As you glance round the slowly deteriorating Waterstones book store, you notice The Hunger Games appearing as common ground. But long before The Hunger Games, Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) was busily typing away his crazed and thrilling thoughts, writing a book that is soon to be published in 1979.
‘The Long Walk’ is the tale set in the upcoming future, in which 100 teens set out for an annual walk. The sound of cheering is highly audible with the teens pounding on to be the successor. Sounds simple? I think the French translation title puts it best ‘Marche ou Creve’- ‘Walk or Die’. Unlike The Hunger Games, the walkers freely sign up, for reasons they don’t even know of- leaving their families and friends, and most likely saying their final goodbye. Each passer by and and each contender knows perfectly well what will happen when you drop below the average speed- or even drop dead.
This gritting thriller is really one of Stephen King’s best. You grow to love each of the perfectly rendered characters, knowing each individually due to King’s detailed descriptions and commentary.
This is surely a (fairly) modern classic. As I like artists (be it music, film, art or literature) that are groundbreaking and give an ultimate on look on what is wrong with consumerism and our society, this book is one that slightly enlightened me. As you read you notice the link of what we deem to be entertainment and others to deem horror and cruelty. This book especially, allows you to notice the flaws that appear in our entertainment industry, and will hopefully change minds.