In this #1 national bestseller, “master storyteller” (Houston Chronicle) Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, tells the tale of the contestants of a grueling walking competition where there can only be one winner—the one that survives.
“I give my congratulations to the winner among your number, and my acknowledgements of valor to the losers.”
Against the wishes of his mother, sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty is about to compete in the annual grueling match of stamina and wits known as The Long Walk. One hundred boys must keep a steady pace of four miles per hour without ever stopping...with the winner being awarded “The Prize”—anything he wants for the rest of his life. But, as part of this national tournament that sweeps through a dystopian America year after year, there are some harsh rules that Garraty and ninety-nine others must adhere to in order to beat out the rest. There is no finish line—the winner is the last man standing. Contestants cannot receive any outside aid whatsoever. Slow down under the speed limit and you’re given a warning. Three warnings and you’re out of the game—permanently....
Ray Garraty along with 99 other teen boys has entered the Long Walk, a grueling march at four miles per hour that continues until only one person is standing. The losers receive bullets to the head. As the march progresses, the numbers dwindle, the challenges of continued marching increase, and the senselessness wears on the participants' state of mind. King (writing as his alter ego, Richard Bachman) delivers another psychologically dark tale with commentary on society, teenage life, and cultural entertainment that is still poignant decades after its original publication. Kirby Heyborne's skills shine in the narrative passages, which he executes with a good mixture of rhythm and emphasis. Heyborne's light and youthful-sounding voice exudes the needed attitude of the mostly male adolescent characters. However, some of his character voices for the teens feel created just for the sole purpose of clearly distinguishing them, rather than matching voice organically to personality. His female voices lack substance, but since there are so few of them, listeners will not be too distracted. A Signet paperback.
One of the Best
I had to review this book, as I've never read such a novel that would slip into my mind during the day, as if it were a true and ongoing situation. I'd wonder during my day, where the boys (the walkers) were 'by now' and how they're doing as they walk and aren't allowed to stop. I'd find myself actually thinking about these fictional characters - all walking until only one boy is left - the winner! The only one left alive. We get to know these boys extremely well, via Stephen King's incredible writing. Good horror!
Just finished 30 seconds ago. Such a heartfelt, raw and believable book about teenage boy friendship, determination and love. One of my favorite King books, up there with The Body.
Very good book, kept my attention. Good for a teenager or adult to read.