Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Long Walk” as Want to Read:
The Long Walk
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Long Walk

by
4.08  ·  Rating details ·  125,043 ratings  ·  7,079 reviews
In this #1 national bestseller, “master storyteller” (Houston Chronicle) Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, tells the tale of the contestants of a grueling walking competition where there can only be one winner—the one that survives.

In the near future, when America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner w
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Gallery Books (first published July 1979)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Long Walk, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Ellie King
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  125,043 ratings  ·  7,079 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Long Walk
Kay
Feb 22, 2012 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
...more
Kat
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
i’m procrastinating schoolwork, so here’s a shitty review

what i liked:
- this was BLEAK, baby. kids getting killed left and right for the sake of entertainment with no end in sight? (i’d say “sound familiar?” except this was released well before the hunger games, anyway i digress) ‘twas good shit.
- it was a simple concept that packed a punch, and i like that

what i disliked:
- this is hands down the HORNIEST stephen king i have read yet. at this point i’ve just learned to accept that he writes w
...more
Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
(4.5) Every time someone asks me which Stephen King book I would recommend, I mention this one. After reading quite a few of his books, it's still my favorite!

The downward spiral into madness and overall despair were very well written. Reading this book literally made my body ache.

I do wish there were a few more details about the world, how the long walk came about, etc.
The ending wasn't fully satisfying, as seem to be most endings for SK, but I enjoyed the book anyway.
Matthew
Updated Review - Re-read May 2019

Have you ever been watching a movie in the middle of summer that takes place in the middle of a very cold winter? Even though it is 90 degrees outside you start to feel like you need to bundle up under a blanket. That happened to me with the movie The Day After Tomorrow. I had a similar response to The Long Walk. As I read, I could feel the exhaustion and I was waiting for my legs to cramp. When you can truly feel a book deep in your muscles and bones, you know i
...more
Mario the lone bookwolf
These shoes are made for death walks and that´s where the characters go just one of these pairs of shoes is gonna walk home living too.

The true darkness comes with the historic real life examples that come to mind while and after reading this work, as it was, is, and will be a trend to kill people with death marches as special kind of psychological torture, as the victims have to watch their friends and family being killed one after another by the guards or sport fans next to the death race trac
...more
Dita
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is Stephen King at his creepy best. I’m on vacation and I ripped through this in a day. As I read, the water became less blue, the beach became less sunny, the drinks stopped getting the job done...LOL. You get the idea, getting pulled into Stephen King’s world, even for a day, is a dark, dark place.

Also? Suzanne Collins ripped off Stephen King so shamelessly in writing The Hunger Games that I have secondhand embarrassment for her.
Johann (jobis89)
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead."

On the first day of May each year, one hundred boys will take part in "The Long Walk". Breaking the rules results in warnings. More than three warnings and you'll get your ticket and you're out of the race.

I've felt for quite a while now that my top 10 Kings are pretty solid - before reading this I had about 13 or 14 left to read and none of them really seem like possible c
...more
Petrik
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Petrik by: Celeste
To think something so dark and depressing could come out of a premise so simple.

I'll keep this brief, Richard Bachman (a pseudonym of Stephen King) has made something short and great here. The premise of the book is annually, 100 teenagers entered a competition called "The Long Walk" where they have to walk literally non-stop until only one person remaining. The winner gets to have anything they want. It's a very simple premise and it somehow made Hunger Games looks like Disneyland. The slow des
...more
Lisa
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Man, I've read this book at least 10 times and it is just as horrific as all the other times I've read it. Definitely in my roving top 5 of Mr. Kings stories. I would actually like to thank my library, "Lewis and Clark" and all library's that do ebooks. What a difference! I've got hard and soft bound copies of all my favorite books, but I can't read them because of arthritis. So, I get these intense urges to re-read something, and unless I've bought it for my kindle, then I'm skee-rude! I hate s ...more
Kemper
I kind of blame Stephen King for reality television.

That’s not fair because he certainly wasn't the first person to do stories about murderous games done as entertainment, and it’s not like he produced Survivor or Big Brother. However, two of the books he did under the Richard Bachman pen name before being outed are about death contests done to distract the masses in dystopian societies. So whenever I see an ad for those kinds of shows I can’t help but think that the people who make that trash r
...more
Dan
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Amora
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wow, what a brutal novel! This was my very first Stephen King novel that I picked up during my time in high school but I never got around to finishing it. Now, years later, I decided to pick it up and actually finish and boy was this novel wild. Who knew that you can have such an engaging story with such a simple plot?

Fun fact: this novel inspired a sports event similar to the one in the novel in Sweden with the only difference being you don’t get a bullet to the head for losing. That and you a
...more
Calista
I loved this story when I read it. It was compelling. It's one of two novellas that was written by Richard Bachman that I like. This one gets it right.

It's brutal, but it was a foreshadowing of where our culture was heading. Not that we do things to the death yet, but these extreme competitions or reality shows are like this. I didn't have it in my GR and now I do.
Trudi
“They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?”

“They walked through the rainy dark like gaunt ghosts, and Garraty didn't like to look at them. They were the walking dead.”
How much do I love this book? There are too many ways to count actually, which is why no matter how many re-reads I've done of it (and there have been many over the years), The Long Walk has always left me too intimidated to review it. I managed a brief blurb of something when I liste
...more
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Jesus Christ. A long walk indeed, Steve. A long walk in-fucking-deed.
Joe Valdez
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-general
The first published novel by Stephen King was Carrie in 1974, but the first he wrote was The Long Walk, begun his freshman year at the University of Maine in 1966 and sneaked onto the mass paperback market in 1979 under the pseudonym of "Richard Bachman." Outed at the apex of his fame, King had this novella and three others he'd released under his alias republished in 1985 as The Bachman Books. Like much of King's early work, The Long Walk lacks finishing, as if the story was filed by a reporter ...more
Dan Schwent
Nov 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Lyn
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Direct and relentless, like the best of Poe’s work.

Edgar Allan Poe’s work was characterized by one simple concept and a brutal and undeviating delivery. The “Cask of Amontillado” was an inevitable march to the bricking up of the victim. “The Tell-Tale Heart” was unescapable towards its conclusion. Foreshadowing and an inexorable conclusion marked the horrific legend of the “Fall of the House of Usher”.

Like Poe, King took a devilishly simple idea and delivered one of his strongest works, but lean
...more
Celeste
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian, horror
Full review now posted!

Before The Hunger Games, there was The Long Walk. Except this was way, way more disturbing.

There are going to be spoilers ahead for the overarching plot, though not specifics regarding individual characters. I can’t think of any other way to review this book, so consider yourself warned.

Imagine a version of America that is completely obsessed with an annual “game” known as the Long Walk. In this new national pastime, teenage boys from all around the nation put their names
...more
Jason
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, reviewed, for-kindle
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
...more
Gabby
Here’s my reading vlog where I discuss all my thoughts: https://youtu.be/oc-k3uY5H_I ...more
Valliya Rennell
3 stars

“Any game looks straight if everyone is being cheated at once.”


This book will definitely age well for me. It will stay with me for a while and keep me up at night. The ending was fantastic... though most of it was just "good". Ray Garraty is to take part in an annual national event called the Long Walk, where 100 boys are chosen to participate in a walk where if they stop walking, they are shot. Only one boy survives. This book is a psychological-thriller filled with commentary on ent
...more
Kerri
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My third reading of this, and I think it gets more harrowing each time. It's incredibly compelling and a difficult story to move on from. It was one of the first Stephen King books I read, and I find myself thinking of it often - it really burrows it's way into your mind.
Matt Tandy
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A relentless, horrifying journey into the extremes of human physical and mental endurance, The Long Walk is a harrowing novel, not an outright horror tale, but a terrifying trip that gets under the readers skin as the walk wears on. Bachman (sai King) is able to get the reader to experience the walk in intimate detail; each aching arch, sleeplessness, the gut renching realization of the reality of the situation. As each mile passes, we become as much part of the long walk as the characters. Of t ...more
Bradley
It's really fascinating to go back and read books you thought you really understood as a kid, and diving into Bachman nee King writing a disturbing dystopian YA really fits the bill for the whole mind-blowing thing. :)

Yeah. Dystopian YA SF.

He gives credit right in the book and all types of other places for cribbing from Shirley Jackson, especially the whole Lottery vibe, but what modern readers will probably latch onto is just how much the Hunger Games is cribbed off of King. :) (Also Battle Roy
...more
Sandeep
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dystopian world.
100 boys and A Long Walk.
1 simple rule : Keep walking.
If you stop, you'll be shot.
If you slow down, you'll be shot.
There's no finish line.
The Walk continues until 99 drop dead,
The last person standing walking is the winner.



And we’re walking and walking… and walking… and walking...

The winner is supposed to get anything they want — money for the rest of their lives, their families taken care of. The losers get nothing.
It’s not until you actually see one of the Walkers receive
...more
J.K. Grice
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Stephen King did a superb job with the premise, characters, and tension that escalates in this excellent novel.
Karla
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audio and story 4 stars**
Narrated by Kerby Heyborne


My first audio by this Mr. Heyborne and I enjoyed it. I found his voice pleasant with a perfect tone since mostly all characters were young boys. I especially liked his southern accent.


This book is a stephen king oldie first published in 1979, and it might be of one the oldest I’ve read by him so far. In “The Long Walk” one hundred boys choose to participate in a 450 mile walking marathon where they have to maintain a 4 miles per hour otherwis
...more
carol.
I thought about doing some clever riff on this, maybe describing how it feels to swim 500 yards in a competition (so stuck in my head), or, in light of events this week, how it feels to have a migraine on and off for the last four days. I felt like I could tap into the structure of the telling rather easily, but honestly, it sounded tedious to write.

And that's about where I am with "The Long Walk." Technically, it is written well although it goes to obvious lengths in the beginning to conceal th
...more
Michelle
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Popsugar Challenge 2020 - A Book with a great first line

And that line is 'A old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning looking like a small tired dog after a hard run'.

This is probably the most exhusting book I've ever read. Stephen King in his usual way pulls you into the plot and all I will say is put some comfortable shoes on, as the title suggests you're in for a long walk and it's going to hurt and you absolutely will lose your mind.

Really enjoyed this and its short fo
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Bloody Shoes Cover??? 2 6 Jun 27, 2020 06:14AM  
Why does Garraty run at the end? (spoilers) 7 1339 Mar 15, 2020 09:56AM  
هل هناك رمزية فى الرواية 1 1 Jan 29, 2020 04:20AM  
Spanish Readers: La larga marcha [Octubre 2019] 3 49 Oct 07, 2019 10:29AM  
Stephen King Fans: The Long Walk 12 77 Jun 18, 2019 09:26AM  
The ending 31 1575 Oct 04, 2018 04:18PM  
Stephen King Fans: The Long Walk- Book 7 81 125 Jul 30, 2018 03:26PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Imperial Bedrooms
  • Last Exit to Brooklyn
  • Skagboys
  • Lunar Park
  • The Cement Garden
  • Brighton Rock
  • The Girl Next Door
  • Naked Lunch
  • Less Than Zero
  • Invisible Monsters
  • The Elephant Tree
  • No Country for Old Men
  • On the Road
  • The Trial
  • The Secret History
  • The Dead Zone
  • A Gallery of Mothers (Brathius History #2)
  • Seeking Safety (Gateway to Chaos #1)
See similar books…
4,226 followers
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
...more

News & Interviews

There's something great about a paperback book: They're perfect book club choices, you can throw them in your bag and go, and they've been out in...
27 likes · 5 comments
“They're animals, all right. But why are you so goddam sure that makes us human beings?” 119 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.” 99 likes
More quotes…