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The Stand

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The novel is divided into 3 parts, or books. The first is entitled "Captain Trips" and takes place over 19 days, with the death of most of the human population in North America (and presumably the world) following the escape and spread of a human-made biological weapon, a superflu (influenza) virus known formally as "Project Blue" and colloquially as "Captain Trips." 99.4% of people are susceptible to Captain Trips, and the disease has a mortality rate of 100%. King outlines the total breakdown and destruction of society through widespread violence and governmental totalitarian control.

The expanded edition opens with a prologue entitled "The Circle Opens" that explains just how the superflu escaped the compound where it was developed.

On the Border

Intertwining cross-country odysseys are undertaken by a small number of survivors, including: a pregnant college student (Frances Goldsmith) and an overweight high school outcast (Harold Lauder) from Ogunquit, Maine; a laid-off factory worker (Stuart Redman) from Texas; a dissatisfied pop musician (Larry Underwood); an insightful deaf-mute wanderer (Nick Andros); a virginal teacher with a dark secret (Nadine Cross); a savage amnesiac telepathic boy (Joe/Leo Rockway); a quick-witted pessimistic sociology professor (Glen Bateman); a jolly dandyish sodbuster (Ralph Brentner) from Oklahoma; and a kind-hearted mentally retarded man (Tom Cullen). They are drawn together by their shared dreams of a 106 year old black woman from Hemingford Home, Nebraska, whom they see as a refuge. This woman, Abagail Freemantle (known as Mother Abagail), becomes the spiritual leader of this group of survivors, who begin an attempt to re-establish a democratic society in the city of Boulder, Colorado. Boulder is found to be the only city in America that is largely clear of plague victims, the city having emptied out due to a rumor spread during the plague that the disease started in the Boulder air testing center.

Meanwhile, another group of survivors, including: a not too bright



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