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Hi again, friends! Today for Stephen King Book Club, I will be discussing my thoughts on the the book The Long Walk. He wrote this book as Richard Bachman. I found a great used version of the Bachman Books from ThriftBooks, which has become my new go-to for buying books. I adore used books so much more than brand new, in most cases, so I get the best of both worlds – a great price and a previously well loved book.
(Fun fact : if you click on this link right here, and spend $30 – we both will receive credit for a free book! This is a referral link, by the way.)
My Thoughts : The Long Walk
Spoilers ahead, turn back now if you haven’t read yet.
Firstly, I had no idea what this book was before I started reading. To my recollection, I do not remember having even heard of this one before.
The Long Walk tells the story of a group of 100 guys who have chosen to try and out walk the other 99. They are each issued warnings before being shot dead – which was a huge surprise the first time it happened!
We mostly get to know Ray Garraty, and some friends he makes along the way.
I use the term friends loosely, but they do end up forming a kind of close kinship as they complete their task.
I’m definitely going to have to read this one again, because I feel there was a lot that I missed the first time around. Like, what year is it…why is this competition a thing…what really happens to the winners. Are there actually winners? Because Ray seems like he loses just as much as the other guys do.
I was really drawn into this story though. It’s no lie that Stephen King is one heck of a story teller. The emotional turmoil that we walk through with each of the characters as they come to their own demise is truly striking. How they come to terms with what is happening, and the reason that they are walking in the first place really comes into play.
The prize is mystifying to me. They get whatever they want for the rest of their lives? But it seems like Garraty lost as well…
It really is quite astonishing how each of the walkers come to their own sort of existential crisis. And then just choose to die. I can’t imagine that they really could think that they outcome would have been different. It was long odds for any of them to finish last. What are they running (walking) from?
All this to say that I really enjoyed walking with Ray, McVries, Barkovitch, Baker and every one of the others. It was a wild ride from start to finish. I’m truly looking forward to reading it again in the future.