The plague, nicknamed Captain Trips and Tube Neck among many other names, moves from coast to coast. But a handful are immune and they find themselves in a dead world. Desperate, they seek other survivors and safety. But in the west, a man named Flagg is rising, gathering followers and planning to wipe out what few remain. Standing against him is Mother Abagail and those that flock to her. Who will survive and what sort of world will they survive in?
This is excellent with loads and loads of characters. Amongst them are: the pregnant selfish vulnerable Frannie. The unhappy Harold who makes all the wrong choices. The doomed Nadine who questions her ordained destiny just a little too late. The dim criminal Lloyd who eagerly becomes Flagg’s lackey. The self pitying Larry. The old coot Glen and the brave Dayna.
This has redemption, death and betrayal and is a wonderful read. But why do so many flock to Flagg when it is obvious that he isn’t a man at all?
“It was that bastard Lauder and his little whore!”
“Does it just have to go on and on until the earth belongs to the rats and the roaches?”
“It confused her that Jenny was over here on the dark man’s side. It confused her so much that she didn’t dare ask Jenny for an explanation.”
“He left the sweet thang that waited his table a dollar tip that was crawling with death.”
“To the west, where the shadows were even now gathering in their twilight dance of death.”
“Captain Trips brought bales of bedrooms with a body or two in each one, and trenches, and dead-pits, and finally bodies slung into the oceans on each coast and into quarries, and into the foundations of unfinished houses. And in the end of course, the bodies would rot where they fell.”
“The thing that didn’t make sense was why Beverly had spent the last minutes of her life piling chairs and cushions and end tables against the grate of her fireplace.”
“It was weird to hear Marietta refer to a bunch of hillbillies skulking in tents and trailers, practically in her backyard. They sounded like a feral clan from a horror movie.”
“She had given up a modelling career for stretch marks and a series of inadequate patios. The truth was, two of her three children were adopted and the modelling career was limited to one underwear catalog.”