2014 Book Goal: 52 (mostly non-fiction)
2014 Books Read: 4 (75% non-fiction)
I have never been one to re-read books, but I want to give it a try. So many people have told me about books they’ve read “dozens of times.” It all seemed very weird to me. But, I had never tried – so here goes.
The Long Walk by Stephen King (published under the pseudonym Richard Bachman) is a book I read when I was in college – a time when I was devouring everything King had ever written. I have since learned that this was actually his first novel and was begun eight years before Carrie vaulted him to stardom. I thought it would be a good one for this test as I didn’t remember a lot about it .
The story revolves around a contest in which 100 boys are entered into “The Long Walk” each year competing to win “anything they want.” The winner is the last one walking with the main rule being that they cannot drop below 4 miles per hour or will be killed. Yeah, it is some serious pyscho King stuff at his best.
As with most of his books, the one is more psychological than gross – although there is plenty of gruesome content as death descriptions litter the book. The real power of Stephen King is his ability to get you inside the head of the lead character.
The first few chapters moved quickly for me as I was trying to remember what happened in the story. Just over half way through, I was getting bored with the repetition of boys moaning, crying and dying, but I stuck with it. I was struck by the fact that his style of flashbacks reminds me totally of the style of TV shows like Lost where the bulk of the story is actually told in these time trips albeit not as disjointed.
There is nothing upbeat about this or any of this books. Even when he drifts off to some pleasant vision, King snaps you right back with something brutal, animalistic or perverted. This is a dark book. It takes you to some unpleasant places so I although I am going to try one or two more, I don’t expect I will be reading a ton of King this year.
If you’ve never read Stephen King, this is just to the dark side of average for him. If you know and like his books, you get exactly what you expect.