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The Long Walk

4.11  ·  Rating Details  ·  69,556 Ratings  ·  3,113 Reviews
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...
Paperback, 370 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Signet (first published July 1979)
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Clab The usual Ray walking towards death and/or going mad ideas do all fit nicely, but I always thought it was also a little reference to Randall Flagg. He…moreThe usual Ray walking towards death and/or going mad ideas do all fit nicely, but I always thought it was also a little reference to Randall Flagg. He pops up in a bunch of King's works and is often referred to as "The man in black" or "The dark man". Remember, he was writing as Richard Bachman at the time so he wouldn't have wanted to go in to any more detail, and it still lets the reader interpret it as they wish. I'd consider it as more of an easter egg rather than it really being Flagg standing there in front of Ray. The kind of thing you notice years later and think, oh yeah, that's cool.

I read this book after we all knew it was written by King, and after reading most of the others he appears in (he has a big part in the Dark Tower series) so the average reader that just picks it up probably won't even know who he is. He reminds me of Hoid from Brandon Sanderson's books, he also appears with small roles in different books.

Whoever you want it to be, but imo a small nod to Randall Flagg.(less)
Dave Richard Bachman (this was Stephen King's pen name, before he wrote under his real name...)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins1984 by George OrwellThe Giver by Lois LowryDivergent by Veronica RothBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
51st out of 2,463 books — 20,187 voters
The Stand by Stephen KingIt by Stephen KingThe Shining by Stephen KingMisery by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen King
Best of Stephen King
18th out of 121 books — 2,655 voters

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Community Reviews

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Feb 27, 2012 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those unafriad of raw pain and mindless philosophizing
Recommended to Kay by: my feet will get nightmares
If this book does not make you feel physical pain, I don't know what will.

This isn't a book about killer clowns or haunted hotels. It's not a Hunger Games type of book, despite the "game show" element of the Long Walk, nor is it a world attached to any tower, Dark or not. This book is in-your-face and physical, while simultaneously never losing that dreamy, philosophic quality of existenstial fiction.

The premise of the book is very simple: Every year, 100 boys enter a contest called the Long Wa
Aug 20, 2007 Dan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Long distance walkers, totalitarianists and extreme optimists.
The Long Walk is simply exhausting to read. I found myself keep drifting in and out of sleep, needing to eat, drink, and use the bathroom. But most of all, my feet ached a little more after each page. This is not because the book was bad and that I was losing attention, it was simply because I was so involved in the story. I was walking WITH them.The premise is simple and I'm sure if you're reading this review you're aware of what its about. The fact that the story is so simple, allows for it to ...more
Dan Schwent
Dec 09, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Every year, 100 boys take part in a nightmarish pilgrimage called The Long Walk, the winner receiving The Prize and a ton of cash. Ray Garraty is one of the contestants. Will he win The Prize or be one of the ninety-nine dead boys on the road?

Wow. And I thought the six mile hike I went on in October was rough. Imagine walking non-stop, day and night, and getting shot if you stop too long? That's the horror of The Long Walk.

The Long Walk takes place in a slightly different reality, where Germany
Nov 11, 2013 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-kindle, reviewed, 2013
The Long Walk is a book by an elusive author named Richard Bachman—whom no one has ever met—about a bunch of kids being slaughtered in a near-future (or alternate reality) dystopian America. Which, been there, done that, right? Can’t unknown authors write about something that wouldn’t be covered again decades later? The lack of foresight here is really disappointing.

There are differences, though, between The Hunger Games and this book, particularly in that the kids in The Long Walk are mowed dow
Jun 12, 2014 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This tale takes place in the future, I'm not entirely sure when King has this marked for but it sure as hell isn't present day. You've got 100 teens and you tell them that you have to walk at a consistent pace of 4 miles per hour until you just cannot do it any longer. While you're allowed 3 warnings (you’re never quite sure the length allowed before a warning is issued but I can only assume it's about 30 seconds) before you're eliminated, you need to walk for an hour straight to clear your warn ...more
Jun 11, 2012 seak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been going through a kind of mild Stephen King binge at the moment. I've mentioned before that I thought I wasn't a fan of the King and had given up on him for a while, but with my high enjoyment of his Dark Tower series, I've given him a second chance. This was not a bad idea.

The Long Walk intrigued me when I started hearing people say it was like The Hunger Games, but darker. While I can see where this comparison comes from - a televised game of kids competing (view spoiler)
This is one of my favorite King books; Suspenseful, unique, and all too possible. It is one of the few books that I have read more than once. Highly recommended for someone looking for a good place to start with King.
Mar 10, 2011 Ace rated it it was ok
The story starts when a hundred boys from different states of America joined a yearly "Long walk" contest. The participants need to walk without decreasing their speeds and without stopping until they reach the finish line. Each time they fail sustaining their walks is equivalent to a ticket, they can only get three tickets, the next one will be a gunshot in their heads.

What made me buy this book is because it is in my favorite genre, Dystopia. Maybe, I expect too much when I'm about to read thi
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
May 16, 2014 Kelly (and the Book Boar) rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
Find all of my reviews at:

There’s only two things you need to worry about when taking The Long Walk: picking them up and laying them down.

Outwalk the other 99 contestants in this most twisted of games and you’ll win the grand prize – whatever your heart desires for the rest of your life.

Why the hell did I not know about this book for the past billion years I’ve been alive? I’ve been a King fangirl since the discovery of fire and can’t see how this one slipped
I've re-read this book many times because I love it so much and I get something different out of it every time that I do. I decided to listen to it this time just to experience the story on another level.

This was the first audiobook I ever listened to, and I must say it's a lot different than what I imagined it would be. I was expecting something along the lines of a radio play with different voices for different characters and sound effects in the background, like rain or wind or gunfire. Inst
Ken McKinley
Feb 07, 2016 Ken McKinley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
The Long Walk is a re-read for me that I picked back up for Book #7 of the Stephen King Challenge. It is also one of the original stories that King wrote as Richard Bachman. I found it funny in the prologue section entitled The Importance of Being Bachman, King writes that he used his secret alias for when he felt that he had a really dark story that needed to come out. Let me get this straight. King has stories inside him that are too dark and horrible to put his name on them? Wow! This I've go ...more
Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*

3.5 stars

This dystopian-style thriller novel is brutal - there's physical death, sure, but the brutality is more through the struggles of walking so ridiculously far, the psychology of the warnings and not knowing when the next person would fall. Even the horrors of squatting quickly in the street and using the bathroom in front of a crowd. Awful stuff.

You'd think it would be hard to fill a book with a "walk", but King manages it well through tension, suspense, dialogue, developed friendships, d
May 04, 2014 Mara rated it liked it
I was nine years old when I started writing letters to the director requesting that I would, some day, be allowed to participate (though I wouldn't be eligible for the long walk until I was fifteen). After reading this, the first of my King as Richard Bachman books, that sentence sounds pretty sinister.

While there are some pretty crucial differences between what I would, ultimately, do when I was fifteen and what King's Long Walk entails (you know, the whole not being held at gunpoint, completel
Ruth Turner

Audiobook - Narrated by Kirby Heyborne - Excellent Narration.

For those who like audiobooks, Kirby Heyborne does an excellent job. He gives each of these unforgettable characters their own voice as they move from feelings of optimism during the first hours of the walk, to the despair of knowing there's every likelihood they won't survive.



Every time I read The Long Walk I'm amazed again that this is the first book that King wrote. I'm with the characters every step of the way and by the e
Jul 20, 2012 Damali rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: If you like copycats like The Hunger Games and Battle Royale
In this 1979 dystopian classic, 100 boys meet every May 1st to compete in The Long Walk. There’s only one winner. Remarkably, along the way, there’s tons of character development, and we hear a little bit about the world they’re living in. Non-King readers think that King is creepy, and that it’s his supernatural novels like Carrrie, The Shining, and Firestarter that makes him so great, but it’s his characterizations, relationships between characters, and the suspense that really stays with the ...more
May 01, 2009 Becky rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopias, reviewed, 2009
I love reading about dystopian societies, but this book left me wanting. I was really unsure of whether I liked it enough to warrant giving it 3 stars or 4 stars, and I'm still not sure, so for the time being, it will be marked as 4, but in my mind its 3.5.

I really felt like the King (or Bachman, if you prefer) who wrote this story was just not the King that I know and love yet. One of the things that I love the most about King is that he creates a world that is tangible and real, and then peop
Dec 02, 2007 Andy rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The Long Walk napisan pod pseudominom Richard Bachman , svrstavam među najboljim djelom koji je SK napisao!
Priča u kojoj glavni lik učestvuje u svakogodišnjem maršu ,gdje se takmiče 17 godišnjaci ,da bi osvojili takozvanu "nagradu". Priča u kojoj se i sprijatelji sa momcima s kojim trči , i gleda ih kako mu novostečeni prijatelji umiru..jedan za drugim.Jako se brzo čita , i brzo zavoite neke likove (nemojte , požait će te :) ) a neke ne .

I ponovo je King bio bezobrazan na kraju, gdje nam je osta
Xime García
: Me encantó, en serio.

Si hay un después, espero que no esté oscuro. Y espero que se pueda recordar. Odio la idea de vagar eternamente entre tinieblas, sin saber quién era o qué hacía aquí, o incluso sin saber que había sido otra cosa distinta en otro tiempo.

Hace unos años un amigo me vino con un pen drive con casi todas las novelas de Stephen King en .pdf dentro. Me dijo que se los había bajado porque uno le recomendó leer "La Larga Marcha" y que comenzaría por ese. Le pregunté de qué se tra
Apr 24, 2016 Jaro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was Kings first written novel, written when he was still a teenager in his bedroom in the house ”the old hood place” where he grew up in Durham. I don’t know if or how much he polished or changed it before its publication in 1979, but I suspect not that much, and I think this is quite amazing. His language is so careful and controlled and he writes with such intensity and insight about these teenage boys in the anticipation of death. And even though the characters are so young you still see ...more
helen the bookowl
This book has a creepy and intriguing premise that has left me wanting to read it for months. I finally picked it up, and while I was creeped out in the beginning (and loving it!), I felt like the book lost its pace towards the middle and eventually faded out in the end.
A book like this has got to be very hard to write. You follow a bunch of boys who walk for miles and miles; they are abruptly killed if they stop walking. You don't have a lot of story to play with when writing this, but still I
Mar 31, 2012 Priscilla rated it really liked it
Definitely left me thinking after reading this book. Disturbing, and fascinating at the same time.

Initial Thoughts:
1. I really liked all the characters. I wanted to figure them out, know more about them, and why they walked. Their stories are quite sad.
2. The rules to the Long Walk are consistent, so the plot really focus' on the characters, and how they change from the beginning to the end. Lot's of discussions among characters, and flashbacks.
3. I really like the symbolism and themes in the st
Kayla (BOOKadoodles)
Sep 09, 2015 Kayla (BOOKadoodles) rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-books
Really enjoyed this fast-paced Stephen King read! The ending was a little meh for me, so I docked a star. As always with SK, the writing was flawless and made it so incredibly easy to fly through the pages.
Sep 13, 2012 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
Let's talk about war! That's what this book is about, right? RIGHT.

"The Long Walk" is set in a dystopian America where every year, 100 teenage boys are selected to compete in a competition to the death. The boys are taken to a road at the Canadian-Maine border and told to start walking. If they don't walk fast enough, they're shot to death. Last one alive wins.

Yes, there are comparisons to be made to The Hunger Games, but I'd rather focus on this war metaphor. I recommend reading the book with t
While this is not my favorite Stephen King novel, it is my first SK writing as Richard Bachman and was for me quite deserving of the 4 star rating. It is a thought provoking story with deeply emotional interaction between the teenage boys as they endure the hardships of "The Long Walk", become friends and learn the value of life. (view spoiler) ...more
"Camina o muere, esa es la moraleja de este cuento. Así de sencillo. No se trata de la supervivencia del más preparado. Ahí fue donde me equivoqué al meterme en esto. Si lo fuera,tendría bastantes posibilidades. Pero hay hombres débiles que llegan a levantar coches si sus esposas están atrapadas debajo. El cerebro, Garraty. No se trata de hombre o Dios. Es algo... del cerebro."

Excelente. Este libro me sacó de los meses que llevaba sin leer asiduamente. Como dije antes, por libros como este es
“The whole walk seemed nothing but one looming question mark. He told himself that a thing like this must have some deep meaning. Surely it was so. A thing like this must provide an answer to every question, it was just a matter of keeping your foot on the throttle.”

Only Stephen King could write such a spellbinding tale of a bunch of boys doing nothing but walking.

The Long Walk has become something of a national pastime in America where every year, hundreds of teenage boys apply to compete. On
Feb 07, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, literary, dystopia
This book wasn’t what I expected. I was thinking along the lines of some kind of satirical message against the government. It is definitely not a book of satire. It is much deeper. It is extremely powerful and there seems to be so much symbolism in it that I could meditate on for days. I was watching the movie, “Stand by Me” one time (it’s based on Stephen King’s “The Body”) and the symbolism seemed to hit me as hard as that train hit Ray Brower. There are these four kids walking on a train trac ...more
Franco  Santos
Jul 08, 2015 Franco Santos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Un muy buen libro de mi querido Stephen. Para mí, en éste demuestra que el potencial de su imaginación es inconmensurable. O sea... Unos chicos tienen que caminar porque si no los matan; toda la novela transcurre así: chicos caminando, y de esos chicos sólo dialogan, no sé, 10, ¿quizás? A pesar de ello es increíble que el relato nunca decaiga. King con ese simple escenario nos hizo 350 páginas.

Muchos dicen que es el libro más cruel del autor. Sí, es cruel, también muy intenso y triste, pero hay
Feb 03, 2016 Latasha rated it liked it
3.5 stars. This is a book about walking but it really sinks it's hooks in and it's hard to put down. I liked it more than I thought I would but not as much as some other King books.
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Other Stephen King books you recommend to me? 18 64 Apr 14, 2016 01:28PM  
Why does Garraty run at the end? (spoilers) 1 15 Apr 13, 2016 09:01AM  
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Around the Year i...: The Long Walk, by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) 2 12 Feb 09, 2016 08:39PM  
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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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“They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?” 79 likes
“Just go on dancing with me like this forever and I'll never tire. We'll scrape our shoe on the stars and hang upside down from the moon.” 61 likes
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