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Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) crafted The Running Man early in his career, though after such mega-hits as Carrie and The Shining. A bit of a departure from the supernatural horror that is most frequently associated with his work, the novel describes a science fiction dystopia where market capitalism and television game shows have spiraled out of control, and the separation between the haves and the have-nots has been formalized with separate currencies. King establishes characters quickly, creating sympathy in the first few pages for Ben Richards--whose 18-month-old baby girl is suffering from a horrible cough, perhaps pneumonia. Not able to afford medicine, Richards enters himself in the last-chance money-making scheme of the Free-Vee games. The games include Treadmill to Bucks, in which heart-attack prone contestants struggle to outlast a progressively demanding treadmill, or the accurately named Swim the Crocodiles. After a rigorous battery of physical and mental examinations, Richards is assigned "Elevator Six"--the path of a chosen few--that leads to The Running Man game. In this game, the stakes and the prizes are raised. Success means a life of luxury. Failure means death. Unfortunately, few ever win the game; in fact, as the producer tells Richards, in six years no one has survived.
The Running Man is a short book, tightly written to be read and enjoyed quickly. The future world it depicts is vividly captured with a few essential details. The action is also fast paced and, though the novel differs from much of King's other work, the sardonic social commentary reveals a pleasing glimmer of King's characteristically twisted sense of humor. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Under any name King mesmerizes the reader.”—Chicago Sun-TimesSee all Editorial Reviews
I've been into Stephen King lately (the non-horror stuff), and I came across this at the library. It was very good, a super quick read. Read morePublished 7 days ago by ChandraT
Excellent narration. Very typical Bachman-period King. Drastically different from the movie and MUCH better than the film.Published 9 days ago by FictionLover
I thought this was a bit different , very interesting, and I couldn't put it down. Give it a try.Published 19 days ago by marilyn king
Want to keep reading I didn't want to sleep I read to to fall asleep but not with this book.... Thanks Mr. KingPublished 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
Probably one of the most under-appreciated of King's works. I think most people pass this by because they have seen the movie by the same name. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Prescott
The key thing about this book. It bears NO relation to the film. And that is a good thing. Very fast paced. It's very much - I woke up a wanted man, and the chase is on... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Lars Pendicott