Robyn's Reviews > The Running Man

The Running Man by Richard Bachman
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's review
Apr 06, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: dystopian, page-turner, reviewed
Read from April 06 to 08, 2012

That really should be like, four and a half. Also, as if enough people haven't said it already: SKIP THE FOREWARD.

Two of my favorite things: Stephen King and Dystopian Fiction come together in this novel, mostly to good effect. The pace is brisk, the world is believable, Ben Richards has a strong, identifiable voice.

His actions throughout the story are very clever, but not unbelievably so. That was probably my favorite thing about this; Ben never crosses that line that lots of "quick thinking, resourceful" characters do, into omniscience. Even his intuitive leaps, as nebulous as they were, feel very sensible and real to me. At no point was I finding myself saying "Oh, come on! No way he would have thought to do that!"

The only fly in the ointment for me is that while this world is pretty believable, I would have liked to see more of it. There are lots of elements to this world that are mentioned or hinted at, but we never really get to sink our teeth into. Mr. King has proven time and again that he's more than capable of showing us the vastness of a place, using several character viewpoints to illuminate many types of people who live in this world, and giving us a coherent picture of a society. I would really have loved to see him put the kind of effort he has into something like The Standor Needful Things into this world, to give a us a more complete picture. Not to say that he doesn't do a good job here, just that I know he's capable of something more intricate; and with a world this interesting, it would have been awesome to see what he did with that level of detail.

This is a pretty worthy read, though, especially if you are a fan of the genre.

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Steven To me this book is somewhat of a classic vision of dystopic (if that's a word) violence in entertainment. I still think that within the next 50 years, violence will become a part of entertainment for us in some shape or form. To be honest I've always dreamed of a game show, where you pit 20 men against each other. All clad in football pad-like armor. In a big abandoned pitch black prison. Given baseball bats or some melee weapons of blunt-force. They have helmets in addition to their football pad like armor. Then they have cameras mounted on their armor as well, and flash lights too. Cameras are of course all over the abandoned prison/hospital/whereever. The last 3 men standing win. Each man gets a button to "tap out". The last 3 men standing win money and a vacation. Waivers must be signed, and of course it'd probably have to be filmed in some other country. Maybe when I'm an old man I'll make this show, I'll call it... Running Men. A man can dream can't he?

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