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The Running Man

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  86,143 ratings  ·  2,600 reviews
The Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day and tread closer and closer to death. Desperate for money to pay Cathy’s medical bills, Ben e ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published August 1999 by Signet (first published May 1st 1982)
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Thomas J Jameson Very good book! Read it in one go! Тhe action takes place relatively quickly and your interest is confined till the last page!
Joseph I would say it is not like a horror book with some supernatural element or demonic like entity such as an evil clown. The plot of the book is about a…moreI would say it is not like a horror book with some supernatural element or demonic like entity such as an evil clown. The plot of the book is about a man who decides to join a game show to earn money for his wife and daughter. The game show, though is about the man being chased after by law enforcement, hunters, and society wanting to turn you in if they find you in order to kill the person. The book can be scary for people who have paranoia or anxiety thinking they are being watched. It is more of a scare about the boogeyman of big brother/government and continuous gap of socioeconomic status in society.(less)

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3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  86,143 ratings  ·  2,600 reviews

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Luca Ambrosino
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
English (The Running Man) / Italiano

While I am enjoying the sci-fi / dystopia of acclaimed TV series such as "Black Mirror" or "The Handmaid's Tale", the novel "The Running Man" falls into my lap. The fact is that this novel inspired the 1987 movie of the same name. And the fact is that I am one of the few that loved that movie. Therefore, I immediately buy the novel. Stephen King wrote it in his "Bachman" phase, maybe it's a minor novel. No matter, I bought it... and thank God!

The concept of re

Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
I ended up reading this book in one day!

Fast-paced action pack book that will keep you on adrenaline. Would recommend!
After The Most Dangerous Game, there was The Running Man

Before The Hunger Games, there was The Running Man

After 1984, there was The Running Man

Before reality TV, there was The Running Man

This is a disturbing and enthralling cautionary tale predicted by our fore fathers, seen in new dystopian novels, and becoming all too real in this age of political turmoil, social media, and reality overload.

One of King’s early novels under his Pseudonym Richard Bachman, he mentions in the foreward that it has
Well now........This was not what I expected. AT. ALL.

THE RUNNING MANis not only different from the movie (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) but has a much deeper storyline and greater sense of desperation and hopelessness among the very interesting characters.

THE RUNNING MAN is still a TV Reality Show (broadcast on the Free-Vee) that survives by ratings and is still corrupt in its methods of revealing less than the truth to further incite wrong-doing by the participants and gain a greater audience.


Dan Schwent
Dec 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
When Ben Richard's daughter gets pneumonia, he turns to the Network for help and becomes a contestant on the deadliest of reality shows, The Running Man. Can Richards run long enough to earn the money for his daughter's medicine? And what will he learn as he runs for his life for the amusement of the public watching The Running Man?

This is the best book made into a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger I've ever read. Actually, apart from a couple character names, the dystopian setting, and the c
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers, dystopia
Let me give you the most important information you need before you read this book:

Do not read the forward by Stephen King before you read the story!! He spoils his own book's ending in it!

Yeah, that really sucked because I knew what would eventually happen and it was so suspenseful that it would have been awesome to be kept wondering if this poor shlub would actually make it. But, even knowing what I unfortunately knew, I was still on the edge of my seat for the entire book. That Stephen King
Jan 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who expected more action and less contemplation from the Hunger Games
Recommended to Kay by: people who think Surivor should be a little more *real*
WARNING: Do NOT read the author foreward. It totally gives away a climactic ending. Thanks to the GoodReads community for warning me.

I feel like I just ran a marathon with a heart condition. As soon as I opened the book, I was swept up in the story and couldn't stop until the fiery, breathless end. I don't say this often. It takes a while for me to feel comfortable in a new book. I like to feel things out, come to my own conclusions. But Stephen King, in his insidiously masterful way, lured and
Kayla Dawn
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Yeeeeeeah I don't know. Not his best work.

I was bored most of the time and I feel like a lot of things just worked out for the protagonist out of luck (or simply because of our beloved plot device "deus ex machina" - which is kind of funny because King talks about that in his book "Misery").

I actually liked the ending though, which he sucks at most of the time so that's good lol - and I'll forever adore his writing style!
Oct 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature

فن صناعة الوحش
كم من الروايات و الأفلام التي تقص علينا كيف تعيد الميديا صياغة العقول؟! كيف تحول شخص عادي إلى بطل و أيقونة و كيف تحول المظلوم إلى مجرم سفاح و كيف تتلاعب بالعقول فتصور الديكتاتور بطل و زعيم و تصور الحاكم العادل ضعيف و مهزوز و فاسد!
كم من برنامج تلفزيوني أو حملة إعلامية رفعت أقواما و خفضت أقواما بغير وجه حق و كم من مسخ من مسوخ الشاشات قلبوا الحق باطلا و الباطل زينوه للناس.
ليست مجرد واحدة من تلك القصص و لا حتى يمكن مقارنتها بالفيلم الساذج المأخوذ عنها للبطل الساذج دائما أرنولد شوارزنيج
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it

Stephen King’s 1982 novel, published under the pen name of his darker alter ego Richard Bachman, describes a feral dystopian landscape where over population, under employment, financial segregation of society along cultural and class lines and woefully deficient in fundamental healthcare has led to an almost Roman decadence of survival games and cheap entertainment for the pitiful masses. King’s malnourished and desperate Ben Richards is nothing like the character played by Arnold Sch
Raeleen Lemay
Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #28: a book with song lyrics in the title

This was a pretty fun ride, but didn't leave a huge impact on me. The concept of the story was INCREDIBLE, but I feel like the execution wasn't quite there. It was a fast-paced action ride, but I wanted a bit more. However, it was very ~cool~ and I feel like if you enjoy Black Mirror (particularly "Fifteen Million Merits") or the movie Gamer this will be right up your alley.
Amr Mohamed

أكتر حاجة تضايق الواحد لما تكون رواية كويسة وفكرتها شيقة وممتعة وثورية وكاتب زي سيتفن كينج وفى الاخر الرواية متعجبكش وتبقي سيئة جدا بسبب الترجمة..

أسوأ ترجمة قرأتها فى حياتي لرواية , المترجم بيترجم ترجمة حرفية بحتة ده لو بيترجم مقال علمى مش هيترجم كدا, اكتر رواية خدت فيها وقت فى حياتي اربع ايام عشان اخلصها لأني زهقت منها وبقت مملة جدا بسبب الترجمة .

وكمان تفاصيل كتيرة لوصف الاماكن والاشخاص , فطبعا مع ترجمة سيئة هتكون مش طايق نفسك .

تقييمي قليل بسبب الترجمة لكن الرواية والنهاية تستحق اربع نجوم.

Mia Nauca
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Una novela distopica de Stephen King en la que Ben Richards, un padre de familia de la clase pobre del futuro, decidir entrar a un concurso para poder conseguir dinero y salvar a su hija. El concurso se llama “el fugitivo” y consiste en tratar de permanecer con vida la mayor cantidad de días posibles (ganas dinero x hora) mientras “cazadores” que son prácticamente policías entenados te buscan para matarte. Es el show favorito de todos, así que la gente que de pistas sobre el paradero de el fugit ...more
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Running Man completes my read of the four early Bachman Books. What a fine way to go out. We’ve all seen the movie (well, maybe only us older GR folk). Schwarzenegger uses some wit and the muscles to survive the death match game show that is The Running Man. Once again, the movie is the reason I never bothered to read the book, and once again I made a mistake by not doing so. Hint: They changed the story.

Some aspects of the book found their way into the movie. A bit of the persona that is Be
With rumours of real Hunger Games being played out in Siberia, I found this sickeningly scary in its implications.

Beware of governments who will make it compulsory to watch dystopian TV

BBC report 6/12/2017

Description: The Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day
Edward Lorn
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
The only part of this book I enjoy is the final bit, aboard the...well, spoilers. But that's it. The entirety of this book is a bore up until that point. Typical of the Bachman books this one is bleak and nihilistic, which is usually my jam, but perhaps my view was changed by reading all four of these early novels back to back over three months. Was it too much despair too close together? Who knows? It's my third time through these four early novels and easily my least favorite experience of the ...more
Abbie | ab_reads
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Richard Bachman and I are not friends.
Franco  Santos
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
Este es uno de los libros que más me sorprendieron de Stephen King. No lo tenía pensado leer, ya que no me atraen mucho las novelas de ciencia ficción/futuristas o las llamadas distópicas. Sin embargo, al ver que recibía muy buenas criticas, me decidí por darle una oportunidad.

Fue toda una aventura. No podía soltar el libro en ningún momento. Es soberbiamente adictivo, no te da descanso. Tiene uno de los mejores inicios que tuve el placer de leer, y con respecto al final... por Dios... ¡Qué fina
I read this Bachman Book years ago when it was released in a compilation edition called The Bachman Books (along with Rage, The Long Walk and Roadwork). I have never seen the movie version starring Arnold Schwarzenegger made in the 80s. But after finding a copy of this book with a movie tie-in cover, I've arranged to borrow a DVD of The Running Man. Before watching the movie, I decided to re-read the short book. I'm glad I did.

The Running Man is basically the story of a man desperate to bring i
The year is 2025. The world is a mess. The job market is virtually nonexistent. Unless, that is, you want to be on a game show run by the corrupt government.

This is exactly what Ben Richards does. His daughter is sick. Not just sick, but deathly ill. Tired of his wife having to whore herself out- quite literally- he decides to stand in line at the local welfare agency hoping to be selected for a gameshow.

Ben is an asshole, though. He says what is on his mind. He makes bold statements about the
Halt! If you have yet to read this Stephen King as Richard Bachman book, let it be known that the introduction should be cordoned off with ‘spoiler warning’ tape…but it's not. I would chalk it up to King's beef with the outing of Bachman (which I totally respect), but the same thing happened to me with Pet Sematary, so that theory's a bust. (Shoutout to Richard for attempting to save me from myself after that first debacle.)

Wasn't my favorite King or Bachman adventure, perhaps because
Vicki Willis
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: z-2016, stephen-king
I loved this book. I know I saw the movie years ago, but I don't know if I ever read the book. It was a fast paced book full of action. I was feeling tense for the main character the whole time. The futuristic setting and societal make up was interesting to me. The ending was a surprise for me and it was a perfect end to the book. A 5 star read for me!
Ashley Daviau
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know a lot of people have mixed feelings about King’s work as Bachman but I’ve quite enjoyed each one I’ve read so far. This one definitely isn’t my favourite out of the gang but it was excellent nonetheless! I really enjoy the rawness that you get when King writes as Bachman, it draws me in every time! My only minor complaint about this story is the ending, it’s not quite how I was hoping it would end but it was an intriguing ending anyways.
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-king
This was thumping good fun!

This is probably the fastest I've ever paged through a King novel. King said this is also the fastest he's ever written a novel. He wrote it in the space of a week-long vacation. Impressive.

I'd say The Running Man veers slightly away from the typical King novel. Most King novels are fleshed out, the characters really developed over time, and the novels themselves quite lengthy. But The Running Man is fast paced right from the beginning. Yet, even with that in mind, you
When I was young and not quite so jaded, I still believed that film adaptations were a good idea.  I am pretty sure The Running Man was the book/movie that changed my mind about that.

I'd seen the movie more times than I care to admit before I read the book for the first time (my dad was/is a HUGE fan of all things Schwarzenegger [wow, really spellcheck, you recognize that name?]) and I almost DIDN'T read it because I thought the movie was TERRIBLE and that meant the book had to be, too, right?

Ruth Turner
Jan 14, 2015 rated it liked it

Audiobook – Narrated by Kevin Kenerly – Good narration.

My first Kevin Kenerly audiobook and I enjoyed it very much. And no background music!!



My second read for this novel and, as for the first time, the protagonist Ben Richards spoiled it for me. While I understand the reason for his anger and bitterness, I couldn’t bring myself to feel any sympathy for him.

“You’ll have to make allowances for Mr. Richards,” Killian said, smiling. “He seems afflicted with an extreme case of the rudes.”

Mar 16, 2014 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paused
Dear Mr. Stephen king,

If you met with this review by some chance/ miracle one day, please make sure to break your contract with "Arab scientific publishers".
If the reading process add more lives to your own, the translation of your books by them actually wastes the only life you will ever have.

السيد المحترم / ستيفن كينج
إن صادفت يوما هذه المراجعة بالصدفة البحتة أو المعجزة الفريدة، فضلا تأكد من فسخ عقد ترجمة مؤلفاتك مع " الدار العربية للعلوم" - ناشرون ؛ فإن كانت القراءة تضيف للفرد أعمارا فوق عمره،
This was a pretty good story, but quite different from what I'd expected. Of course I knew it was a dystopia, and centered around a game-show, but other than that, I didn't have much idea about the story. I've never seen the movie - and looking at IMDB right now, that's probably a good thing - so I didn't even have those misconceptions to deal with. Ben Richards is not an ex-cop who was wrongfully accused of anything. He was born into the wrong economic situation and grew bitter because of it. W ...more
Johann (jobis89)
"In the year 2025, the best men don't run for President, they run for their lives..."

The Running Man is a story set in a dystopian United States in the year 2025. In order to obtain money to cover his sick daughter's health costs, Ben Richards takes part in a game show called The Running Man, wherein the contestant is allowed to run anywhere as a pack of "Hunters" chase them and try to kill them within a certain time frame.

The Running Man is the first Bachman novel I've read and I felt like I co
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
**The Stephen King Goodreads Discussion Group is doing a re-read of his works from the beginning to the end. It’s been a long time since I have really immersed myself in Uncle Stevie’s world, but a rate of a book a month, I am all in. My goal is to read and review each one with as much honesty and reflection that I can give. **

Background – “The Running Man” was originally published under his well-known pseudonym of Richard Bachman as a paperback original in 1982. My paperback copy of “The Bachm
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This is a Stephen King pseudonym.

At the beginning of Stephen King's career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing more would be unacceptable to the public. King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over-saturating the market for the King "brand". He convinced his publisher, Signe
“In the year 2025, the best men don't run for president, they run for their lives. . . .” 84 likes
“He understood well enough how a man with a choice between pride and responsibility will almost always choose pride--if responsibility robs him of his manhood.” 32 likes
More quotes…