The Stand (Sep 1978)
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.
Common King themes:
- Someone is called "Sunny Jim"
(“In the back of the cruiser, Sunny Jim.”
The man in the SHELL. cap had come out onto the porch, still clutching his shotgun. “He shot Bill Markson!” he yelled in a high, queer voice. “T'other one shot Missus Storm! Hell of a note! I shot t'other one! He's deader'n a shitbug! Like to shoot this one too, iff n you boys'll stand away!”
“Calm down, Pop,” one of the troopers said. “Fun's over.”
“I'll shoot him where he stands!” the old guy yelled. “I'll lay him low!” Then he leaned forward like an English butler making a bow and threw up on his shoes.
“You boys get me away from that guy, would you?” Lloyd said. “I believe he's crazy.”
“You got this comin outta the store, Sunny Jim,” the trooper who had thrown down on him in the first place said. The barrel of his pistol looped up and up, catching the sun, and then it crashed down on Lloyd Henreid's head and he never woke up until that evening in the Apache County Jail's infirmary.)
- Main character is a writer
(Harold Lauder, the 16 year old from Maine who likely has Asperger's, doesn't have any friends but finds an outlet in writing, writing strange stories in the 2nd POV and present tense.)
- Someone has The Shining
(Abigail talks about her grandmother's powers and says, "My own grandmother used to call it the shining lamp of God, sometimes just the shine.")
- The number 19
(The superflu epidemic takes 19 days to kill off 99% of humanity.)