"The Art and Making of The Stand" Book Review

Written by Stuart D. Monroe

Published by Titan Books

the art and making of the stand andy burns poster large

Written by Andy Burns
2021, 191 pages, Not Rated
Released on June 21st, 2021


The obvious place to start this review is to tell you how much I love Stephen King’s masterpiece, The Stand. I could tell you how young I was when I read it the first time. I could tell you what it means to me. I could tell you that I faithfully reread it every single year. Sure, I could…but your story is undoubtedly the same. EVERYONE loves The Stand. I’d argue that out of all the work from The Master of the Macabre, it’s the book that sits atop the list of American literary standards alongside Carrie and IT.

If you haven’t seen Josh Boone’s 2021 miniseries, you missed one of the finest Stephen King adaptations to date. And that’s saying something – there has been a slew of killer King adaptations in the last half a decade. The Stand ran as a nine-episode limited series on CBS All-Access from December 2020 through February 2021 as the world sat locked in their homes during a pandemic.

The irony is lost on no one.

Titan Books has given Constant Readers a true treat with their oversized coffee-table tome, The Art and Making of The Stand. First and foremost, this is a must for the King collectors out there for a simple reason: it contains the screenplay for the new ending, written by Stephen King for this new version (Episode 9, “The Circle Closes). It’s the first (and likely only) printing; that alone is worth the price of admission.

There’s much more than just that, though. There’s a foreword by Owen King (himself a writer of multiple episodes in the series) that’s splashy and sets a certain tone of celebration of the source material as much as a deeper look at the new iteration. The opening chapters give you sharp technical details for all the film nerds as well as the philosophical approach to “remaking” a classic that already has a certain visual look embedded in the American psyche. The extra-long chapter on the building of New Vegas is a true highlight, as is the interview with Odessa Young. There’s even a bumper bonus – a list of all the Easter eggs scattered throughout each episode that add the final touch of nerdy enthusiasm to a true collector’s edition.

As with Titan Books’ other recent making-of book, Army of the Dead: The Making of the Film, this is a supersized and juiced-up version of the books that always sold out at the Book Fair when you were a kid. I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of big, fancy books that celebrate our collective geekiness with respect, care, and serious production value.

Any gripes I could even remotely find with the content are personal and petty. For example, I needed more love given to the unbelievable performance of Brad William Henke as Tom “M-O-O-N” Cullen. I could have used a couple more killer quotes like showrunner Benjamin Cavell saying, “I think [Owen’s] brilliant, sort of a combination of Anthony Perkins and Jim Carrey.” A sidebar for the super dope cameo from “Master of Horror” and frequent King collaborator Mick Garris (read my interview with the man himself here) would have kicked silly amounts of ass. And of course, we could all use about 10 times more Alexander Skarsgård material.

Still, those are minor complaints that are mine and mine alone. The Art and Making of The Stand is a lovingly produced and well-thought-out book, something Stephen King fans can add to their bloated collections that has plenty to enjoy but also looks damn fine on the shelf. God, I love a sexy shelf.


Overall: 5 Star Rating Cover
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Stuart D. Monroe
Staff Reviewer
Stuart D. Monroe is a man of many faces – father, husband, movie reviewer, published author of short horror, unsuccessful screenwriter (for now), rabid Clemson Tiger, Southern gentleman, and one hell of a model American who goes by the handle "Big Daddy Stu" or "Sir". He's also highly disturbed and wears that fact like a badge of honor. He is a lover of all things horror with a particular taste for the fare of the Italians and the British. He sometimes gets aroused watching the hardcore stuff, but doesn't bother worrying about whether he was a serial killer in a past life as worrying is for the weak. He was raised in the video stores of the '80s and '90s. The movie theater is his cathedral. He worships H.P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, and Clive Barker. When he writes, he listens obsessively to either classical music or the works of Goblin to stimulate the neural pathways. His favorite movie is Dawn of the Dead. His favorite book is IT. His favorite TV show is LOST.
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