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The Bachman Books: Rage / The Long Walk / Roadwork / The Running Man Hardcover – October 4, 1985


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 692 pages
  • Publisher: New American Library (October 4, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0453005071
  • ISBN-13: 978-0453005074
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (202 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #48,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA Four novels published between 1977 and 1982. In Rage , a high-school student goes berserk in the classroom, killing the teacher and holding the class hostage. Set in a militaristic ultra-conservative America, The Long Walk pits 100 teenagers against each other in a grueling 450-mile marathon walk in which the penalty is death. Roadwork is a novel of societal conflict, man vs. progress. The first three thrillers, while entertaining and gripping, occasionally suffer from unfocused and uneven writing. Unresolved questions cause them to be somewhat unsatisfying. However the fourth novel, The Running Man , in the tradition of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (NAL, 1968; o.p.), is an action-packed futuristic romp. Protagonist Ben Richards bets his life on a TV show in order to win the money to save the life of his deathly ill daughter. The story combines social commentary, adventure and science fiction, set against the backdrop of a decaying society. This one novel is well worth the price of the book. The name Stephen King, plus the four-novels-in-one packaging guarantees this volume's success. Bet you can't buy just one copy! John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Lib., Va.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

You can't help admiring King's narrative skills and his versatility as a storyteller Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

I read this book several years ago and still think the stories are great.
Janice L. Stalcup
The pace is fast, the story is amazing, and the characters are so well thought out that you'll feel that you may have actually known them.
R. Stringini
The book, like most books against movies, is about 10 times beeter than the movie.
Paul Salazar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2005
Format: Turtleback
The true identify of Richard Bachman did not get out until the publication of Thinner, Bachman's fifth book. These first four Bachman novels were the sorts of books you might find in a grocery store or - more likely - never have come across at all because they weren't really marketed at all - at Stephen King's request. Naturally, they didn't sell all that well - not until the true author was revealed, of course. These represent an interesting cross-section of King's writing life. Rage and The Long Walk are truly early King novels, Roadwork emerged in between the novels 'Salem's Lot and The Shining, and The Running Man was published in 1982, the product of a mere seventy-two hours of writing. They are quite different novels, yet they all share a common theme - a man displaced by society and doing what he can to combat the forces closing in around him.

This collection is about the only place you can find the novel Rage these days. After the Columbine tragedy, Stephen King basically had all copies of Rage pulled from the shelves. The novel features a high school student who wigs out, shoots two teachers, and holds his class hostage for several hours. The real heart of the story is the way the students react to their captor during their ordeal; they go way beyond merely sympathizing with him. King really breaks down the emotional walls of these characters, mining some of the real issues that teenagers have to deal with in their lives. To me, this novel is raw but instructive, surreal yet amazingly open and honest, and well worth reading.

If you ask me, The Long Walk (written while King was a college freshman) may well be the most fascinating novel King has ever written.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By R. Stringini on July 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It makes me somewhat angry that a book like Rage has to be shelved because of an incident like Columbine. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time, a book I would tell other to read in an instant, but I can't. The novel has been pushed in to oblivion because it deals with a school shooting. Yes, it deals with teenagers being violent, and blowing up emotionally, and then it also deals with them coming to grips with everything, realizing who they are. That may be what disturbes most people about this book. When they realize who they are, what they realize is far from pretty. But at no point did the story feel forced. Everything these teens said fit with their characters. Everything they did fit with what was being thrown at them.

Do I think this book is dangerous? Not at all! It actually shows the danger of holding your fears and problems inside. That's why Charlie went crazy. He held everything inside, just so he could conform to the norm. And conforming led him to something... well, read the book and find out. That's why, in the end, everything works out in it's own twisted way. And yes, this book is twisted. Very twisted. But not dangerous. What happens in the end was was truelly frightening though. If you can get your hands on a copy, grab it. You'll never be able to put the book down. The pace is fast, the story is amazing, and the characters are so well thought out that you'll feel that you may have actually known them. This is one of King's best books.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joseph P. Ulibas VINE VOICE on June 25, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Bachman Books were a way for Stephen King to write a different style under a psuedonym. Under the Richard Bachman pen name, King has managed to paint a bleak but realistic world (unlike the supernatural landscape of 'Salem's Lot and The Stand)).

Rage:

This book is about a young teenager named Charlie Decker. He's like any ordinary kid but he has a problem.

His childhood has turned him into an angry sociopath who's unable to cope with life and does the most drastic thing he could think of, he holds his Algebra class hostage. Let the mind games begin!

Long Walk:

In a futuristic America, a totalitarian government has taken over. To placate the population, a dictator known as The Major presides over a deadly game of endurance call The Long Walk. 100 teenage boys are selected to participate. The winner gets set up for life, the rest are left for dead.

Roadwork:

A hard working joe who's life is turned upside down when his home is selected for demolition. A sour relationship, a voice in his head and a new rifle make a terrible combination. When the fuzz come around that's when the fun begins.

Running Man:

Another bleak tale about a media and consumer driven society (sounds familiar). The growning have-nots are greatly out numbering the haves. One of the many have nots (Benjiman Richards) decides to help out his sick child and part-time prostitute wife by becoming a Free-Vee games contestant. Along the way, he learns and is tranformed into something he never thought he was capable of becoming.

An awesome collection of short novels. I higly recommended this novel. You'll never regret it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "al29902" on August 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Wow. I am amazed by these stories that Stephen King wrote so early in his carreer. They are all impressive and well written. They all have lasting impact. The first two are excellent psychological thrillers, complete with plenty of interesting philosophy. The third is a slow moving, character analysis of a schizophrenic. The final story is a fast moving action story. All of the stories are excellent.
Rage(5/5)- This is the reason that you won't be finding this anthology in stores. This story is about a school shooting incident. In it, a boy named Charlie Decker takes over his class after shooting his math teacher. I know it sounds ludacrously violent, but it isn't. There aren't many deaths, but alot of excitement and plenty of philosophy. It is told from the first-person (unusual for King) point of view of a killer. You get to watch his sanity slowly slip away. Very intriguing.
The Long Walk(5/5)- A tie with Rage for my favorite Bachman Book. This one involves a grim future in the style of my favorite book, 1984. In this grim, 1984-esque, future, there is a marathon held every year with 100 boys starting off on the U.S.-Canada border and they simply walk. If they go below 4mph for 30 seconds they recieve a warning. If they walk for one hour without a fresh warning they lose an old warning. If they acumulate three warnings, then stop again, they recieve a ticket a.k.a. a bullet in the head. This is the story of one walker - Ray Garraty - who enters the contest. He and others, including Pete McVries, Hank Olson, Art Baker, Barkovitch, and Stebbins. A bit predictable, but haunting and disturbing.
Roadwork(4/5)- This one is interesting. It isn't the best in the collection, but it is still an excellent story.
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