I mentioned this book in another thread, and it inspired me to start another.
Most early Stephen King books are good reads. Later stuff is abysmal but hey, he needs huge piles of cash to roll around in laughing like the rest of us, so I hold him no ill-will. I am not one of those people who expects an author to write stuff I like just because I like them I don;t own the man.
The Stand is in my view his best book. It is IMHO the best Horror/Post-Apoc Book. IMHO it's the best Book written in the last 50 years. IMHO it's absolutely perfect. From Start to finish it is a masterly tour-de-force unputtdownable page-turner must-read smash hit. I quite like it, is what I am trying to say.
King assembles a cast of dozens of main characters, all with clear defined and interesting personalities, and has them roaming across the whole of the USA in fairly disonnected ways toward the final conclusion, and at no point do you go 'Uhhhh, who is this guy again?' like you do with most books of this size and type, or 'Oh God, not Frodo and Sam in Mordor again, I was reading about some fun stuff and battles' like you do in LOTR (admit it) or to an even worse way with that twatt Turtledove.
His Goodies are real people. His Baddies are real people. When two of the main characters are spree-killing barely sentient wankers and you feel sad when one gets killed you know you are reading a good book, I even like Stu Redman who is the archetypal American Good Old Boy.
If asked what my favourite book is, I never know what to say, some days I love one book rather than others. But If I had to choose a Desert Island Box of Books, The Original version of 'The Stand' is definitely going in there.
Note, if you haven't read it, I would suggest tracking a copy of the original version second hand. King went back and updated it to the 90's and added great chunks of late-King bloviating guff on at least two occasions, which spoils the book. The Original is the only one for me.