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The Long Walk

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  157,943 ratings  ·  9,686 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
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 16th 2016 by Gallery Books (first published 1979)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  157,943 ratings  ·  9,686 reviews

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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
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.
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
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
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
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
First time read as a stand alone. This book haunts me- it's an exceptionally horrifying read, that focuses on the 100 teenage boys competing in the Long Walk endurance race, where there can only be one winner - the sole survivor!

Remarkably written (written before Carrie!) way back in the late 1960s, Richard Bachman AKA Stephen King was so prescient about the ends reality TV would/could lead to! 10 out of 12, a thumping Five Star Read
Mary ~Ravager of Tomes~
Jesus Christ. A long walk indeed, Steve. A long walk in-fucking-deed.
Aug 20, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
“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
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.
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
4.5 Stars ⭐️ Buddy read with my dear friend, Vickie! 💕

This book killed my plantar fasciitis!

Chapter 8 has this old children’s rhyme we used to sing

"Three-six-nine, the goose drank wine
The monkey chewed tobacco on the streetcar line
The line broke
The monkey got choked
And they all went to Heaven in a little rowboat….
—Children’s rhyme

This book was not what I was expecting and it broke my damn heart. I still don’t know the reason behind all of this craziness!

I loved the majority of these boy
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
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
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
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
Oct 05, 2013 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
Misty Marie Harms
One hundred boys must keep a steady pace of four miles per hour without ever stopping with the winner being awarded “The Prize”—anything he wants for the rest of his life. We are walking with Ray Garraty, one of boys participating. The rules are strict. No outside help. No slowing down. You are given three warning, then you pay with your life. Winning is simple be the last boy standing...well still walking. As we walk with Ray we meet the other boys, witness their deaths, and dig hard to find th ...more
Jan 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, dystopian
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
Here’s my reading vlog where I discuss all my thoughts: ...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
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
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. ...more
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
Ayman Gomaa
Arabic & English Review:

I am Exhuasted , 5 days of walking

i had to walk in my room and feel my toes every awhile to make sure i am not in The Long DEATH Walking

My first reading to Stephan King "Richard Bachman"
i had to start with this one coz it's his first novel he wrote ever but it puplished later in 1979

it's set in dark dystopian world which Nazies won the WWII

The Long walk , its annual walking contest in 1th of may every year with 100 teenage boys .
the winner gets the PRIZE which is ANYT
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
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
Brett C
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stephen-king
I had a difficult time enjoying this one. It started out good but then it fizzled out for me. The story could have been shorter by 100 pages and paced along slowly. After Stephen King filled in the plot, the rules of the 'walk', and began to introduce the characters the story lagged. I have enjoyed other Stephen King stories tremendously but this one fell short. Thanks! ...more
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
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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

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