The Long Walk by Richard Bachman

The Long Walk - Stephen King

My very first Richard Bachman book. For those who don't know, Richard Bachman is a pseudonym for Stephen King, but I see them as two different persons after reading "The importance of being Bachman" !

Anyway, my father is a huge fan of his books and I had to start reading them to see what was so great about his writing. I chose The Long Walk because the synopsis was really intriguing. I love survival games and competitions. It was way deeper than I thought it would be. I was impressed by how casual all of this sounded but also really horrifying at the same time.

100 boys leave Maine at the same time and start walking. They have to walk at least 4 miles/hour, if they get three warnings, they got shot. They walk until only one remains. It was difficult to understand why people would choose to do that, they are not forced to do it, they actually have to apply and pass some tests. The winner is promised "The Prize" (whatever he wants for the rest of his life), but still.

I was thinking it could become really boring because they are walking for most of the book. But it was so well written that my feet almost hurt. I could feel them walking, I could feel them hurting. It was really dynamic.

My main problem is that you do not have a lot of "world building", you do not really know how this competition was created and why it is so popular (after all, you do not have a lot of chance of surviving).

The characters were really realistic; they were normal teenagers (from the 80s). The despair in the book was real. You are really rooting for the main character but at the same time, you do not want any of them to die, but you know it will happen eventually and you really have no idea who is going to win. When boys feel they cannot walk any longer, that they are done, it is absolutely heart breaking. I could almost hear the gunshots.

I gave 5 stars to this book, I could put myself in the characters’ shoes and feel their exhaustion and despair. Well done!


Is there any Stephen King lovers over here? What would you recommend I read next by him?