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The Running Man by Stephen King
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The Running Man (original 1986; edition 1999)

by Stephen King, Richard Bachman (Contributor)

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2,395412,602 (3.63)65
Member:Ianaka007
Title:The Running Man
Authors:Stephen King
Other authors:Richard Bachman (Contributor)
Info:Signet (1999), Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Running Man by Stephen King (1986)

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English (39)  German (1)  French (1)  English (41)
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
It surprised me as I read The Running Man that although the author is listed as Richard Bachman, all his fans know that this is Stephen King writing under his pseudonym. What I find amazing is the style, the characterization and everything that is familiar to me about SK is totally absent from this story. Is this meant to be? Is this to be read as a 3rd rate novel about a man Ben Richards trying to escape is meagre poor surroundings with one shot at the big pay off? I know that King can write great stand alone crime (Joyland, Mr Mercedes) and yet if I had not know that this was written by SK I would never have guessed.

It is not a bad story. Ben Richards lives with his wife Sheila and daughter Cathy, impoverished residents of the fictional Co-Op city. His gravely ill daughter Cathy needs medicine, and his wife Sheila has resorted to prostitution to bring in money for the family. In desperation, Richards turns to the Games Network, a government-operated television station that runs violent game shows. After rigorous physical and mental testing, Richards is selected to appear on "The Running Man" the Games Network's most popular, lucrative, and dangerous program. His task is keep ahead of The Hunters and by doing so he will earn cash...survive 30 days and the big billion dollar jackpot will be his! The story is fast and pleasant but devoid of any real depth and feeling...perhaps that is the purpose of the author but having enjoyed so many brilliant King novels I cannot help feel a little disappointed. Having said that it is an ok story with a nice conclusion, one I did not see coming and suited the overall structure very well. ( )
  runner56 | Oct 1, 2016 |
The year is 2025. The poor and downtrodden are relegated to a mean ghetto, where they have little hope and virtually no opportunity. But though he’s been unemployed for a couple of years, Ben Richards is determined to get some money to help his wife and sick child. He decides to apply for one of the game shows that are constantly shown on Free Vee. For every hour he outruns the Hunters he earns one hundred New Dollars. If he can keep running for 30 days, he wins and earns a cool one billion. The odds are against him; the shows thrive on maiming, or even killing, the contestants. But this is his only chance.

I am a fan of Stephen King, and have read at least one other book written under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman. This is completely different from any of his works I’ve read before. The pace is frantic and unrelenting; I felt as sleep deprived as the main character. I’m reminded of Ray Bradbury (Fahrenheit 451), George Orwell (1984) and Alduous Huxley (Brave New World). ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 2, 2016 |
This short novel has become one of my favorite King stories (originally published under the name Richard Bachman). What would you do for your family when times are tough? A short, quick read, but well worth it. ( )
  biggs1399 | Jan 19, 2016 |
Actually more 3.5
very close to 4

It was an interesting story, I really liked it.
Though I didn't really feel connected to Richards, even when it came to him as a pitiful husband just trying to support his family. I just didn't feel it. I couldn't feel his anger towards the Network as much as I think I should've.

I really liked the story and his character was good. I don't think you can go completely wrong with a simple King novel. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 20, 2015 |
Actually more 3.5
very close to 4

It was an interesting story, I really liked it.
Though I didn't really feel connected to Richards, even when it came to him as a pitiful husband just trying to support his family. I just didn't feel it. I couldn't feel his anger towards the Network as much as I think I should've.

I really liked the story and his character was good. I don't think you can go completely wrong with a simple King novel. ( )
  ebethiepaige | Oct 17, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
King, Stephenprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lehto, LeeviTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0451197968, Mass Market Paperback)

Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) crafted The Running Man early in his career, though after such mega-hits as Carrie and The Shining. A bit of a departure from the supernatural horror that is most frequently associated with his work, the novel describes a science fiction dystopia where market capitalism and television game shows have spiraled out of control, and the separation between the haves and the have-nots has been formalized with separate currencies. King establishes characters quickly, creating sympathy in the first few pages for Ben Richards--whose 18-month-old baby girl is suffering from a horrible cough, perhaps pneumonia. Not able to afford medicine, Richards enters himself in the last-chance money-making scheme of the Free-Vee games. The games include Treadmill to Bucks, in which heart-attack prone contestants struggle to outlast a progressively demanding treadmill, or the accurately named Swim the Crocodiles. After a rigorous battery of physical and mental examinations, Richards is assigned "Elevator Six"--the path of a chosen few--that leads to The Running Man game. In this game, the stakes and the prizes are raised. Success means a life of luxury. Failure means death. Unfortunately, few ever win the game; in fact, as the producer tells Richards, in six years no one has survived.

The Running Man is a short book, tightly written to be read and enjoyed quickly. The future world it depicts is vividly captured with a few essential details. The action is also fast paced and, though the novel differs from much of King's other work, the sardonic social commentary reveals a pleasing glimmer of King's characteristically twisted sense of humor. --Patrick O'Kelley

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:53 -0400)

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This No. 1 bestseller, which tells a gritty tale of a futuristic game of lifeor death, has been repackaged with a new cover.

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