Why this book?
The Stand is a big book. It is big in scope at over a thousand pages (and do read the full version; when the abridged version is 800+ pages, you may as well go all in). It is also big in its treatment of Captain Trips, the fictional disease that kills over 99% of the human population.
King asks—and answers—pragmatic questions. How would people get the electricity back on? How would they manage the removal of diseased corpses?
But he also asks—and invites readers to answer—philosophical questions. Are humans fundamentally good or evil? Are there things that go beyond the natural world, the rational mind? In a world where virtually everyone you know has died, what is left to be afraid of?
The answer to that last question is…so many things.