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The Long Walk [Kindle Edition]

Stephen King , Richard Bachman
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (920 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.70
You Save: $2.29 (29%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as ?The Long Walk.? If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying...

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as ?The Long Walk.? If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying...




Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"A master storyteller." - Houston Chronicle
"An illusionist extraordinaire." - Publishers Weekly

Product Details

  • File Size: 530 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1st edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SAUCBC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,124 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
514 of 528 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you ask me, The Long Walk may well be the most fascinating novel Stephen King has ever written. Written back in 1966-67, while King was a college freshman, the novel earned the author nothing more than a form rejection letter. Finally, after a few years of dust-gathering, the manuscript was released into a much more welcoming world in the form of Richard Bachman's second novel. It's a magnificent story - not perfect, but magnificent nonetheless. It's a disarmingly simple tale centered on a seemingly mundane activity, yet in King's masterful hands The Long Walk burrows into the core of a number of characters, lays down miles of metaphors about the human condition, and absolutely mesmerizes you with its emotional force and power.

The setting is an alternate, possible fascist America; King leaves things pretty murky on the sociopolitical end of things, almost surely by design. The Long Walk is really one of your "it can't happen in America" kind of stories, and the horror of it all (and, yes, I would categorize this as a horror novel) is made more powerful by obscuring the lines between our America and this fictionalized America. Here, The Long Walk is the premier sporting event in the land. Spectators turn out in droves, bets are made left and right, and the whole nation watches and cheers. Obviously, this is not a regular walk, nor is it a race in the purist sense. Endurance - mental even more than physical - is the key to victory in this sport. To win, all you have to do is outlast 99 other competitors - and the winner receives nothing less than whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Before you yell "Sign me up," you'll want to hear about the details. You have to maintain a pace of at least four miles per hour; fall below the pace, and you get a warning.
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189 of 209 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A compelling tale of human endurance May 5, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Long Walk is the second book I have read that was written by King under the name Richard Bachman. It is the in-depth story of how a boy named Ray Garraty must survive the greatest challenge of his life -- the Long Walk. This annual event is summarized as follows: 100 boys start walking; if you walk under 4 miles per hour, you get a warning; after 3 warnings, if you slow down again, you are shot dead. The winner of the Long Walk is the last boy left walking.
Stephen King (a.k.a. Richard Bachman) introduces and develops the characters of many of the boys in the event. As a reader, you get to learn about Garraty, Pete McVries, Hank Olson, Art Baker, Barkovitch, Stebbins, and others, who each have their own personality quirks and ways of looking at life. Each boy has entered the Long Walk for a different reason and I found their discussions about life and death to be quite interesting (a social statement by King, perhaps?). The reader is led along the course and each significant event is mentioned along the way, with some unexpected occurrences that may surprise you.
As the challenge narrows down from the original 100 competitors to less than 50, then to just a handful of boys remaining, the scenario becomes rather intense. Who will die next? How will he die? And most importantly, who will be left at the end to claim the Prize? Although the suspense builds slowly, it tends to add to the dramatic effect of the final moments and keep the reader wanting to read more to find out what happens (I was so eager to find out that I read the last half of the book in one sitting).
Although the story is interesting and held my attention, there are a couple of criticisms that knocked it down from 5 to 4 stars. First, the ending was too predictable.
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the creepiest books I've ever read May 10, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read "The Long Walk" about three years ago, and found that it stayed with me for nearly every step I've taken since then. Any walk of a mile or longer invariably brought up memories of the deadly Long Walk taken by a hundred fictional teenagers in the alternate-history Earth of this early King classic.
As other reviewers have noted, just to read this book is to feel physically tired. The characters start walking, at a grueling pace of four miles per hour, early in the first chapter, and never stop. There are only two ways out of the contest: death or victory... and, out of the 100 contestants, there can only be one winner. "The Long Walk" takes place over five days in May, and by the final day, the Prize may no longer seem worth winning.
As painful as your legs will feel by the final chapter, you'll be equally intrigued by the little alternate-history hints King drops throughout the book. With references to John Travolta and the handover of the Panama Canal, "Long Walk" is still very much a product of the 1970s. But when the characters mention "April 31st", or New Hampshire's provisional governor, or the German bombing raids over the East Coast in World War II, you'll find yourself wondering just how the world of the "Long Walk" came to be. Most intriguing is a fictional quote from the "second Clay-Liston" fight, which ends even worse for Sonny Liston than did the actual Ali-Liston fight in our own 1965.
The only thing that disrupts "The Long Walk" is the ambiguous final page. King points out in the introduction to this edition that his Bachman persona did not specialize in happy endings, and of course we know that King writes insanity quite convincingly. I've beem vaguely dissatisfied with the ending after both my readings -- but, taken by itself, the final line is still a creepy finale to a very creepy book...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Story telling by the master..
Published 1 hour ago by bigyo
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Pre-fame Stephen King at his finest.
Published 16 hours ago by ProCom
4.0 out of 5 stars Two thumbs up!
Another winner! Not scary, but intense!
Published 19 hours ago by Mitzi L Burton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
STEPHEN KING RULES
Published 19 hours ago by misty
5.0 out of 5 stars I love Stephen King
I love Stephen King, and I am on a mission to read all of his Richard Bachman books, which is so much easier now. Read more
Published 20 hours ago by Deb V. H.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
liked it
Published 21 hours ago by Patricia Silvernail
5.0 out of 5 stars The hunger games... before there were hunger ...
The hunger games...before there were hunger games. This book and his other "The Running Man" sets the bar high for all dystopian future novels.
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars If you don't mind racist and bigot characters
This is my second purchase of a Stephen King book. The first one I read "Mr. Mercedes" was good except for the racist remarks used throughout the book which I tolerated. Read more
Published 4 days ago by Alanna
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing
Love it as usual, love your stories Stephen king, have been a life saver of sanity during high school years of being grounded for long lengths of time, gave my sanity something... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Stephen king
3.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointed
I am a huge Stephen King fan but this book just didn't cut it for me. It seemed to go on and on, repeating the same scenario --- they walk, someone gets killed, then they walk... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Ruth A. Corcoran
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squaded?
The glorification of the squads is supposed to emphasize the horror of the sport to the reader. It is meant to intensify realization of how horrible humanity has become due to the Squads to the point they find the murder of men honorable. The reader is supposed to be disgusted by the unnecessary... Read More
Jun 16, 2008 by Bridget Bierman |  See all 2 posts
the ending to the Long Walk. What happens to the winner? Be the first to reply
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