TELEVISION: Slouching Towards Vegas

The Stand, Stephen King's apocalyptic novel, becomes an often gripping, occasionally overblown mini-series

Like the vampires, ghouls, rabid dogs and other monsters that populate his fiction, Stephen King seems practically unstoppable. New novels appear with almost supernatural speed, take a choke hold on the best-seller lists, and are transformed into movies that typically make a quick blitz at the box office before settling into a long, lucrative life on the video shelves. For an impressive array of filmmakers, from Brian De Palma to Rob Reiner, King has made an ideal collaborator: he provides the sprawling, imaginative raw material; they bring the cinematic compression and sometimes (as in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining) the resonance of...

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