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Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Long Walk | Book Review

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. 

My Thoughts

“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!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Unraveling Oliver | Book Review

Unraveling Oliver

Written by: Liz Nugent
Number of Pages: 258

Average Rating: 3.83 / 5 stars
My Rating: 2 / 5 stars
Published: February 6, 2018
Read in May 2018

Summary According to Goodreads

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children’s books; their life together one of enviable privilege and ease - until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious, and subsequently beats her into a coma. 

In the aftermath of such an unthinkable event, as Alice hovers between life and death, the couple’s friends, neighbours, and acquaintances try to understand what could have driven Oliver to commit such a horrific act. As his story unfolds, layers are peeled away to reveal a life of shame, envy, deception, and masterful manipulation.

My Thoughts

I received an e-arc copy of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book, since I didn’t really like it but I also couldn’t stop reading it. I was never truly sucked into the story, and didn’t find any mystery or thrill. Reading this novel was very much like reading a true-life story or even a psychological assessment; a little dull but an interesting message overall. 

There were many different perspectives and time frames described in this book, and some of them I enjoyed more than others. My opinion on Oliver didn’t change too much through the histories revealed, but instead I developed an understanding for his motives. He is generally an unlikeable character, and I couldn’t find myself caring about his life. 

My biggest complaint about this novel would have to be in the writing. I said earlier that I was never sucked into the story, but I also never felt any connection to the characters. Each chapter changes perspectives, giving us background on Oliver throughout the years, but I didn’t find any of them to have a distinctive voice.

Overall, this was just alright and I decided to give it two stars instead of one because it was a quick read regardless of my boredom. It wasn’t awful, but I didn’t take anything away from it either. There wasn’t anything shocking about it, since you know from the very beginning that Oliver kills his wife and everyone around him can’t believe it. t went into it expecting something more thrilling or mysterious, and am a bit disappointed with what I got.