The Running Man (The Bachman Books) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 417 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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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 alternate kindle_edition edition.
- File Size : 352 KB
- Print Length : 417 pages
- Language: : English
- Publication Date : March 11, 2010
- Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton (March 11, 2010)
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B003BVFZ4G
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #755,717 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I have been trying to like King for years, with little success. But I think I have found my way to him through Bachman, who (I suppose) allowed King to not be King for a bit. There is the usual awkward dragging in the last third, typical of King (what is it with him and endings?), but it is much less jarring and problematic here. I was not thrown out of the story by it, thankfully - which allowed me to receive the 11th hour sucker punch right on cue. Superb story... SO much better than the clownish movie that was ostensibly made from it.
Ben Richards is a troublemaker in the eyes of the law. A man who has protested against the lack of heath regulation for low level workers and has been black marked by employers as a result. Ben is married and has managed to have a child, Cathy, despite working in a factory where he was exposed to radiation for years. Now, however, the Richards are struggling to put food on the table and little Cathy is deathly sick with influenza. There is no money for a doctor. Ben's wife, Sheila, turns tricks as a prostitute to obtain some badly needed funds, much to her husband's anguish. In desperation, Ben decides to apply for one of the game shows.
Ben's application is successful and, identified early on in the application process, as a troublemaker, he is allocated to The Running Man. No-one has ever survived this game which requires the contestant to run from the hunters who are out to kill him. The public can join in the game and win but calling in sightings of the contestant to the television studio. No-one is on the runners side which makes surviving extremely difficult. Ben soon discovers that the game is also rigged and the two video cassettes he has to mail to the television studio every day are provided to the hunters to help them determine his location. Ben, however, is a survivor. He is also a man running on hate and this turns out to be a rather bad combination for the hierarchy of the television studio.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Running Man and recommend it to all lovers of dystopian fiction.
Although I knew that the book was different from the film, I never truly grasped how different it was until I got a few chapters in. The Running Man is a story of an antihero, one filled with anger toward a harsh, unforgiving world. The narrator paints a dystopian future and never seems to shine a light on any real good in the world. So many people are described in a vulgar manner, which may reflect King at the time of writing. The story is extremely slow to build, but the ride, filled with all sorts of ups and downs, was definitely worth taking.
Maybe it was ruined by having seen the film so many times which, though not a great film by any means, has a more coherent story that I think works better. In case you're wondering, the two stories are completely different.
I can only wish that King would write the film's story and this would have been five stars for me. But even then, I enjoyed the read!
Top reviews from other countries
It is full of the darkness and disillusionment of his earlier years but combined with a more polished style and the triumph of our anti hero even as he flies to his death makes this extraordinarily compelling.
I've lost count of the number of times i have read this story and yet i am enthralled every time.
My advice to anyone considering this book is to read it immediately! Step in to Richards bleak world and despair with him as he struggles to overcome a system stacked against him and baying for his blood.
Great story, great characters, great writing - everything you'd expect from Stephen King. Unfortunately we'll never see a film of this that's true to the book as the ending isn't something that would ever be touched by a studio until our generation is in the grave (can't say more without spoilers, but you'll see what I mean.)
A few hours of my life well spent.
They had a great idea with this one and I loved the story but it could have been so much better.