.4% of the entire world’s population to die. The 0.6% who survive struggle to find their bearings in the aftermath of the plague. They all dream about two opposing figures: Randall Flagg, the Dark Man, and Mother Abagail, who is receiving visions from God. The survivors split into two factions, one led by Flagg, and one led by Mother Abigail, and prepare for the final stand between good and evil.