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The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King
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The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  38,691 ratings  ·  543 reviews
Four of Richard Bachman's eerie works are gathered here in a posthumous edition. They are Rage, a story of stunning psychological horror about an "estra" ordinary high school student; "The Long Walk," a contest with death; "Roadwork, a strange variation on the theme of "Home Sweet Home"; and "The Running Man," where you bet your life--literally.
Paperback, 944 pages
Published October 1st 1996 by Signet (first published October 4th 1985)
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Kit★
It's been a good 10-12 years since I've read this one, and it was long overdue for a re-read. Especially considering the fact that the only story I could really even remember in even the vaguest way was "The Long Walk". So I picked it up to give it another whirl. Not disappointed at all, but of course, that's no surprise.
"Rage" slipped through the cracks in my mind, big-time. I was browsing around online, and seen an article about this book of SK's about a school shooting that was no longer bein
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Stefan Yates
Rage:
One of King’s earliest works, Rage wasn’t published until he had established himself and when it was, it was published under the author name Richard Bachman. This novel is definitely raw in many aspects, but I think that is what helps to give it its charm.
The story centers on a student who kills his teacher in front of his class and holds the class hostage for most of the day. He and the class then discuss a variety of issues, but the main conversation revolves around what has led him to t
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Szplug
These four novellas are almost as good as their cousins from Different Seasons . It's a shame that the Columbine Shootings have directly proceeded to the best of the four stories—Rage, with its everyone-can-find-some-angle-to-relate-to protagonist Charlie Decker, he who thrashed in his sleep whilst in the marescape of The Cherokee Nose Job—being consigned to the ashbin of publishing history. No more shall the intrepid young reader experience the thrilling fractured-mirror empathic pulses from t ...more
Jennifer
Jul 24, 2007 Jennifer rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: King fans
Shelves: horror, scifi
Road Work is the only weak link in this book, although legend has it that Rage is out of print finally (probably to King's great relief).

Rage - 20 years before high school massacres started in America, King wrote this story of a misunderstood and clearly mentally ill kid going apeshit and holding his classroom hostage.

The Long Walk - Once a year, one representative from each state, all boys around 18, set off walking at 4 MPH. If they slow down, they get warned. After the 3rd warning...let's j
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Holly
This collection was simply fantastic. The characters in each novel were very well-written, and the plots were outstanding. Each one was thrilling and disturbing in it's own way. When I started it, Rage blew me away. The Long Walk held me in it's grip and wouldn't let me go until the end. Roadwork was a thrilling insight into someone who, in my opioion, is slowing going crazy. The Running Man was everything a good novel should be: thrilling, mind boggling, and at some points it tugs at your heart ...more
Gabriel
This is a collection of four novels. As I finish them, I will write mini-reviews for them.

Rage: While unrealistic in many senses, this has been among the most interesting and gripping Stephen King story I've read yet. The mob mentality that is created and the twist that makes this horror instead of just a thriller is something that could have come off as amaturish, but works really well under King's hand. The horror in this story is namely in that in underminds all the classical stereotypes of w
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Janie Johnson
I hate to rate this 3.5 stars, but the story Roadwork really pulled it down a lot. The other 3 stories in this book were pretty decent, The Long Walk being my favorite. You can find seperate reviews that I have wrote for each one.

King did a great job with creating different writing styles between King and Bachman. I applaud him on that. So it was refreshing to read something a little diferent.
Mark
Jul 16, 2007 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fiction fans
Shelves: stephenking
I think this was my second or third King book. It collects all but Thinner of the original five Bachman novellas.
"The Running Man" I already reviewed. Better than (and WAY different from) than the movie
"The Long Walk" I also already reviewed. it's one of my favorite stories of all time. Love it.
"Roadwork" I don't remember all that well, but I know I liked it.
"Rage" was the controversial one. It's about a student who took his high school class hostage, killing the teacher in the process. The rest
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Becky
This is a great collection of early Bachman stories written by Stephen King: Rage, The Long Walk, The Running Man, and Roadwork. I've reviewed them all separately, and some I've liked more than others, but still, in my profession and expert opinion, it's hard to go wrong with King. ;)
Michael
This is the omnibus that is no longer sold commercially, thanks to the lead novella "Rage," which was found in the locker of one of the school shooters of the late '90s. You will now find editions of the other three novellas sold separately. Luckily for me, I bought this before SK took this one off the market.

Looking back 10+ years later, I think most of these stories hold up very well (especially since some of them were among the first things King ever wrote); "The Running Man" is the only clun
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Veronika Duritzdeschain
Without a doubt one of my favourite books, the Bachman Books proves that horror is not about vampires, werewolves and blood but rather about human nature, depravity and circumstance. The Long Walk, Rage, Roadwork and the Running Man were included in my copy, with Thinner and the Regulators being read seperately. Out of them all I would have to say that the Long Walk was my favourite for its intensity and bitter comprehension. I used these stories as examples whenever people feel it necessary to ...more
Nicola Mansfield
Reason for Reading: I'm in the process of of re/reading all of Stephen King's works in chronological order. I'm reading these books individually in the order they were published between his other works. After having read through the entire book over the time period of a few years I've concluded that "The Long Walk" is my favourite novel here, which I do remember enjoying a lot the first time around also. My least favourite was "Roadwork", though I'll say I didn't not like any of them. Taken toge ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I read Rage and The Long Walk. Very violent and depressing. I didn't care for them. They were well-written but as any who know me, I don't do depressing pleasure reading. I'm glad that King's style has changed.
Mlaad Fâkof
Long Walk was Long, and for the most of the trek it was good. The best part was the inability to recognize the reality in which it was happening... With little hints of ultra-right United States, the bombing of East Coast by Nazis and the charge of Nazi nuclear plants. This idea forms a book I would love to read.

Running Man was a dystopian vision of a world where capitalist machine resorted to bread and games, neat old trick used forever, with a little twist at the end which reminded me of a cer
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Nathaniel
I read this, or parts of it, back in junior high school. I remember being captivated by King's storytelling, but put off by how dark and ugly the material was. Some mini-reviews for the sub-books:

The Long Walk is a very, very simple story (dystopian ultra-marathon where if you stop, they kill you, and only one person wins/survives), and it only works because King is good at tellin' stories. It's a macabre premise, but I don't remember it being particularly dark or gruesome (all the main characte
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Daisy
Rage
A gripping, horrifying story about a mentally ill teenager driven to breaking point. More than just a here-and-now, action filled, adrenalin rush thriller about a kid going mad with a gun, most of the book is relatively calm and focuses on past events that have led up to this point. (view spoiler)
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Michael Hanscom
Individual novel ratings: Rage, three stars; The Long Walk, four; Roadwork, two; The Running Man, three.

Rage was quite interesting, especially as I didn't realize it had been taken out of print until I'd finished it. For all the stigma it has gained through it's connection to non-fiction school shootings, there's really not much violence to it. Much more psychology of the people involved.

The Long Walk ended up being my favorite of the four. Very focused on the walk and the personalities of the
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Lindsay
Jun 28, 2007 Lindsay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loves the King and his early work
I should say here that I'm willing to swap this book on the condition that I get it back, but not sell it.
In King's earlier years, he was a big name in the horror genre, and was churning out novels faster than anyone else. He had published a handful under a pseudonym because the publishers didn't want to saturate the market with his name, hence, Richard Bachman came into existence.
"The Bachman Books" is really fantastic. It's a collection of four novellas: "Rage," "The Long Walk," "Roadwork," a
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Deborah Good
I gave this book only a three star because it isn't "typical" Stephen King. It is early Stephen King and a bit "sick"--He has taken this book out of publication, and I had to search libraries and use interlibrary loan to find it. Perhaps it is with good reason that he has stopped further publication of the book. It contains one story (Rage) which is about a school shooting--very disturbing to me, since I am faculty at Virginia Tech and was here for the 2007 shooting incident. It contains another ...more
David
I originally read this collection of short stories back in high school because I was intrigued that the cheesy sci fi movie "The Running Man" came from a Stephen King book. This was before I realized what a ripe source Hollywood seems to think King's stories are for screen plays. In any event, the one short story which always stands out in my mind when I think of Stephen King is not The Running Man but another from this same collection...The Long Walk. Both stories take place in a futuristic Uni ...more
Kathryn
You can definitely see that these are VERY early works by Stephen King (What? Bachman is really King? I totally didn't see that! ) but "The Long Walk" is one of his best stories. King is at his best when he either a)takes a normal, everyday idea and makes it horrifying or b)takes a horrifying idea and writes it up as a normal, everyday situation. "The Long Walk" uses the second technique, and it's frightening how quickly you can believe that one hundred people would literally walk themselves to ...more
Thomas Strömquist
Roadwork & The Running Man reviewed elsewhere got 2 and 4. And with a strong 2 for Rage and a whoppin' 5 for The Long Walk, that's about 4 rounded off, right?

Rage; it's good, it's a very in-your-face and depressing/angering story and it goes not much further than that.

The Long Walk; is absolutely relentless and terrifying. The description of a "march-until-death" participated in by 100 teenage boys is a tough and spellbinding read.
Eric
This collection contains the first four Bachman books.

Rage - a good high school angst story, which got a bad wrap after the Columbine incident.

The Long Walk - a very interesting "competition" for national celebrity, which really shows a well-crafted decent into insanity and makes it seem normal. Very under-rated.

Roadwork - a fairly boring account of a man who is about to be displaced from his home by the construction of a freeway. A weak entry in my opinion.

The Running Man - The inspiration behi
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Kate
Winter 1999 - I read both Rage and The Long Walk. I really enjoyed both of these--they're very dark and intense. I remember my mother telling me about The Long Walk when I was younger and it was cool to finally read it. It was written so many years ago, but today we have game shows like "Survivor" that do this sort of contest in a less extreme way... but someday, who knows?

Winter 2001 - I only read Rage. This story intrigues me as it is really a character study--what if you put a student with a
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Meredith Dougherty
The Long walk was The Hunger Games before there was a Hunger Games.
Lawrence Hoof
The Long Walk was decent. The rest, not so much.
Susan
Four early non-horror novels. Rage -- I read it well pre-Columbine when school shootings were rare and news-worthy for about a week, not years later. Didn't like it, then, either :-)

The Long Walk was excellent, but one of three wasn't enough to keep the book.

Roadwork. Gah. Can I get my time back? I felt sorry for him, but didn't LIKE him as a main character.

The Running Man. The movie, which had almost NOTHING in common with this novella, was better. "He had to split" still makes me giggle.
Sarah Terese *Kili!*
In all honesty, those THESE aren't books of his marked as horror, some of these are much more disturbing than any "horror" piece I've read by King.

Rage and Roadwork, to me, were rather weak compared to the other two (THE BEAUTIFUL ONES THAT GOT THE FOUR STARS UP THERE), but the first little novel was certainly quite disturbing. I don't know exactly WHOSE side I was supposed to be on, as I really didn't like any of the characters.

(view spoiler)
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John Collings
This is a really hard book to rate. Do I rate it as a collection, or do I look at the individual stories and decide which one was my favorite to rate the others by. There are a couple of stories in this collection that I love, mainly The Long Walk and The Running Man. Both of these stories still hold relevance to today and in an strange way predicted what the world would be like now that television believes that "reality" television is the best way to entertain us. We all know that it is not rea ...more
Keybo Taheri
4 books in 1, released under the pen name Richard Bachman. The introduction is extremely interesting, as to the story of how Stephen King became Richard Bachman. To clear up any confusion the story "The Long Walk" was Stephen King's first story, even before "Carrie" was written. I found "The Long Walk" to be the best of the collection and read within a couple of days, unable to put it down. I found Rage, to be a little too confronting and as Stephen King has mentioned if he was to publish it in ...more
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5858
This is a Stephen King pseudonym.

Stephen Edwin King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his parents separated when Stephen was a toddler, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When S
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More about Richard Bachman...
Thinner The Long Walk The Running Man The Regulators Blaze

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