Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review of The Long Walk

Author: Stephen King
First published in 1979
Thickness: 370 pages
Personal rating: 5 stars
Read in Dutch

In short

100 young boys run a marathon. The prize of winning being having all you ask for, the prize of losing being your life.
Set in a dystopian society, we follow Ray Garraty, one of the contestants, while he runs for his life and in the meantime learns the true meaning of friendship, death and love.

My two cents

The long walk is one of my most cherished novels of Stephen King. It isn't his greatest work of fiction, written before Carrie (his first novel) was published, at the age of 19, but it strikes a chord in me. It feels real to me, like something that might happen in this crazy world we live in today, where we all want to be entertained no matter the cost.
Of course such dystopian tales have been told before, we all have heard of Battle Royal, The Hunger Games, The Running Man,... 
But what makes this a novel you should have read at least once, is that it's written from a very personal point of view. We actually tail Ray Garraty, in his personal glories and defeats. How does one cope with the fact that you living, means 99 others have to die and the only way to live is to keep on running, hoping your body and mind don't fail you.

As they begin to run, Ray quickly becomes friends with a few of his fellow runners, and they do watch each others backs up until a point where they all know that saving another means possible death for themselves. You follow them as they all figure that out in their own way, and cope with it.
It's a story full of grim possibilities, and if you are like me, you'll read it in less than three days. It's a novel I could read in one sitting if I could find the time.
Also a novel that my husband read and liked and he isn't much of a Stephen King reader to begin with.

I give my full blessing :)