The Long Walk
Written by: Richard Bachman
Number of Pages: 416
Average Rating: 4.11 / 5 stars
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars
Published in July 1979
Read in May 2018
Summary According to Goodreads
In the near future, when America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life.
Among them is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty, and he knows the rules - keep a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings and you’re out - permanently.
“He seemed to have put in as many miles in his brain as he had with his feet."
I loved it! I had been wanting to pick it up for years, and I was in Chapters one day and decided to just give in and pay the full price for it. I started reading it the day that I bought it, and off all of the Stephen King novels I’ve read, I read this one the fastest - I just couldn’t put it down!
At first I couldn’t understand why these boys would willingly sign-up to participate in this walk, but the more you read the clearer the motives become. I interpreted “The Long Walk” to symbolize more than just a hundred boys walking for days, but also how no matter how far you push in life there’s so much more road to travel. It only ends when you decide that it’s over.
It is written in third person narrative surrounding Ray Garraty, but it all felt so genuine and real that you could find a connection to all of the boys. I had some genuine favourites, and it was heartbreaking sometimes because you know that only one boy is coming out of this walk alive.
I’m not going to say anything about the ending for spoilers sake, but it’s one you have to sit on in order to understand why he wrote it that way. This was such a unique story that I’m still thinking about a week after finishing, and is one that I would recommend to everyone interested in Stephen King’s works. This novel not only makes my favourites of 2018, but makes my favourites of all time!
It also helps that reading this book motivated me to go to the gym more!