On Friday, May 29th, a 6-episode podcast centered on Stephen King’s post-apocalyptic plague epic will launch, featuring hosts Mike Flanagan, Tananarive Due, Anthony Breznican, and Jason Sechrest. The podcast will operate as a virtual book club—a club that encourages you to join in and read along! Every month, the hosts will read 200 pages from King's outbreak horror doorstopper; the 1990 unabridged edition of The Stand, which the podcast hosts will be reading, weighs in at 1,152 pages. The hosts will then get together on the podcast to share their thoughts on what they’ve read.
King's epic horror novel is viewed as one of his best works—and has taken on increased relevance in recent months. First, there's the upcoming CBS remake of The Stand: The Miniseries, set to premiere later in 2020. Second, of course, is the coronavirus pandemic. In the book, a weaponized strain of influenza wipes out more than 99% of the world’s population, leaving the survivors to pick up the pieces in a high stakes battle of good against evil. Thankfully, our real-life situation isn’t quite as apocalyptic. Nevertheless, now's is a great time to read (or re-read) this excellent King novel and support all those who need your help. The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast encourages listeners to not only join in on the #TheStandChallenge by reading 200 pages each month, but to donate to the EMS FDNY Help Fund and support New York City's first responders.
As for the hosts of The Company of the Mad: The Stand Podcast? The team—led by producer Jason Sechrest—is more than up to the task of tackling #TheStandChallenge.
Jason Sechrest is a horror writer known for his column "What I Learned from Stephen King", which explores the nuances and wisdom within King’s works. Sechrest’s short story “Orange Grove Court” was recently published in Cemetery Dance Magazine, and other works can be found on his .
Tananarive Due is a novelist who teaches Black Horror and Afrofuturism at UCLA. In addition to being a producer of Shudder’s documentary , Due also performed with King in the rock band The Rock Bottom Remainders.
Anthony Breznican is a Vanity Fair correspondent who has reported in the past for Associated Press, USA Today, and Entertainment Weekly. Breaking out as an author, Breznican’s first book, received high praises from King.
So the question stands: Are you up to #TheStandChallenge?
Featured photo from cover of "The Stand" by Stephen King