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The Long Walk by Stephen King
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The Long Walk (original 1979; edition 1999)

by Stephen King

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3,641982,048 (3.98)112
Member:1995tu
Title:The Long Walk
Authors:Stephen King
Info:Signet (1999), Edition: 1st, Mass Market Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Long Walk by Stephen King (1979)

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English (93)  Italian (1)  French (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Cuando King escribe así, sin irse por las ramas y concentrándose en la acción de la trama, consigue estupendas novelas como ésta.

Directa, con buenos momentos de tensión y angustia, diálogos fluidos y atractivos... adictiva de leer, y con su carga de reflexión sobre lo que llegaremos a poder hacer como sociedad (más allá de lo que ya tenemos sobre nuestras espaldas.

Muy buena, del mejor King.

Mi reseña aquí.

( )
  LuisBermer | Sep 2, 2018 |
I think my feet actually hurt when I finished this one. It’s dark, but like a train wreck, you can’t look away. A group of 100 teen boys must walk until there is only one left alive. Stephen King’s compulsively readable style can make almost anything thrilling. A slow walk towards death sounds tortuous even to read, but he makes it an unputdownable book.

“They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.” ( )
  bookworm12 | Jul 26, 2018 |
I haven't quite made up my mind about Stephen King. Part of me is repelled by his trendiness; that part also recognizes an author with flaws of dialogue and resolution and an author who needs to better listen to his editor (or find a new editor). And yet the guy can craft a really riveting, well-told story, ie “The Body.” No work better displays both sides of King than The Stand, a wonderfully constructed tale that suffers woefully from diarrhea of the pen.

But I keep coming back because there is a draw. After a year or two away, something about King's works calls to me. Sometimes I'm glad I returned. Other times, I'm like “eh.” This time around, I am truly, genuinely surprised.

I wasn't expecting a whole lot out of The Long Walk. It's not one of the author's more notable works. The summary of the book brought to mind ideas of a potentially strong story, but greater likelihood of cheesiness. And knowing that King would have to maintain an entire novel of teenagers talking with one another frightened me.

But this novel really, truly worked. First, The Long Walk is believably scary. This isn't about killer clowns or murderous cars, it's about a society that encourages and delights in the sacrifice of its youth. Once a year, one hundred teenage boys begin walking. They cannot stop until there is only one left. What happens if they stop or walk too slowly? They receive a warning. After three warnings, they're killed. That's it. So simply terrifying. And the walk goes on day after day, because when your only choice is to live or to stop and rest, you find the will to keep going (or maybe you don't.)

But this isn't really a story about a dystopian society in love with the long walk, now is it? This is the story of war. Boys on the verge of manhood being sent on some ridiculous quest. They're spurred on by the words of a general shouting encouragement at them. They're cheered on by the patriotic fervor of the crowds that watch from the sideline, but never join the walk. They're shell-shocked and unsure why they'd even started walking in the first place. Published in 1979, The Long Walk likely was inspired by the war in Vietnam, but it could easily be about any war.

One of the things that almost doesn't work but ends up working spectacularly in this novel is the dialogue. Some of these conversations are so brilliant. Others are completely asinine. Who would believe that these individuals would have the conversations they do right after watching their neighbor being gunned down. But isn't that exactly how it is in war? Don't these soldiers become so immune to it all that while they may from time to time philosophize about life and death, they're just as likely to talk about Saturday morning cartoons? At times, the raging hormones of these one hundred became a bit over the top for my tastes, but largely I believed this group's actions and discussions.

The only area where I would've liked to have seen change was in the contemporary setting. King places these kids sometime in the sixties or seventies, I'm never quite sure. Again, this probably alludes to Vietnam, but it dates the story horribly. The boys discuss the music, the cars, and the babes of the era. In 2018, it makes an otherwise universal story sound a bit hokey at times. This was a problem that The Stand suffered from as well.

I was really pulled into this novel and I must say that while I've read relatively little of King's complete bibliography, this has been my favorite so far. There are some really wonderful passages here and the overall story is quite engaging. The Long Walk truly made me hungry for more of King's writing. ( )
  chrisblocker | Jun 28, 2018 |
There can’t be many – if any! – Richard Bachman readers who don’t know that it is actually a pseudonym of probably the world’s most successful horror writer Stephen King. In the late 70s, King/Bachman released a series of novels, focussing more on dystopia or an alternate reality than the horror for which he is best known. (Another of his novels was The Running Man – later made into a film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger – which follows similar themes to The Long Walk.)

The Long Walk is a yearly event which takes place in America in the near future, or possibly an alternate present; the year is never stated. 100 teenage boys come together to participate in the contest, the winner of which wins whatever his heart desires for the rest of his life. The rules are simple – if you drop below four miles an hour, you get a warning. If you get three warnings, you “buy a ticket” which means you get shot dead. The winner is the last boy still walking, and the event attracts huge media coverage and crowds along the way.

I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Kirby Heybourne, and although it took me a short while to adjust to his narration, I ended up really enjoying both the story itself and the way it was told. Dystopian fiction is a favourite genre of mine, and no matter what, King/Bachman is an expert storyteller. In this particular story, lots happens and simultaneously nothing much happens. It’s a story of 100 boys, who all think they can beat the odds, but 99 of them are going to be wrong. It is told in the third person, but concentrating mainly on the character of Ray Garraty, and through him we learn not just about his own experiences, but the way the walk affects the others too – some grit their teeth and carry on, others lose their mind, others lose the will to live. It’s heartbreaking and compelling.

It makes you wonder what on earth has happened that such a gruesome event has become national entertainment – but then when you look at reality television programmes, is it really any surprise? After all, don’t people watch Big Brother to see people fall out with each other, to watch housemates get humiliated, to see people being cruel or underhand with their tactics? I remember reading about crowds of viewers chanting hateful things at people as they left the Big Brother house. What about shows like I’m A Celebrity….? The media and the viewers like to pick out certain people as villains, to be criticised and ridiculed. And look at shows like the X Factor, where people are clearly put on screen to be the butt of people’s jokes. Isn’t the whole concept of a public vote designed to reinforce how unpopular some people are? The Long Walk, and books like it just take that situation a few steps further.

If I had to criticise anything about this book, it would be that the ending felt sudden and somehow not really an ending at all. It’s open to interpretation certainly, and I’m not yet sure what my personal interpretation is. However, the journey itself kept me listening throughout, and for that reason I would still recommend this book very highly. ( )
  Ruth72 | May 31, 2018 |
3.5 stars, but for goodreads closer to 3 ( )
  Kirstielee | Apr 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
Wielki Marsz
Jaka jest największa nagroda, którą można sobie wymarzyć? Wielu odpowiedziałoby pieniądze, sława czy władza. Ale jest coż ważniejszego od tych rzeczy. Największą nagrodą jest zachowanie życia. Taką właśnie tematykę podjął Stephen King w książce zatytułowanej "Wielki Marsz". Autor znowu zaskoczył czytelników głębią swojego umysłu. Stworzył bowiem opowieść wciągającą, alegoryczną i tonącą w mrocznym klimacie.

Tym razem S. King mocą swojej wyobraźni przeniósł czytelnika na start wyścigu. Meta natomiast znajduje się tam, gdzie padnie ze zmęczenia przedostatni z zawodników. Raz w roku do Wielkiego Marszu stają młodzi chłopcy z całych Stanów Zjednoczonych. Ich zadaniem jest maszerować tak długo, aż zostanie tylko jeden. Jeden, bo pozostali zginą, jeśli spróbują wycofać się w trakcie wyścigu. Trasa marszu biegnie przez ogromne połacie kraju, a młodzi zawodnicy muszą wędrować niezależnie od warunków pogodowych czy pory dnia.

"Wielki Marsz" S. Kinga opowiada o brutalnej i bezwzglednej rywalizacji. Cel może osiągnąć tylko jedna osoba, a śmiałków jest wielu. Czy w grupie znajdą się ludzie gotowi pomóc słabszym zawodnikom? Czy chęć przetrwania okaże się silniejsza niż ludzkie uczucia?

Wędrując śladem zawodników wyścigu, czytelnik posmakuje napięcia, jakie zbudował S. King. Zagłębi się w mroczny świat, w którym obowiązuje tylko jedna zasada. Za wszelką cenę iść do przodu i nie zatrzymywać się nawet na moment. Tylko wtedy osiągnie się cel podróży i zdobędzie nagrodę.

"Wielki Marsz" to książka dla wszystkich miłośników literatury grozy. Ale z pewnością i inni czytelnicy znajdą interesujące wątki w opowieści S. Kinga. Niewątpliwie domeną tego autora jest to, że potrafi dotrzeć do wielu odbiorców.
 
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
"Für mich war das ganze Universum leer, ohne Leben, ohne Sinn, ohne Willenskraft, ja, ohne Feindseligkeit; es war eine einzige, unermesslich große, todbringende Dampfmaschine, die in ihrer tödlichen Gleichgültigkeit vor sich herstampfte und mich Glied für Glied zermalmte. Ein ödes, düsteres, einsames Golgatha, eine Todesmühle! Warum waren die Lebenden, die dorthin verbannt waren, ohne Gefährten? Warum hatten sie ein Bewusstsein? Warum, wenn es keinen Teufel gibt - oder ist der Teufel etwa euer Gott?" - Thomas Carlyle
"Ich möchte jeden Amerikaner ermuntern, so oft wie möglich zu wandern. Es ist nicht nur gesund; es bringt auch Spaß." - John F. Kennedy (1962)
"Die Pumpe ist kaputt, weil die Vandalen den Schwengel mitgenommen haben." - Bob Dylan
Dedication
This is for Jim Bishop and Burt Hatlen and Ted Holmes
First words
An old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run.
Quotations
To me the Universe was all void of Life, or Purpose, of Volition, even of Hostility; it was one huge, dead, immeasurable Steam-engine, rolling on , in its dead indifference, to grind me limb from limb. O vast, gloomy, solitary Golgatha, and Mill of Death! Why was the Living banished thither companionless, conscious? Why, if there is no Devil; nay, unless the Devil is your God." - Thomas Carlyle
"I would encourage every American to walk as often as possible. It's more that healthy; it's fun" - John F. Kennedy (1962)
"The pump don't work 'Cause the vandals took the handle." - Bob Dylan
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Pseudonimo di Stephen King
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Every year, on the first of May, one hundred teenage boys meet for an event known throughout the country as "The Long Walk." Among this year's chosen crop is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty. He knows the rules: that warnings are issued if you fall under speed, stumble, sit down. That after three warnings...you get your ticket. And what happens then serves as a chilling reminder that there can be only one winner in the Walk - the one that survives... (0-451-19671-6)
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451196716, Mass Market Paperback)

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as ?The Long Walk.? If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying...

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as ?The Long Walk.? If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:06 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Finally available in a single volume edition under Stephen King's name! In the near future, a young boy has been one of 100 selected to take the Long Walk--a deadly contest of endurance and determination, in which each step can literally be your last. Follow the contestants' tortured footsteps as they struggle with each other, and themselves, to survive the race. Includes the Introduction "The Importance of Being Bachman". Vintage King, this harrowing tale was originally published under the Richard Bachman pseudonym.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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