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The Walk

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,846 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
It's one minute after the Big One. Marty Slack, a TV network executive, crawls out from under his Mercedes, parked outside what once was a downtown Los Angeles warehouse, the location for a new TV show. Downtown LA is in ruins. The sky is thick with black smoke. His cell phone is dead. The freeways are rubble. The airport is demolished. Buildings lay across streets like fa ...more
Kindle Edition, 235 pages
Published May 31st 2009 by Five Star (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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James Thane
Oct 15, 2013 James Thane rated it really liked it
Shelves: lee-goldberg
Marty Slack is a failed writer-turned television executive. His job description is a bit elusive, but seems mainly to involve convincing other people that he's somehow essential to the process. He drives the requisite Mercedes; he lives in a gated community with an attractive wife who's a former actress, and he scores good tables at all the important restaurants. He's very solicitous of those people who can advance his career, not so much so of those who can't.

Despite his apparent success, Mart
Dec 25, 2011 Kat rated it really liked it
Full review on my blog:

Natural disasters are the things that every PA fan’s dreams are made of. They’re realistic and possible and we’ve all imagined how we would survive ‘The Big One’ in whatever shape or form. And we’ve all seen The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 and Independence Day at least once.
The Walk is the story of a normal, average guy, trying to make it home to his wife after his The Big One hits – an earthquake in LA. Marty thinks he’s got it all planned
Jan 23, 2010 Geoffrey rated it really liked it
Shelves: apocalyptic, thriller
At the beginning of this novel, I pretty much hated the protagonist, Marty Slack. He was timid, shallow and self-involved and pretty much a stereotype of everything annoying about Corporate America types. As time went on, he began to grow on me as he wandered around the city. By the time Marty's plot twist revelation was revealed, I had already figured it out but it still worked in context of the story.

The book itself was an interesting snapshot of the aftermath of a major disaster and how peopl
Mar 16, 2015 Nora rated it it was ok
Shelves: post-apocalyptic
Sooooo predictable.. I really read this a thousand times before! Disappoinment!
May 19, 2012 Susan rated it it was amazing
In retrospect this is a beach book. The plot is oh so simple and the writing moves you along like those people movers at the airport. I got very caught up in the story - when I wasn't reading it, I caught myself worrying about the characters and wondering how they were doing. And I was disappointed when I got to the end that it was over. I'm not sure you can ask much more than that out of a novel.
Thomas Beekers
Sep 24, 2013 Thomas Beekers rated it liked it
The Walk is the story of a TV executive's travel through LA wrecked by the Big One (the big earthquake, not the big nuclear war). Written by someone who spent much of his life in the TV industry, it's not surprising a lot of the book contains commentary on the TV industry and "profound" statements on the effects of TV on society. The book is also written with an intimate familiarity with LA, and never skips a mention of a street or building passed by, an unnecessary high level of detail that is ...more
Jan Strnad
Aug 21, 2010 Jan Strnad rated it really liked it
Actually, I read the ePub edition from Kobobooks, but I assume it's the same text!

The Walk chronicles Marty Slack's journey through a hellish land of earthquakes, explosions, floods, more earthquakes and various other disasters. It's a fast-paced, episodic read, often profane and violent and funny. The pacing and the spare prose remind me of a TV movie, which suits the story perfectly.

Martin Slack is a television executive, so right away (if you have any experience with television executives) yo
Erica Glass
Mar 01, 2012 Erica Glass rated it it was ok
I found that the situations he found himself in were just too unbelievable. Yes, I understand that after "the big one" there will be utter chaos, but all the things that were happening to him personally were just...unbelievable. And the ending was a surprise to me, but after learning said surprise it made me question things that happened along the journey that don't fit if the ending were true (trying really hard to not spoil here, but it's hard to explain). Oh well. Here is where I will spoil t ...more
Jeremiah Graves
Sep 11, 2015 Jeremiah Graves rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Holy crap, this book was awful. I kept reading it expecting to to live up to some of the great reviews it was given, but it never happened. The whole thing read like some sort of eighth grader's creative writing final paper. It had one-dimensional characters, an all-too-obvious "plot twist" and far too many instances of the writer simply telling the reader something (ie: the damage was catastrophic) rather than showing the reader something. Toss in a number of typos and grammatical errors and it ...more
Jul 16, 2016 Joanne rated it it was amazing
Martin Slack works in the TV industry and is at a shooting location when the "Big One" hit California. He isn't hurt much and all he can think to do is walk the thirty miles back to his home. He tells himself to ignore everything and everyone he sees because if he stops to help he'll never get home. Martin is as shallow a person as the industry he works in.

He begins his walk home and finds it is not as easy as he thought it would be to ignore the destruction and death around him. He meets a boun
John Wiltshire
Jan 04, 2016 John Wiltshire rated it really liked it
46% in and this novel is absolutely brilliant. Sure, it's written with being turned into a movie in mind--it's even about a studio exec who started out as a script reader. But that's why it's so readable in a way. The Big One finally hits LA and Marty, visiting one of his sets down town, has to negotiate the earthquake-devastated city to get home to his wife. Simple tale but told with blistering power and no redundancies. It may be because I've just escaped from reading Drood, but the simplicity ...more
Paul Totman
Apr 29, 2012 Paul Totman rated it really liked it
Shelves: top-rated, favorites, 2012
A thoroughly enjoyable read despite the typos!

I'd never read anything by this author before but after The Walk I'll certainly be reading more by Lee Goldberg.

Great dialogue, great characters - an all-round fun book to read!
Dec 02, 2011 Charlene rated it liked it
The Walk is about one man's journey through the destroyed city of LA.

Marty is a tv network executive and not very likeable to boot. The book opens with him cowering underneath his car as the BIG ONE rips through the city. Once the main quake is over, Marty decides he needs to walk home to get to his wife. This story is about that walk.

I don't want to get any further into the plot, but I will say that this book reads like a TV show or miniseries. It is very easy to picture in your mind as the au
Todd Russell
May 07, 2012 Todd Russell rated it really liked it
A massive earthquake strikes the heart of Los Angeles and TV Executive Martin Slack must walk through 30 miles of carnage to get to his wife in Calabasas. Along the way he'll encounter various conflicts. This is a fairly basic survival story that skips the more familiar group ensemble story a la Irwin Allen (who is mentioned a couple times in the story). It moves fairly rapidly, save for some flashbacks exploring the relationship between Martin and his wife. There is one pretty good surprise at ...more
Jan 24, 2012 Jerry rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
This was a kindle freebie.. Kept my attention. Lee Goldberg writes screenplays, and this reads like it in that the timing and coincidences are quite a bit over the top. Marty just happens to be in the right place at the right time, and manages to just barely escape from quite a few extreme situations, as he walks from Los Angeles to Calabasas in his effort to be reunited with his wife. I was born and raised in and around the suburbs of LA and enjoyed the frequent references to his location as he ...more
Ann Shaner
Jan 11, 2016 Ann Shaner rated it it was amazing
A fun read!

This book is about surviving The Big One in Los Angeles. Although the story is about a grim topic, Goldberg's storytelling makes it a delightful romp. I highly recommend this book.
Mar 10, 2014 Christine rated it it was amazing
I love books like this. The ones where, right after an unsuspecting ending, you say OMG, Really?!? and then really want to go back and re-read them so you can go "AHA!" and wonder how you missed that. There were so many, MANY, great lines in this novel (the dialogue was outstanding), that I could never possibly pick a single fave...probably not even a top ten of them.

The main characters: Marty, Buck and L.A., were so rich! You love them, you hate them, you sooo want to take them home (or make th
Cil Davoli
Jun 20, 2016 Cil Davoli rated it it was amazing
Good read

I enjoyed the story line and it has a great end. The swearing was excessive but tolerable. I would recommend it to a friend.

Aug 23, 2010 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
So what happens when "the big one" hits southern California. A somewhat shallow TV executive struggles against all odds to return to his wife. An interesting character development and a very fast read. Not a very deep book but the main character Marty did develop nicely by the end. A somewhat surprise ending although there were hints and I had some suspicion that all was not as it was portrayed. If you like escapism with a touch of reality give it a read.
Nov 02, 2010 Helen rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Denise Osborne
Aug 22, 2010 Denise Osborne rated it it was ok
The premise was good but I didn't love this book. There was way too much name dropping of areas and landmarks. It took up the majority of the book. I once lived in LA and knew the places but I can't imagine what it would be like for someone that didn't know the area. The storyline was too predictable and I really didn't like or feel connected to the mail character.
MaryJane Rings
Dec 21, 2014 MaryJane Rings rated it it was ok
Shelves: apocalytic-types
I was hoping for more reality and emotional depth from this book as it describes the state of LA after the big earthquake that is often spoken of as a real threat for California. It was really flimsy and the references to movies and television reminded me how truly self indulgent Americans who live this lifestyle really are. The character of Buck with his foul language and low class personality just detracted from the story even more. It came across as unrealistic, selfish and reminded me of a ...more
Will Wesson
Apr 06, 2011 Will Wesson rated it it was ok
I completely lost focus just pages in, when the protagonist meets an armed character who wants the protagonist to rescue someone. So he shoots him. You know, just a little bit, the way reasonable people employ deadly force when they're just screwing with other people, right? So Fonzie put on the waterskis and jumped that shark, and I moved on.
Chris Kurbjuhn
Mar 11, 2014 Chris Kurbjuhn rated it it was ok
Marty Slack, ein zynischer TV-Producer, überlebt knapp ein Jahrhundert-Erdbeben, das Los Angeles in Schutt und Asche legt. Slack macht sich auf einen langen, gefährlichen Fußmarsch, um nach Hause zu seiner Frau zu kommen.
Das ganze ist gut geschrieben, spannend gemacht, und gelegentlich spielt Goldberg ganz überzeugend mit der Ironie, einen TV-Producer in einem Katastophenfilm agieren zu lassen.
Das ganze könnte man als Zwischendurchentspannungslektüre durchaus empfehlen, würde Goldberg nicht ganz
Mar 07, 2012 Dave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a quick read, about a man who survives an earthquake in L.A. (The "Big One") The damage is off the scale, and help will be a long time in coming. He begins the long walk home to his wife, who he hopes is still alive.
Good action, and some humor as well. No spoilers here....
Mar 24, 2011 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Got 25% into the book and had to put it down. This book sucks. Expletive upon expletive took away from the story very quickly, until I got to the point where I couldn't read any further. I wouldn't recommend this garbage to anyone.
Tom Hansen
Apr 18, 2011 Tom Hansen rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It was short compared to what I normally read, but it packed a lot into it. While I don't think he'll win any awards for post-apocalyptic realism, it was an enjoyable read with a good ending.
Mar 18, 2010 Elaine marked it as started-reading-but-didn-t-finish
Shelves: kindle
What could have been a decent story -- perhaps, is in my book, a dud. Way too much filth. I started reading it but it's puke. Didn't finish.
Nov 01, 2014 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Marty has just experienced the Big One - earthquake in LA. Everything is in shatters, people are dying or dead in the street, cars are overturned, freeways has collapsed all cars are stopped on them. Total destruction. Marty is near downtown or the studio area and he lives in the "valley" about 30 or 40 miles away. Can he walk home? Is there a way that allows him to get home?

Buck is also downtown during the earthquake. He is intimidating and not very good company to Marty.

Good book - interesting
Terri Weitze
Jun 02, 2015 Terri Weitze rated it really liked it
After living in LA for 20 years and going through many quakes, including Northridge, I found this book to be reasonable and maybe even a bit tame when you consider someone trying to walk through quake devastated LA and the Valley. Yes there are some things that made me go, "huh?" and "I don't think so", but the author cops to those things in his post-logue. Also it didn't take me too long to pick up on one of the plot contrivances, but it was still entertaining. Not a lot of morals here, a bit s ...more
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New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include "Martial Law," "SeaQuest," "Diagnosis Murder,""Hunter," "Spenser: For Hire," "Nero Wolfe," "Missing." "Monk" and "The Glades." He's also the author of the Fox & O'Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), "The ...more
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