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The Running Man
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July 2018: Dystopian > The Running Man by Stephen King (Richard Bachman) - 3 stars

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Ellen | 2316 comments Ben Richards is a desperate man. It is the year 2025 and Ben, his wife Sheila and their 18 month old daughter Kathy are definitely have-nots in the current society. Kathy is quite ill with the flu and possibly pneumonia but Ben has no money for a doctor or medicine. He decides to audition for a Free-Vee series called the 'Running Man' in which the runner must avoid the hunters, who will kill you on sight, the greedy public, who will turn you in for cash rewards, for 30 days. The successful runner will win a billion-dollar jackpot but in 6 years of the show, no one has survived. Ben is selected for the show and his adventure begins. He is smart and resourceful, but at every turn he can feel the breath of the hunters on his neck.

As with "Hunger Games" I am not a fan of murder for television ratings, although at least in this short novel the running man chooses to participate by his own free will. It is still a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around. The reader certainly feels a great deal of sympathy for Ben and his family situation and you so want him to beat a game that is rigged from the start. I can't say his character is particularly endearing as he is crass, insulting and sarcastic. The book was certainly exciting and the ending was a good one. I do love Stephen King but I am not such a fan of this particular story.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6389 comments I read this a few years back. It was written in 1982 and what really stunned me was the ending that foreshadowed real events in the USA some 20 years after this was written. Just chilling.

I've gone through a bunch of the reviews and no one mentions this?!! (including me, in my review).


message 3: by LibraryCin (new)

LibraryCin | 9055 comments Oh, I vaguely remember this one being very good. Well, it really stuck with me, anyway! It's been about 30ish years since I read it, probably a bit more. During high school sometime.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

I have not read any Stephen King novels but I have been told so many times what a good writer he is. I do have and have read his book on writing novels.


Elise (ellinou) I read this one many years ago and I remember it fondly. More so than a few other Bachman books actually. I love (and hate) that 2025 isn't so far anymore, but contrary to many other books set in the near future, this situation isn't actually so preposterous. I mean, couldn't you see this actually happening? In a world where there's a new game show in which the winner gets his or her student debt paid of...


message 6: by Ladyslott (new)

Ladyslott | 1880 comments I really like this book, read it when it first came out quite a long time ago.


message 7: by annapi (new)

annapi | 5155 comments I don't read much King, but this one sounds right up my alley. TBR...


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