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La lunga marcia (ebook)

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Dai confini con il Canada sino a Boston a piedi, senza soste. Una sfida mortale, con un regolamento implacabile, per cento volontari: un passo falso, una caduta, un malore e si viene abbattuti. Ma chi riesce a tagliare il traguardo otterrà il Premio. Tra i partecipanti, fra cui spicca il sedicenne Garraty, si creano rapporti di sfida, di solidarietà e di lucida follia, lun Dai confini con il Canada sino a Boston a piedi, senza soste. Una sfida mortale, con un regolamento implacabile, per cento volontari: un passo falso, una caduta, un malore e si viene abbattuti. Ma chi riesce a tagliare il traguardo otterrà il Premio. Tra i partecipanti, fra cui spicca il sedicenne Garraty, si creano rapporti di sfida, di solidarietà e di lucida follia, lungo il terribile percorso scandito dagli incitamenti della folla assiepata ai margini della strada. Un incubo on the road che solo King poteva concepire.


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Dai confini con il Canada sino a Boston a piedi, senza soste. Una sfida mortale, con un regolamento implacabile, per cento volontari: un passo falso, una caduta, un malore e si viene abbattuti. Ma chi riesce a tagliare il traguardo otterrà il Premio. Tra i partecipanti, fra cui spicca il sedicenne Garraty, si creano rapporti di sfida, di solidarietà e di lucida follia, lun Dai confini con il Canada sino a Boston a piedi, senza soste. Una sfida mortale, con un regolamento implacabile, per cento volontari: un passo falso, una caduta, un malore e si viene abbattuti. Ma chi riesce a tagliare il traguardo otterrà il Premio. Tra i partecipanti, fra cui spicca il sedicenne Garraty, si creano rapporti di sfida, di solidarietà e di lucida follia, lungo il terribile percorso scandito dagli incitamenti della folla assiepata ai margini della strada. Un incubo on the road che solo King poteva concepire.

30 review for La lunga marcia (ebook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    If this book does not make you feel physical pain, I don't know what will. This isn't a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. It's not a Hunger Games type of book, despite the "game show" element of the Long Walk, nor is it a world attached to any tower, Dark or not. This book is in-your-face and physical, while simultaneously never losing that dreamy, philosophic quality of existenstial fiction. The premise of the book is very simple: Every year, 100 boys enter a contest called the Long Wa If this book does not make you feel physical pain, I don't know what will. This isn't a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. It's not a Hunger Games type of book, despite the "game show" element of the Long Walk, nor is it a world attached to any tower, Dark or not. This book is in-your-face and physical, while simultaneously never losing that dreamy, philosophic quality of existenstial fiction. The premise of the book is very simple: Every year, 100 boys enter a contest called the Long Walk, and the winner gets all his heart desires. Each contestant has to maintain a pace of 4 miles per hour or more, or else he gets a warning. If the boy who gets the warning can keep walking 4 miles per hour or faster for the next hour, the warning is revoked. However, if the boy collects three warnings, the next time he slows down, he's shot in the head and out of the game. I love this book, but it's really hard to communicate what I think it's trying to relate. As I'm writing this review, I'm desperately trying to organize my jumbled thoughts. The best I could do is to divide the book into two sections that broadly describe which parts of this book stood out to me the most: The Deeper Meaning (as I see it) & How it's Done and The People. The Deeper Meaning (as I see it) & How It's Done The physical aspect of the journey immediately comes to the spotlight. You think you can outwalk 99 boys? Well, despite the 100% chance of someone actually doing it, you're 99% going to be the one to die either from exhaustion or carelessness. The story's downward spiral from the optimism of the first 10 hours to the torturous hell that is the last 10 hours is slow, relentless, and ultimately certain. Some of the boys' death were incredibly cringe worthy, not because their death was bizarre or fantastic, but because it's so damn relatable. I can't relate to a woman running away from her ghost-possessed husband as much as I can imagine my legs giving out after hours of walking in my own blood and pus. But what's extraordinary about this novel is despite its physicality and its real grit, it's very spiritual and contemplative. Ultimately, this book questions what it means to live through the eyes of one boy (and 99 others) who are walking right into the arms of death. As the boys break down physically, their minds deconstruct past the point of madness until they become lifeless, soulless automatons. I think it's at this point, when the boys are broken beyond exhaustion, that King really questions the value of life in the midst of such suffering, and how we push beyond sanity to sustain life. King doesn't point at authority or paternal figures to place blame on how extraordinary and torturous this desire to live can be. It's the walker who chooses to go on the Long Walk that, in the end, leads to death, no matter what we do. And life isn't nice. It won't slow down for you. Got blisters on your feet? Tough. Can't climb that hill after walking +24 hours? You'd better. Got to take a shit? If it takes longer than three warnings, you're going to die with your pants around your ankles. It seems, in this light, that life is much crueler than death. The People Ah, the other great part about this book--and what makes this book so amazing! Unlike many of King's works, this book is not atmospheric. With the exception of comments about the weather and the terrain (obvious factors to consider when walking quite literally until death), the entire narrative is solely focused on the Long Walk itself and the people who are a part of it. I was hesitant to shelf this book under "dystopian" because I don't really know if it's a dystopia. All I know is that the Major, whoever he is, seems to be in charge (how much, I don't know) and the Long Walk is something celebrated by everyone who doesn't partake in it. All we get to know is Garraty, the main character in the story, and the other boys he meets in the Long Walk. None of these characters are forgettable. Garraty, McVries, and even Barkovitch are some of the most developed, fleshed out characters that I've had the pleasure of reading. The boys' interactions, teetering between the desire for the other to die and genuine camaraderie, were incredibly complex and touching. Whenever I read about a gunshot, I desperately hoped that it wasn't one of the boys that I knew because they were so real and likeable. Amid the hardship and torture, something about this book was very sincere, and despite what King may have intended, characters like McVries and Garraty made the journey extraordinarily...enjoyable, if not more emotionally painful. This book is something that will always remain in my mind. Not only was the writing engaging and visceral, but it struck a chord deep within me. Some people may not enjoy the book. It's raw, painful, and depressing. But on the other hand, it challenges, breaks, and strips bare the human soul, and ultimately the sympathy such an act invokes is an intense experience. 5.0 stars and highly recommended!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily (Books with Emily Fox)

    (4.5) Every time someone asks me which Stephen King book I would recommend, I mention this one. After reading quite a few of his books, it's still my favorite! The downward spiral into madness and overall despair were very well written. Reading this book literally made my body ache. I do wish there were a few more details about the world, how the long walk came about, etc. The ending wasn't fully satisfying, as seems to be most endings for SK, but I enjoyed the book anyway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Petrik

    To think something so dark and depressing could come out of a premise so simple. I'll keep this brief, Richard Bachman (a pseudonym of Stephen King) has made something short and great here. The premise of the book is annually, 100 teenagers entered a competition called "The Long Walk" where they have to walk literally non-stop until only one person remaining. The winner gets to have anything they want. It's a very simple premise and it somehow made Hunger Games looks like Disneyland. The slow des To think something so dark and depressing could come out of a premise so simple. I'll keep this brief, Richard Bachman (a pseudonym of Stephen King) has made something short and great here. The premise of the book is annually, 100 teenagers entered a competition called "The Long Walk" where they have to walk literally non-stop until only one person remaining. The winner gets to have anything they want. It's a very simple premise and it somehow made Hunger Games looks like Disneyland. The slow descent into madness and insanity are clearly shown step by step, the changes in the characters from when they began were shown gradually. This is truly a dark tale, sometimes even depressing. The author's prose was great and descriptive. The fatigue, the pain, and the gradual changes in the characters can be felt from the writing. Not gonna lie, at one point, I felt my feet get tired from reading. It's a very compelling story, I finished reading this in one day. The minor cons I had on the book was even though this is a really short book, there are still some parts that I felt goes on a bit longer than necessary during the first half of the book. Also, the ending was too abrupt and a bit too ambiguous. There are a lot of great fan theories on the ending though, so if you feel disappointed by it, I think one of this theory can put more closure on the reader. Overall, I highly recommend this for anyone who's looking for a short, dark, engrossing, and a bit philosophical book. You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kemper

    I kind of blame Stephen King for reality television. That’s not fair because he certainly wasn't the first person to do stories about murderous games done as entertainment, and it’s not like he produced Survivor or Big Brother. However, two of the books he did under the Richard Bachman pen name before being outed are about death contests done to distract the masses in dystopian societies. So whenever I see an ad for those kinds of shows I can’t help but think that the people who make that trash r I kind of blame Stephen King for reality television. That’s not fair because he certainly wasn't the first person to do stories about murderous games done as entertainment, and it’s not like he produced Survivor or Big Brother. However, two of the books he did under the Richard Bachman pen name before being outed are about death contests done to distract the masses in dystopian societies. So whenever I see an ad for those kinds of shows I can’t help but think that the people who make that trash read those books but saw them as great TV concepts rather than horrifying visions of the future. The scenario here is that 100 teenage boys volunteer to be part of an annual event called The Long Walk. The rules are simple. You start walking and keep up a speed of 4 miles per hour. If you fall below that pace you get a few warnings. If you don’t get back up to speed immediately, you get shot. Easier than checkers, right? Here’s the real rub: You absolutely cannot stop. All 100 boys walk until 99 of them are killed. Last one still teetering around on whatever is left of their feet then wins the ultimate prize. On the surface you could say that this concept that could seem silly or absurd. Why would anyone volunteer for this? Answering that question turns out to be one of the best parts of the book as King moves the walkers through stages while things get progressively worse for them on the road. What King tapped into here is that realization that deep down we all think we’re special, that things will always work out for us, and this is especially true when we’re teens with no real ideas about consequences and our own mortality. While the story focuses on one character it really becomes about all of the walkers, and we get to know them through their conversations and how they deal with the death that is literally nipping at their heels. Eventually the grim reality of their situation sets in, and we also view how the boys react to realizing the true horror they signed up for. We also learn a bit about the world they live in, and it’s an interesting minor aspect established in a few stray bits that this is essentially some kind of alternate history where World War II played out somewhat differently. I’d read this several times back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, but hadn’t picked it up in the 21st century so it felt like there’s a dated element to the way that Long Walk functions. The boys essentially just show up in whatever clothes they have and they start walking with little fanfare. It almost seems like a contest at a county fair instead of something that captures the nation’s attention. There’s some explanation given about how they don’t want crowds or TV cameras around as distractions at the start until the walkers get settled into the routine. However, that doesn’t seem to fit with the idea that the event is being orchestrated as a distraction and weird kind of motivational tool. If the story were told now there would be a lot more about the media coverage, and the whole thing would probably have a corporate sponsor. Plus, the walkers would have matching shoes and uniforms designed to look cool and keep them walking longer. They’d also probably have a more sophisticated method than soldiers with rifles and stopwatches dispatching the lollygaggers, too. This doesn’t hurt the story at all, though. Instead it gives the whole thing a kind of dated charm like watching a movie from the ‘70s where everyone is smoking and people have to wait by the phone. One more note about Stephen King: The man really needs to have a spoiler warning branded on his forehead. I had to stop following him on Twitter after he spoiled major events on both Game of Thrones and Stranger Things. My friend Trudi had part of The Killer Inside Me ruined for her by King's introduction in which he described several key twists. I was listening to an audible version of this that had an intro from him talking about why he did the whole Richard Bachman thing. In it, he casually gives away the end of The Running Man novel. Fortunately for me I'd already read that one, but Uncle Stevie clearly just doesn't get the concept and why it pisses people off. Overall, The Long Walk held up to my memories of it as one of the better King books as well as having a chilling idea at the heart of it. Sure, some might say that the idea of contest that dehumanizes people for entertainment to make things easier for a fascist ruler is far-fetched. On the other hand, this TV show will be premiering a few days after a certain orange pile of human shaped garbage takes power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OTNZr... It’s a Richard Bachman world, people. Get ready to walk. Or maybe run.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Johann (jobis89)

    "They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead." On the first day of May each year, one hundred boys will take part in "The Long Walk". Breaking the rules results in warnings. More than three warnings and you'll get your ticket and you're out of the race. I've felt for quite a while now that my top 10 Kings are pretty solid - before reading this I had about 13 or 14 left to read and none of them really seem like possible c "They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead." On the first day of May each year, one hundred boys will take part in "The Long Walk". Breaking the rules results in warnings. More than three warnings and you'll get your ticket and you're out of the race. I've felt for quite a while now that my top 10 Kings are pretty solid - before reading this I had about 13 or 14 left to read and none of them really seem like possible contenders (apart from maybe The Green Mile). In particular, I never thought a goddamn Bachman book would break the top 10 (we have a rocky relationship me and Bachman). And yet here we are! The Long Walk didn't just break into the top 10, but the top 5! From the outset I thought The Long Walk would just be another dystopian novel (I say "another" quite loosely as surely this was one of the first?), but boy was I wrong. Below the surface, this book touches upon so many different themes and topics, like mortality, identity, friendship, and countless others. If you've followed my King journey you'll know that I'm a huge fan of the books in which King tackles death, grief, loss and mortality. That's kinda my wheelhouse. All of these rank in my top 10: Pet Sematary, Duma Key, Lisey's Story, Bag of Bones… and stories like The Woman in the Room and The Last Rung on the Ladder (both of these appear in Night Shift, which is also on the list). The Long Walk is heavy on both mortality and death. King started writing this when he was eighteen. EIGHTEEN. And yet this will surpass many of the books I read in my lifetime. I'm not sure how much editing was done between his first draft and when it was actually released, but either way, this is a fascinating idea for a book. Only King could make the story of one hundred boys walking down a road so fucking nail-biting and engrossing. It is dripping with tension and dread. My heart would be racing in my chest - when some of those boys stumbled I would be screaming "GET UP" in my head! So many King books have had an impact on me, but this has been one of the most impressive. When I wasn't reading it, I was thinking about it or talking about it. I almost wanted to stop strangers in the street and tell them all about the amazing book I was reading. I had to settle for telling my boyfriend all about it instead - but even then he was kinda like "So?" *shrugs*… and that's the thing. The plot sounds interesting, yes, but it's the immersive experience you have when reading this one that really sticks with you. It's the characters you get to know. It's the looming black cloud of death that hangs over these boys. I cried on countless occasions during this read - death is a very real fear for me, and when I think of what these boys must have been going through, it got to be too much at times. As for the characters themselves, King has written them all in such a way that they're very individual, with their own personalities and traits. McVries in particular stands out for me. You get the impression he may not have been the best person in the world before this experience, but he becomes a really decent guy throughout the walk, he becomes someone for our main protagonist, Garraty, to lean on. I love McVries <3 and Stebbins too! It's a brutal read, it's heartbreaking, there are certain scenes you'll simply never forget - but ultimately, it's worth it. It also gave me one of the worst book hangovers I've ever had, I'm so thankful for podcasts and people online who will allow me to dwell in this story that King created for a little while longer. It's emotionally exhausting and physically draining, but its monumental impact will stay with me forever. 5 stars.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    The Long Walk is simply exhausting to read. I found myself keep drifting in and out of sleep, needing to eat, drink, and use the bathroom. But most of all, my feet ached a little more after each page. This is not because the book was bad and that I was losing attention, it was simply because I was so involved in the story. I was walking WITH them.The premise is simple and I'm sure if you're reading this review you're aware of what its about. The fact that the story is so simple, allows for it to The Long Walk is simply exhausting to read. I found myself keep drifting in and out of sleep, needing to eat, drink, and use the bathroom. But most of all, my feet ached a little more after each page. This is not because the book was bad and that I was losing attention, it was simply because I was so involved in the story. I was walking WITH them.The premise is simple and I'm sure if you're reading this review you're aware of what its about. The fact that the story is so simple, allows for it to become deeper on so many different levels. At the end of the book I found myself questioning everything, not because the ending left me unfulfilled but because it made me realise so much about life. The Long Walk is depressing, exhausting and brutal. But ultimately it is a beautiful story that makes you aware how great it is to be alive. At this time of writing this review (1st August 2007), the rights to making a film have been bought by Frank Darabont, director of the Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. I read The Long Walk as part of the Richard Bachman compilation of 4 novels, Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork and The Running Man.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Trudi

    “They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?” “They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.” How much do I love this book? There are too many ways to count actually, which is why no matter how many re-reads I've done of it (and there have been many over the years), The Long Walk has always left me too intimidated to review it. I managed a brief blurb of something when I listen “They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?” “They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.” How much do I love this book? There are too many ways to count actually, which is why no matter how many re-reads I've done of it (and there have been many over the years), The Long Walk has always left me too intimidated to review it. I managed a brief blurb of something when I listened to the audiobook a few years back, but never a "real review". So heaven help me, here's my real review. According to King, he wrote The Long Walk while in college in 1966-67 and it became one of those "drawer novels" that got put away to gather dust when he couldn't get it published. King wasn't a household name yet of course. First, he had to publish Carrie in 1974. Then Salem's Lot in 1975. Followed by The Shining in 1976. In three short years King became a household name. So much so that he got the idea to become Richard Bachman. King decided he would use this pseudonym to resurrect a few of those dusty "drawer novels" and rescue them from obscurity. He believed they were good (for me, two of them are better than good, they are outstanding -- The Long Walk and The Running Man -- according to King written in a 72 hour fugue in 1971). But King wanted to know readers thought the books were good because they were good, not just because his name was on the front cover in giant letters. His publisher at the time also didn't want to flood the market with more King books when he was already churning them out one a year.* Hence, Bachman was born. *(these were the days before James Patterson decided it was okay to publish 20 books a year and only write one of them yourself). The Long Walk is easily, hands-down my favorite Bachman book, but it also ranks as one of my favorite King books period. Top 5 without even blinking an eye. It's lean and mean, with a white hot intensity to it. What I love about The Long Walk is what I love about King's early short stories collected in Night Shift: There is a rawness in these stories that reflects the drive and hunger of a young man consumed with his craft. For me The Long Walk has always burned bright as if King wrote it in a fever. There's a purity in these pages, a naked desire to tell the tale that still gives me chills every single time I pick up the damn book and read that opening sentence: "An old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run." Clumsy? Sure. A bit of an awkward simile? Absolutely. But what a hook. And the hook only digs itself in deeper as each page is turned. Until finishing becomes a matter of have to, any choice or free will stripped away. It's one of those books that grabs you by the short hairs and doesn't let go until it's finished with you. Before the dystopian craze spawned by The Hunger Games trilogy, before the rise of reality TV with shows like Survivor, King imagined an alternate history American landscape where an annual walking competition would become the nation's obsession. One hundred boys between the ages 16-18 start out walking, and continue to walk at 4mph until there's only one remaining -- the winner. Boys falling below speed for any reason get a Warning. Three Warnings get you your Ticket, taking you out of the race. Permanently. It's walk or die. And as someone who's done her fair share of walking, the idea of that much walking without ever stopping makes my feet and back ache just thinking about it. But King will make you do more than think about it, he will make you walk that road with those boys, to experience every twinge of discomfort, to feel the rising pain and suffocating fear, to suffer with the boys in sweat, and cold, and hunger, and confusion, as they walk towards Death and consider their own mortality. You will hear the sharp cracks of the carbine rifles and your heart will jump and skip beats. One theme that King has revisited over the years is writing about the human body under brutalizing physical duress, at the body in extremis and what humans are hardwired to do to survive and go on living another day. Excruciating physical peril undeniably comes with a psychological component and no one writes that better than King. We see it in books like Misery, Gerald's Game and the short story "Survivor Type". King uncovers all the nitty-gritty minutia of human physical suffering and asks the question: How far is any one person willing to go to keep on taking his or her next breath? Stephen King knows pretty damn far. Just ask Paul Sheldon or Ray Garraty. Or the castaway in "Survivor Type" -- him most of all. King also knows that the human body has an amazing capacity for trauma. It can withstand a lot -- so much so that the mind often breaks first. Each chapter heading of The Long Walk quotes a line from a game show host, but the one that really sticks out (and presumably gave King his idea in the first place) is this one by Chuck Barris, creator of the The Gong Show -- "The ultimate game show would be one where the losing contestant would be killed." And isn't that the truth? Certainly, the Romans knew this as they cheered for Gladiators to be mauled to death by wild animals (or other Gladiators). Just ask the French who cheered and jeered as thousands were led to their deaths by guillotine. There is an insatiable blood lust that lingers in humans that I don't think we'll ever shake completely, no matter how "civilized" we think we've become. Violence as entertainment is part of the norm, so I have no problems believing that under the right (terrifying) conditions, death as entertainment could become just as normalized. Outwit, Oulast, Outplay on Survivor suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. One of the things I've always loved about this book is how King handles the audience as spectators, complicit in this cold-blooded murder of its young boys. When the novel first starts, the spectators are individuals, with faces and genders and ages. As the story progresses, spectators increase in number to "the crowd", loud and cheering, holding signs. By the novel's climax, spectators filled with blood lust have morphed into a raging body of Crowd (with a capital C). It is an amorphous and frightening entity that moves and seethes with singular purpose obsessed with the spectacle, and baying for blood like a hound on the scent. It's chilling because there's such a ring of truth to all of it. Were it to ever happen, this is how it would happen. When King is writing at his best, the devil is always in the details. Another aspect of the story that has always engaged me is the boys’ compulsion to join the Walk and be complicit in their own execution. I've always wanted to ask King if he meant this story to be an allegory for young boys signing up to die in Vietnam (considering he wrote it as Vietnam was heating up and on the nightly news). I think naivety and ignorance got a lot of the boys to The Walk, including Garraty. I think young people (especially young men) believe themselves to be invincible, that death is not something that can happen to them no matter the odds or circumstances. I'm sure no boy went to Vietnam thinking he would come home in a body bag, though many of them did. If it's not obvious by now, I could talk about this book until the sun burns itself out, or the zombies rise up. And I haven't even touched upon its possible links to the Dark Tower! Which I will do now under a spoiler tag. If you haven't yet, read this book. If you have a reluctant teen reader in your life, give them this book. If it's been a long time since you've read this book, don't you think it's time to read it again? The Long Walk and possible links to the DT Universe: (view spoiler)[It's important to remember that TLW is a VERY early book for King, that pre-dates his beginning to write of a Dark Tower (which in the afterward to The Gunslinger he says was 1970). BUT (and this is a big but), I find it credible to believe that before King ever put pen to paper in regards to Roland and his quest, or to ever imagine a man in black, King had the seeds and themes of these ideas percolating in the back of his writer's brain already. I didn't always think so until I read The Dark Man: An Illustrated Poem. King wrote this poem in college and it is in essence Randall Flagg's origin story. Which brings us to that dark shadowy figure that's beckoning to Garraty at the end of The Long Walk. It is very "dark man", "man in black", "Walkin' Dude" "Flagg-like". Whether it is or not, we'll never know. If he hasn't by now, I'm sure King has no plans to confirm or deny it. Something else to consider Constant Readers: TLW flirts with being an "alternate history" because of this passage: The lights filled the sky with a bubblelike pastel glow that was frightening and apocalyptic, reminding Garraty of the pictures he had seen in the history books of the German air blitz of the American East Coast during the last days of World War II. The date April 31st is also used. So here's a question -- is this alternate history or do you suppose King had already started experimenting with the idea of "other worlds than these"? And one more passage that jumped out at me on this re-read that felt very Dark Tower-like: Garraty had a vivid and scary image of the great god Crowd clawing its way out of the Augusta basin on scarlet spider-legs, and devouring them all alive. The scarlet spider-legs reminded me of the Crimson King. Stretching, maybe. But it's fun to think about. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Every year, 100 boys take part in a nightmarish pilgrimage called The Long Walk, the winner receiving The Prize and a ton of cash. Ray Garraty is one of the contestants. Will he win The Prize or be one of the ninety-nine dead boys on the road? Wow. And I thought the six mile hike I went on in October was rough. Imagine walking non-stop, day and night, and getting shot if you stop too long? That's the horror of The Long Walk. The Long Walk takes place in a slightly different reality, where Germany Every year, 100 boys take part in a nightmarish pilgrimage called The Long Walk, the winner receiving The Prize and a ton of cash. Ray Garraty is one of the contestants. Will he win The Prize or be one of the ninety-nine dead boys on the road? Wow. And I thought the six mile hike I went on in October was rough. Imagine walking non-stop, day and night, and getting shot if you stop too long? That's the horror of The Long Walk. The Long Walk takes place in a slightly different reality, where Germany had a nuclear reactor in Santiago in 1953, and where the Major runs a spectacle ever year, The Long Walk. The Long Walk seems like an ancestor of The Hunger Games in some ways, although the Long Walk seems to be voluntary. Unlike the Hunger Games, this book is pretty brutal. Imagine having to go to the bathroom in front of a crowd of spectators while continuously walking. And never being able to sleep. And seeing people gunned down in front of you after they've been warned three times. Like I said, pretty brutal. As usual, Stephen King crafts an interesting cast. Garraty, McVries, Stebbins, Barkovitch, Scramm, the list is pretty long for a short book. Part of the brutality is that you don't know whose ticket is going to get punched next. I really wanted to give this a five but I couldn't. My lone problem with this one was the dialogue. So many of the boys sounded like they were in their twenties or thirties rather than being teenagers. Usually, I find King's dialogue a lot more realistic but it pulled me out of the story a few times. 4.5 out of 5. I'm going to track down more of these Bachman books of King's now.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This is one of my favorite King books; Suspenseful, unique, and all too possible. It is one of the few books that I have read more than once. Highly recommended for someone looking for a good place to start with King.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dita, it rhymes with Rita

    This is Stephen King at his creepy best. I’m on vacation and I ripped through this in a day. As I read, the water became less blue, the beach became less sunny, the drinks stopped getting the job done...LOL. You get the idea, getting pulled into Stephen King’s world, even for a day, is a dark, dark place. Also? Suzanne Collins ripped Stephen King off so obviously that she should credit him at the beginning of her Hunger Games books.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Celeste

    Full review now posted! Before The Hunger Games, there was The Long Walk. Except this was way, way more disturbing. There are going to be spoilers ahead for the overarching plot, though not specifics regarding individual characters. I can’t think of any other way to review this book, so consider yourself warned. Imagine a version of America that is completely obsessed with an annual “game” known as the Long Walk. In this new national pastime, teenage boys from all around the nation put their names Full review now posted! Before The Hunger Games, there was The Long Walk. Except this was way, way more disturbing. There are going to be spoilers ahead for the overarching plot, though not specifics regarding individual characters. I can’t think of any other way to review this book, so consider yourself warned. Imagine a version of America that is completely obsessed with an annual “game” known as the Long Walk. In this new national pastime, teenage boys from all around the nation put their names into a lottery in hopes of being selected for the Walk. One hundred boys are selected each year to march in the Long Walk, and the last one walking gets the Prize, or anything his heart desires for the rest of his life. And the entire nation watches and places bets on the outcome. People adore the Long Walk, and the Walkers. Doesn’t sound that bad, right? Well, if a Walker slows below four miles per hour, he gets a warning. If he doesn’t speed up within 30 seconds, he gets another. His third warning is his last, and if he doesn’t pick up the pace after that last warning, he “buys his ticket.” Unfortunately for the boys, that ticket is a bullet. Losing the Walk means losing your life. And there are no breaks during the walk. None. Once you start walking, you walk until you win or you die. Do you know what the most disturbing part is? No boy goes into the Walk blind. Every single boy that signs up to join the walk knows exactly what to expect. They know that they’ll die if they lose. And yet they volunteer anyway. That’s right, every single participant is a volunteer. No one is ever forced to join the Walk. Why on earth would anyone willingly sign up for a game that leaves 99 out of its 100 participants dead? Well, teenagers tend to believe they’re invincible, that they’ll live forever. Most of them honestly believe that they’ll win. However, many of them have an ulterior motive; for reasons beyond their conscious grasp, they want to die. This way, they either get their wish or live in the lap of luxury for the rest of their lives. What made this so disturbing for me was the fact that every single participant and spectator understood the rules. No one was surprised by the deaths. The spectators howling their approval from the sidelines and fighting over bloody shoes as mementos was incredibly disturbing. I felt like one of those morbid spectators, as I couldn’t tear my focus away from the Walkers; it was like watching a train wreck. However, in my opinion the most macabre element of the story was the foreknowledge of the Walkers themselves, and the fact that they chose their fate. This was an insanely dark story, perhaps one of the darkest I’ve ever read. King was right when he said that Bachman was his rainy day alter ego in the introduction to this book. While I still felt that the story was decidedly King in style, the tone was darker and more cynical and hopeless than we usually get from the King of horror. The Long Walk is without a doubt compelling, but its plausibility will keep you up at night. Original review can be found at Booknest.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    The Long Walk is a book by an elusive author named Richard Bachman—whom no one has ever met—about a bunch of kids being slaughtered in a near-future (or alternate reality) dystopian America. Which, been there, done that, right? Can’t unknown authors write about something that wouldn’t be covered again decades later? The lack of foresight here is really disappointing. There are differences, though, between The Hunger Games and this book, particularly in that the kids in The Long Walk are mowed dow The Long Walk is a book by an elusive author named Richard Bachman—whom no one has ever met—about a bunch of kids being slaughtered in a near-future (or alternate reality) dystopian America. Which, been there, done that, right? Can’t unknown authors write about something that wouldn’t be covered again decades later? The lack of foresight here is really disappointing. There are differences, though, between The Hunger Games and this book, particularly in that the kids in The Long Walk are mowed down by military officials rather than by each other, and that participation in this deadly event is strictly voluntary (whereas in The Hunger Games, there is little “choice” in the matter). And while I don’t think it is a bad thing necessarily for some of these teenagers to get their just desserts—seriously, have you met a teenager?—the voluntary aspect of this event is something that I had trouble with. Because we’re not just talking a few hundred mentally disturbed kids who cannot comprehend the meaning of a 99% mortality rate. We’re talking tens of thousands of kids across the country who seem to want to be chosen for competition, and whose family and friends seem even to encourage their participation. I am not sure how dystopian this dystopia is, other than that it appears to include a military-run government, but it certainly doesn’t leave one with the impression that laying low and avoiding the event entirely should be all that difficult to do, so what’s with all these idiots wanting to get themselves killed? But still, the book is pretty good overall. It draws interesting conclusions about survival and what drives us to surpass that which we believe to be the limits of our physical capabilities (mind over matter) and it also addresses a point that I have always been able to relate to particularly, which is that it doesn’t take much more than a simple conversation sometimes to connect with another person, and in the case of The Long Walk, that connection can come to mean the difference between life and death for its characters. At the end of it all, though, it is a book that was hard to put down, and it makes one wonder why the author—whoever he is—has not been more prolific and has never broken free from relative obscurity.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Raeleen Lemay

    VERY GOOD. This book felt like the boys from Stand by Me had to walk for a long long time and this was the result. I really liked how the boys bonded and acted silly (like 16 year old boys are wont to do) because it felt very genuine. However, this book made me feel bad because I was sitting on the couch reading while they were walking for days and days lol

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Direct and relentless, like the best of Poe’s work. Edgar Allan Poe’s work was characterized by one simple concept and a brutal and undeviating delivery. The “Cask of Amontillado” was an inevitable march to the bricking up of the victim. “The Tell-Tale Heart” was unescapable towards its conclusion. Foreshadowing and an inexorable conclusion marked the horrific legend of the “Fall of the House of Usher”. Like Poe, King took a devilishly simple idea and delivered one of his strongest works, but lean Direct and relentless, like the best of Poe’s work. Edgar Allan Poe’s work was characterized by one simple concept and a brutal and undeviating delivery. The “Cask of Amontillado” was an inevitable march to the bricking up of the victim. “The Tell-Tale Heart” was unescapable towards its conclusion. Foreshadowing and an inexorable conclusion marked the horrific legend of the “Fall of the House of Usher”. Like Poe, King took a devilishly simple idea and delivered one of his strongest works, but lean and muscular in its vibrancy. The Long Walk was one of King’s earliest writings, put together long before its 1979 publication. The word on the Bachman pseudonym was that early publishers did not want him putting out too many at a time so he created the alter ego to be able to sell more books. Interestingly, King noted that the books he had slated for publication under the Bachman name took a different, darker tone. Such a statement from Stephen King is marked with ominous forebodings. Set in an alternate history, near future dystopian society ruled by an autocratic leader called “The Major”, 100 contestants, all young men, begin a walk in Maine. The rules are simple: walk and maintain a pace or the walker is given a warning. Thirty seconds later, he is given a second warning. Thirty seconds later he is given a third warning. If he has not returned to his pace after this last warning – he is shot. They keep walking until only one is left. The Hunger Games was published in 2008. This idea of young people being ritualistically killed in a game like setting has been a popular concept for some time and in many genres. In an oblique way, readers could also compare this to William Goldings’ masterful 1954 novel Lord of the Flies. King is on to a primal notion. Young people dying for an obscure and artificial context could be a metaphor for war, or for any obsequious and unquestioning submission to government power. King also creates a nebulous and faceless character of The Crowd. Lining the road throughout the miles and days of the walk are hundreds, thousands, of well-wishers and fans. King depicts a culture where the Long Walk is the national pass time, where contestants are cheered and honored, like gladiators in Rome. This faceless personification is reminiscent of David Lean’s excellent portrayal of the same phenomena in his 1948 film Oliver Twist. Most of the dialogue in the novel is made between the walkers. As they walk, and die, and grow fatigued, and die, and continue walking, their conversations reveal a microcosm of life and of philosophy and of what is important to each of them in this final journey for all but one. Shocking in its ruthless exactitude, provocative in its composition, this very early work displays King’s vast talent.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kayla Dawn

    Stephen Kings Schreibstil ist unglaublich. Irgendwie ist in diesem Buch ja nichts geschehen , bis auf das ein paar Jungs ununterbrochen laufen und trotzdem hab ich sowohl gelacht, als auch geweint! King ist einfach gut darin, Charaktere zu erschaffen und sie dem Leser nahe zu bringen, selbst wenn man sie unsympathisch findet, fiebert man mit. Hut ab :)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    It's really fascinating to go back and read books you thought you really understood as a kid, and diving into Bachman nee King writing a disturbing dystopian YA really fits the bill for the whole mind-blowing thing. :) Yeah. Dystopian YA SF. He gives credit right in the book and all types of other places for cribbing from Shirley Jackson, especially the whole Lottery vibe, but what modern readers will probably latch onto is just how much the Hunger Games is cribbed off of King. :) (Also Battle Roy It's really fascinating to go back and read books you thought you really understood as a kid, and diving into Bachman nee King writing a disturbing dystopian YA really fits the bill for the whole mind-blowing thing. :) Yeah. Dystopian YA SF. He gives credit right in the book and all types of other places for cribbing from Shirley Jackson, especially the whole Lottery vibe, but what modern readers will probably latch onto is just how much the Hunger Games is cribbed off of King. :) (Also Battle Royalle, but let's get serious here. 1979 horrorshow master over the Japanese title that comes out just a few years before Hunger Games sounds a little more plausible.) I could almost see the president pontificating, too, but there was nothing quite like that. Just the excitement and homey feel of a few states' worth of country and town folk gawking on the side of the road as they thrill to the idea that they might see a shotgun blast to a teenager's head if they falter on their very long walk. It's pretty sick. It's all too plausible, too. We've got a whole nation full of psychopaths supporting each other and holding up a grand ideal of killing off 99 out of a hundred kids from sheer exhaustion, wounds, or even Charley Horses. You slow down, you die. Make it a marathon for five days. Have cheering girls and having to take a dump for a crowd as you walk. Get to know your own mortality. Figure out that a con is no less a con if everyone's being conned at the same time. Honestly, I loved this book more now than I did then. I thought it was properly horrific and shocking and all, making me think more about boot camp and war preparedness in general and the insanity surrounding it... but this time I enjoyed the idea of pretending it might be a modern mature video game we could play as either the walkers or the dire guards with rifles that kept pace with the kids and gave them three warnings, three minutes, before the bullet entered the skull. I was just thinking how much headshots would count. It's all about the headshots. And killing tons of kids, of course. It would be a real mind trip to play that game. Rather sick, too. But I think it might be a very popular one for the angry high-schooler crowd. :) Too cool, regardless. The novel seems to start slow and very mild, but like the proverbial frog in the pot, we all get boiled alive. :) Great stuff.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~

    Jesus Christ. A long walk indeed, Steve. A long walk in-fucking-deed.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jilly

    I admit that I have about 10 books going right now. Hurricane Harvey has thrown me off my groove. I have attempted to start books and then set them down to deal with shitty reality for a while, and then not gotten back to them. But, I picked this one up and devoured it. It was so compelling to me. Of course, I love dystopia. I want the future to be seriously fucked-up. I want people to be eating weird pellets that are probably made out of people, an evil overlord with some sort of hatred of child I admit that I have about 10 books going right now. Hurricane Harvey has thrown me off my groove. I have attempted to start books and then set them down to deal with shitty reality for a while, and then not gotten back to them. But, I picked this one up and devoured it. It was so compelling to me. Of course, I love dystopia. I want the future to be seriously fucked-up. I want people to be eating weird pellets that are probably made out of people, an evil overlord with some sort of hatred of children for some reason, flying cars and everything robotic - but evil robots - not good ones, an unfair class system that holds the plebs down, a scrappy resistance with a sexy (although dirty) leader, lots of senseless killing and violence, and of course - death games. This book was about the death games. Okay, maybe some of those ideas aren't exactly fresh. So, this is set in the 1970's maybe, but an alternate reality, I guess, because I don't remember there being a gameshow/competition where 100 teenage boys walked day and night until only one was left alive. I may have just been born, but I'm pretty sure I would have heard about it. The deal is that they have to keep a continuous pace of 4mph. If they slow down or stop, they are given three warnings. If they still can't keep up, they are shot in the head. Now, I just want to say that someone would absolutely have to threaten to shoot me in the head before you get my ass out there doing a fast-walk for miles and miles. Ah, who am I kidding, I would be the first one shot. And, I wouldn't even mind. Beats walking like a chump. So, all of these boys, who are definitely chumps, are walking day and night and getting all weird. Of course it messes with their minds a bit. They make little friendships, examine their life choices, and prepare to die. Seriously, how bad are your life choices when you sign up for this deal?? It's not like the Hunger Games where they have no choice. These chumps not only signed up for this shit, but they had to pass mental and physical tests to do it. Youth these days. So stupid. I mean those days. So stupid. One chump even tells his story about how he entered on a dare/whim/lark and it went too far. Dude!!! Peer pressure. Not even once. The rest of them are suicidal for some reason. Oh, maybe it's because they are teenagers living in an oppressive dystopian world. I mean, depressing teenagers is pretty damn easy on a good day. Holy shit! Where can I purchase this horse? He's glorious! The book is not filled with action and adventure, although there is killing. It is more of the inner struggle of the characters. I could talk about how it's possible to see some symbolism in the walk as being a journey in life with the general being an all-powerful being who is promising the person who makes it to the end the prize of anything their heart desires. It is also the ultimate in the carrot and stick analogy , but I'm not that deep. I just liked that a bunch of stupid chumps learned that you should never sign up for anything that has the promise of untold riches. It's always a sucker deal. Unlike what I've got going on. There is a Nigerian prince who wants me to distribute millions of dollars in any way I want, including keeping it for myself. All I need to do is send him my banking information and those millions are on their way. Oh, and forget the horse. I want one of these guys. Look at those smiles! Only good things can come from me owning an alpaca in my suburban home. They swim, right?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Stepheny

    The Long Walk is a short story by Richard Bachman, aka a much younger and much more cynical Stephen King. It centers around Ray Garraty, one of the 100 boys selected to participate in this year’s Long Walk. What is the Long Walk you ask? Exactly what it sounds like: a long fucking walk. The Rules: Keep walking. Keep up the pace. If you don’t, there are armed guards there to put a bullet in your head. Get too tired? Get shot. Stop to chat? Get shot. Run off and try to get free? Get shot. Slow dow The Long Walk is a short story by Richard Bachman, aka a much younger and much more cynical Stephen King. It centers around Ray Garraty, one of the 100 boys selected to participate in this year’s Long Walk. What is the Long Walk you ask? Exactly what it sounds like: a long fucking walk. The Rules: Keep walking. Keep up the pace. If you don’t, there are armed guards there to put a bullet in your head. Get too tired? Get shot. Stop to chat? Get shot. Run off and try to get free? Get shot. Slow down? Get shot. Catch pneumonia and struggle to keep up? Get shot. What happens if you are the last man standing walking? Well, you get whatever you want for the rest of your life, or so the story goes. You get all the riches. You get comforts unimaginable. But will it matter if your mind is gone? This book is just one giant mindfuck from start to finish. We are inside the mind of Garraty and we get the firsthand experience of what it’s like to walk nonstop day and night through the elements. He’s supplied water and a lovely food supplement that’s squeezed through a tube along with some crackers for good measure. Garraty is interested in learning about the other boys who willingly volunteered to partake in this walk, the biggest sporting event of the year. He’s still not sure why he volunteered, but it’s buried somewhere deep in his mind. Will he find the answers he is looking for? Will he come out on top or will his be one of the 99 bodies scattered along the side of the road? I loved this book the first time I read it many years ago, and I loved it even more the second time around on audio. For a book where the premise seems simple and boring, it is an enthralling read. No matter what format you choose, you will not be disappointed.

  20. 4 out of 5

    seak

    I've been going through a kind of mild Stephen King binge at the moment. I've mentioned before that I thought I wasn't a fan of the King and had given up on him for a while, but with my high enjoyment of his Dark Tower series, I've given him a second chance. This was not a bad idea. The Long Walk intrigued me when I started hearing people say it was like The Hunger Games, but darker. While I can see where this comparison comes from - a televised game of kids competing (view spoiler)[ and the winn I've been going through a kind of mild Stephen King binge at the moment. I've mentioned before that I thought I wasn't a fan of the King and had given up on him for a while, but with my high enjoyment of his Dark Tower series, I've given him a second chance. This was not a bad idea. The Long Walk intrigued me when I started hearing people say it was like The Hunger Games, but darker. While I can see where this comparison comes from - a televised game of kids competing (view spoiler)[ and the winner is the one who survives the rest (hide spoiler)] (it's not really a spoiler and you find it out quite soon, I don't want to spoil it if you don't know anything else) - it's not really anything close. It's much more intimate and deep, it's more human, and it's not nearly as ridiculous and over-the-top. It crushed me and made me appreciate what it's like to be alive. This book details the journey of 100 boys (up to 18) competing in a televised competition called The Long Walk. There's a starting point and an ending destination and really only a few rules to follow. The winner reaches the end first without getting a ticket. If you don't want things to really be spoiled (these are only mild spoilers if any), you may not want to keep reading. Just thought I'd warn if you want the "pure" experience. At first, the whole concept of The Long Walk didn't really make sense to me. Who volunteers to join a competition where not only does everyone die but the winner, but everyone joining has also seen the end when the kids are obviously suffering. The first thing that got me (and by "got me," I mean sucked me in and made this a favorite book of mine) was the kind of secret language that was used. King, I've noticed, likes to make you feel like you're in on something bigger or at least something that not everyone knows. You read his books, you can speak his language along with other "Constant Readers" as he terms it. The first phrase is "getting a ticket." At first, I was pretty sure what this meant, it's not revealed right away, but very quickly you find out that these kids who get a ticket get shot. Soldiers line the race waiting for the time when a boy will slow down enough, stop, or leave the race area and that's when they get their "ticket." Essentially, the winner is the sole survivor. And that's how we get to the next part of this secret language. The "warnings." A boy is warned when he falls under the mandatory 4 miles per hour that all racers must keep up. Each boy gets three warnings and then they get their "ticket." A warning can be gained back only by time. Each hour you walk without a warning, you gain a warning back. So, you get three warnings, it takes you three hours of walking at 4 miles per hour to get back to having zero warnings again. While King exceeds at amazing concepts like this one (I still can't stop thinking about this), he's even better with his characters, Ray Garrity especially. King uses a third-person limited point of view, telling the tale from Garrity's perspective. We learn of and become very close to his group of friends, we find out whatever gossip or information comes down the line from the front-runners, but we really find out what it's like to and means to someone to survive. It's amazing how little it takes to get your ticket in a situation like this. I mean, think about it, you may be perfectly fine any other day, but what if this is the day your appendix decides to act up? What if today's the day you get a small cold, what could it turn into? What if you get a simple Charlie horse? In this race, it's almost always deadly. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Ray Garrity contemplates these simple occurrences, but then things just keep getting worse as you can imagine, especially as the the Long Walk carries on and your feet get more than tired, and you haven't slept in days. The Long Walk is a book I won't soon forget. I don't plan on rereading books very often, but I will definitely reread this one. The fact that this isn't even considered one of King's best works gets me really excited for what's to come. 4.5 out of 5 Stars

  21. 5 out of 5

    ✨Brithanie Faith✨

    4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Favorite Quotes: "99 bottles of beer on the wall and if one of those bottles should happen to fall.." "But of course it had hurt. It had hurt before, in the worst, rupturing way, knowing there would be no more you but the universe would roll on just the same, unharmed and unhampered." "They’re animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?" Pros: -I felt this novel. Physically. My muscles were aching by the end of this, and I think that says something 4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Favorite Quotes: "99 bottles of beer on the wall and if one of those bottles should happen to fall.." "But of course it had hurt. It had hurt before, in the worst, rupturing way, knowing there would be no more you but the universe would roll on just the same, unharmed and unhampered." "They’re animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?" Pros: -I felt this novel. Physically. My muscles were aching by the end of this, and I think that says something about how well this was written. -I wouldn't say that I had low expectations going into this book, but I was a little concerned that it would get repetitive since the entire book is centered around "The Long Walk". It didn't. In fact, I had a hard time stopping this once I started it.. I needed to know what happened next! -I really enjoyed the point in this novel where I started rooting for certain characters. It almost felt like these characters were real, and The Long Walk was something that was actually taking place. Cons: -The ending. I mean I get it, but it WAS a little anticlimactic for me! 😂 (Which is why this was a 4 star read instead of a 5!) Overall: I'm glad that I finally got the chance to read this! Would consider re-reading it in the future, and I hope to see this on the big screen one day!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brandon

    This tale takes place in the future, I'm not entirely sure when King has this marked for but it sure as hell isn't present day. You've got 100 teens and you tell them that you have to walk at a consistent pace of 4 miles per hour until you just cannot do it any longer. While you're allowed 3 warnings (you’re never quite sure the length allowed before a warning is issued but I can only assume it's about 30 seconds) before you're eliminated, you need to walk for an hour straight to clear your warn This tale takes place in the future, I'm not entirely sure when King has this marked for but it sure as hell isn't present day. You've got 100 teens and you tell them that you have to walk at a consistent pace of 4 miles per hour until you just cannot do it any longer. While you're allowed 3 warnings (you’re never quite sure the length allowed before a warning is issued but I can only assume it's about 30 seconds) before you're eliminated, you need to walk for an hour straight to clear your warning. For those that are not math geniuses, if you obtain 3 warnings, you need to walk for 3 hours to clear your slate. **Oh, and you're eliminated by having your head blown off by armed soldiers who are forever on the sidelines. So, you're under a wee bit of pressure. You know, as far fetched as this plot seems to be, it's not that insane that it couldn't happen. I know the thought of this occurring today is going to be as acceptable as Snooki playboy centerfold but for those with nothing to loose, why not give it a shot? It’s not like the prize at the end of the game isn’t worth it? C'mon, it's anything you could ever want for the rest of your life! ANYTHING. How attractive is that? Hey, I'm not advocating that this event be started, from a society standpoint, I really don't understand its purpose. Yes, it could be interesting to watch provided you're not killing everyone off. That's just destroying a segment of your population that could actually work to achieve something. Then again, it's not like the human race hasn't proven they're capable of murdering large numbers of innocent people in the past. As the story progresses, King poses to the reader - is the prize really worth it? Isn't escaping with your life enough? The truth is all these characters got into this situation believing that they were going to win - no debating that. The thing is, you couldn't even begin to fathom the sheer amount of pain or exhaustion you would endure. Yes, on paper - it said "walk until you drop" (or something like that) but can your brain really comprehend that? With teens, most have a feeling of immortality; that you would be the first 15 year old that would live forever. Death is just a concept at this point, not an inevitability. The feeling that you were going to confront your own death didn't really hold the type of weight that a person of greater age might feel - besides, as I said earlier, there was no way you were going to loose, right? Probably the reason the contest is marketed towards teens. As of yet, I’ve yet to come across an author who can write such relaxing prose. Even when putting the reader in high tension situations, you always feel in control of the story. Usually, I’m not one for gore or the fad of “torture porn” but King writes in a way that lets the reader come up with his own vision of the situation rather than beat you over the head with graphic imagery. He’s subtle. That’s what I love about him. There’s someone I work with who says he just cannot get into King because when I describe a book to him, it always sounds “too weird” for him – he says he has a weak stomach. King just uses the walk and the constant death throughout as a backdrop – he wants to craft compelling characters and ask the reader questions of morality. Could you support the walk? Could you be so selfish to risk your life for the achievement of ultimate greed? The ending. I didn't particularly enjoy the ending all that much until I read online about what other people thought. If it is what people seem to think it is, I'm immensely satisfied. I must say, I'm 100% turned around on it. All in all, maybe I’m looking too much into it and it’s just a written adaptation for The Proclaimers, “500 miles”. I swear to God, if that song gets stuck in my head again, I’m going to lose my mind. DAMMIT.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mia Nauca

    Me encantó, tiene una premisa que te atrapa desde el comienzo. La larga marcha es un espectáculo televisado mundialmente donde 100 concursante deben caminar, sin parar, hasta que solo quede 1 vivo. Los otros 99 morirán en el camino. Es sobre la supervivencia, la amistad, las ganas de vivir un kilometro más, pero también sobre el morbo del espectáculo, el deshumanismo, lo que estaríamos dispuestos a sacrificar por diversión ¿no era eso lo que hacían los romanos en el coliseo? ¿Entreternse mientra Me encantó, tiene una premisa que te atrapa desde el comienzo. La larga marcha es un espectáculo televisado mundialmente donde 100 concursante deben caminar, sin parar, hasta que solo quede 1 vivo. Los otros 99 morirán en el camino. Es sobre la supervivencia, la amistad, las ganas de vivir un kilometro más, pero también sobre el morbo del espectáculo, el deshumanismo, lo que estaríamos dispuestos a sacrificar por diversión ¿no era eso lo que hacían los romanos en el coliseo? ¿Entreternse mientras una persona pelea por sobrevivir? Es un libro doloroso, que te hace sentir todo un dolor psicológico y mental. Los personajes son realmente admirables y diferenciables, lo cual es difícil de conseguir porque solo los vemos en la larga marcha no en otros momentos de su vida. 4.5 porque el final me pareció un poco apresurado pero también me encantó

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carol.

    I thought about doing some clever riff on this, maybe describing how it feels to swim 500 yards in a competition (so stuck in my head), or, in light of events this week, how it feels to have a migraine on and off for the last four days. I felt like I could tap into the structure of the telling rather easily, but honestly, it sounded tedious to write. And that's about where I am with "The Long Walk." Technically, it is written well although it goes to obvious lengths in the beginning to conceal th I thought about doing some clever riff on this, maybe describing how it feels to swim 500 yards in a competition (so stuck in my head), or, in light of events this week, how it feels to have a migraine on and off for the last four days. I felt like I could tap into the structure of the telling rather easily, but honestly, it sounded tedious to write. And that's about where I am with "The Long Walk." Technically, it is written well although it goes to obvious lengths in the beginning to conceal the consequences of the Walk. Written from the perspective of a rather naive teenager, it basically taps into a window of teen life. Garraty's thoughts range back and forth through his history, speculates momentarily on the future, but mostly concentrates on getting through the present with the group of young men he finds are accompanying him. It's a microcosm of a whole life within the story, so I can understand why some people think it's genius. Honestly, though, I was mostly bored, partially because it centered around so much of what I had already read, themes done rather ad nauseaum by King himself, along with Robert McCannon. I get it guys, I really do. The magical time you got to feel a girl's underwear as you had your hand around her butt. That time you wanted to ostracize the funny-looking skinny kid but didn't, and the time you saw the All-American football boy brought low. The time your mom was overprotective, but you wanted to protect her, and what it was like when your dad wasn't there. How it felt to come up against uncaring authority. Yeah, yeah, parallels and allusions. The most interesting thing about this was the 1996 Introduction by Stephen King in which he shares his feelings about his Bachman alter ego and what it was like to have it exposed. Bachman was his chance to play with negative outcomes, the darker, depressing side of humanity. It's pretty clear when you contrast the experience behind this to "Stand By Me," a more hopeful interpretation of older boys on a walk meeting Death. I felt like I would have enjoyed this more when I was fifteen, but I'm reasonably sure I read it then, back when I was in a King phase. He's just not my type.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kelly (and the Book Boar)

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ There’s only two things you need to worry about when taking The Long Walk: picking them up and laying them down. Outwalk the other 99 contestants in this most twisted of games and you’ll win the grand prize – whatever your heart desires for the rest of your life. Why the hell did I not know about this book for the past billion years I’ve been alive? I’ve been a King fangirl since the discovery of fire and can’t see how this one slipped Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ There’s only two things you need to worry about when taking The Long Walk: picking them up and laying them down. Outwalk the other 99 contestants in this most twisted of games and you’ll win the grand prize – whatever your heart desires for the rest of your life. Why the hell did I not know about this book for the past billion years I’ve been alive? I’ve been a King fangirl since the discovery of fire and can’t see how this one slipped past my radar. (Sidenote to all the über booknerds who might be reading this and are thinking about ways to rebel: Keep going to school and making the honor roll – just add a little Stephen King to your life and watch your mother freak out that you are really “acting out” all of a sudden. It makes for some fun times and you’ll discover an author that will entertain you for the next 20+ years.) However I managed to miss it, it happened and I now owe a huge THANK YOU to all of my Goodreads buddies for reading this en masse, making it pop on my feed and impossible for me to ignore. This is the King I love the best. I’m not such a superfan when I look back on a lot of his late 70s/early 80s stuff – it seems a little campy, a little too heavy on the horror and a little too light on the storyline. But this????? This is what was lurking inside –a foreshadowing of what was to come with character driven stories where gore takes a backburner to psychological terror. You might be asking why you should read this book? Hasn’t the whole battle to the death thing been done a time or twelve before? Hasn’t it even been taken to not-so-PG13 levels a few times? Hasn’t Stephen King even done this already???? The answer is yes, but King does it so well and on such a different level in The Long Walk than any of the others that it simply should not be passed by. Stephen King might be the only author who can write a nearly 400 page story with no reference to what year it takes place and absolutely zero “world building”. All he had to build was a road and send 100 kids out walking on it in order to create a book that I could not put down until the last page was turned.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matt Tandy

    A relentless, horrifying journey into the extremes of human physical and mental endurance, The Long Walk is a harrowing novel, not an outright horror tale, but a terrifying trip that gets under the readers skin as the walk wears on. Bachman (sai King) is able to get the reader to experience the walk in intimate detail; each aching arch, sleeplessness, the gut renching realization of the reality of the situation. As each mile passes, we become as much part of the long walk as the characters. Of t A relentless, horrifying journey into the extremes of human physical and mental endurance, The Long Walk is a harrowing novel, not an outright horror tale, but a terrifying trip that gets under the readers skin as the walk wears on. Bachman (sai King) is able to get the reader to experience the walk in intimate detail; each aching arch, sleeplessness, the gut renching realization of the reality of the situation. As each mile passes, we become as much part of the long walk as the characters. Of the Bachman books, The Long Walk is the best written and most effective at looking at the more cynical and cruel aspects of the human mind and spirit.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ace

    The story starts when a hundred boys from different states of America joined a yearly "Long walk" contest. The participants need to walk without decreasing their speeds and without stopping until they reach the finish line. Each time they fail sustaining their walks is equivalent to a ticket, they can only get three tickets, the next one will be a gunshot in their heads. What made me buy this book is because it is in my favorite genre, Dystopia. Maybe, I expect too much when I'm about to read thi The story starts when a hundred boys from different states of America joined a yearly "Long walk" contest. The participants need to walk without decreasing their speeds and without stopping until they reach the finish line. Each time they fail sustaining their walks is equivalent to a ticket, they can only get three tickets, the next one will be a gunshot in their heads. What made me buy this book is because it is in my favorite genre, Dystopia. Maybe, I expect too much when I'm about to read this book. Many reviews gave it a 4 and 5 stars ratings, which means, it is one of the best dystopian novel. And besides, I read somewhere that this is where Suzzanne Collins got her idea of her novel, The Hunger Games(One of my favorite novel). I am disappointed when I finished the book. I felt like I wasted too much time reading the book. Though the premise of the book is good, but I think it is poorly written. I'm not sure if King rushed the novel or if he lacks in idea when he is writing the novel. The sub plots are so hollow that it felt that it is not really needed in the story, that they are just a filler to reach King's word quota. The novel is just an OK for me, nothing special or spectacular that happened in the story. I will not recommend this novel to those who are looking for a "hardcore dystopian novel".

  28. 4 out of 5

    Coos Burton

    Este fue el primer libro de King que leo en varios meses, en definitiva ya lo extrañaba. Este libro se posiciona entre mis favoritos sin lugar a duda, principalmente por su crueldad, por la crudeza de los hechos. Estamos hablando de una marcha en la que los jóvenes marchadores tienen prohibido detenerse, y cada vez que alguien lo hace, o disminuye bruscamente su ritmo, recibe un aviso. Luego del tercer aviso, las cosas se ponen seriamente oscuras, y reciben su "pase", el equivalente a una muerte Este fue el primer libro de King que leo en varios meses, en definitiva ya lo extrañaba. Este libro se posiciona entre mis favoritos sin lugar a duda, principalmente por su crueldad, por la crudeza de los hechos. Estamos hablando de una marcha en la que los jóvenes marchadores tienen prohibido detenerse, y cada vez que alguien lo hace, o disminuye bruscamente su ritmo, recibe un aviso. Luego del tercer aviso, las cosas se ponen seriamente oscuras, y reciben su "pase", el equivalente a una muerte segura. Es una de las novelas más duras del autor, hay momentos muy deprimentes en esta historia, principalmente llegando al final debo confesar que me hizo lagrimear un poco. Ya desde el comienzo del libro vemos como el protagonista intenta disipar un poco las preocupaciones de su madre, quien lo alcanza a la marcha intentando persuadirlo de que abandone la idea por completo. Garraty, con firmeza y determinación, mantiene en pie su aventura descabellada y se suma a la larga marcha. Es increíble lo que me costaba leer ciertas situaciones, al ser una de las novelas más realistas del autor, y al mismo tiempo más inhumanas, despiadadas. Es una historia altamente recomendada, que posiblemente la esté releyendo en algún momento de mi vida.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trudi

    I've re-read this book many times because I love it so much and I get something different out of it every time that I do. I decided to listen to it this time just to experience the story on another level. This was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and I must say it's a lot different than what I imagined it would be. I was expecting something along the lines of a radio play with different voices for different characters and sound effects in the background, like rain or wind or gunfire. Inst I've re-read this book many times because I love it so much and I get something different out of it every time that I do. I decided to listen to it this time just to experience the story on another level. This was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and I must say it's a lot different than what I imagined it would be. I was expecting something along the lines of a radio play with different voices for different characters and sound effects in the background, like rain or wind or gunfire. Instead, it is a straight reading of the book, word for word, by one guy - in this case Kirby Heyborne. Since I don't have a lot of experience with audiobook readers, I can't say whether Heyborne excels or not. His voice grew on me and certainly didn't detract from the story in any way. I had a few moments where his pronunciation of a few things jarred me, and his voice for Baker sounded too much like Matthew McConaughey while Scramm ended up sounding like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Oh, and Barkovitch started sounding too much like Jack Nicholson :) Other than those small quibbles, I loved listening to this story as much as I've loved reading it. In some ways, listening made it even better. I closed my eyes, leaned back, and I was on that road with the boys suffering right alongside them, each step becoming more and more excruciating. I could smell the crisp Maine air, feel the road under my feet, hear the loud, sharp sounds of the carbines as each boy gets his Ticket. It doesn't matter how many times I read (or listen) to this story, it never gets old, the tension never falls flat. I'm enthralled from page one.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    2.5 stars For most of the time I was reading this novel I felt like nothing important happened. For almost the entire novel the same thing was occurring. I also found it to be predictable. I knew what was going to happen the more I got into the story. I did have to force myself, at certain times, to continue reading this. The chapters were extremely long, and would have like the chapters to be split up and make shorter. For the most part, the ending was enjoyable, even if I knew what was going to 2.5 stars For most of the time I was reading this novel I felt like nothing important happened. For almost the entire novel the same thing was occurring. I also found it to be predictable. I knew what was going to happen the more I got into the story. I did have to force myself, at certain times, to continue reading this. The chapters were extremely long, and would have like the chapters to be split up and make shorter. For the most part, the ending was enjoyable, even if I knew what was going to happen.

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