- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 10 hours and 48 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: April 1, 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003F23778
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The Long Walk Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The tale of the long walk had me gripped right from the get go. I knew nothing about it and turned the pages as fast as I could to find out. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Alisha Annandale
I liked the ending and I like the theme that you can not escape the inevitable no matter how hard you tryPublished 2 days ago by Sharon Lebon
I measure the value of a book by how much I can tune out my surroundings. This book made me forget everything but Garrety and his situation. It was absolutely fabulous!Published 5 days ago by Kelli J
This story held my attention from beginning to the very last page. Stephen King has lost none of his subtle, creepy, down home edge. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Andrew R. Appleton
I am a huge King fan, but I wanted more to the end that he wouldn't reveal. Even a brief epilogue would have helpedPublished 10 days ago by Barbara Feeman
Stephen King has created another great story; his imagination is boundless. Wonderful character development, cadence and imagery.Published 11 days ago by Mtn Mama
I really enjoyed this story but was very disappointed in the ending. What a unique idea.Published 12 days ago by J. G. Gatewood