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The Long Walk

The Long WalkThe Long Walk by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolutely amazing, it is a very quick read and I would classify it as a novella, or for those who don’t like that term a long short story. I made a comment in a discussion group during the beginning of the read that it reminded me of The Hunger Games, I need to retract that statement at this point. While you do get that impression early on, you realize King did a much better job and made it a lot more terrifying due to the fact that The Long Walk is voluntary.

Ray Garraty is our main character, a sixteen year old boy off to join ninety-nine others for The Long Walk. The idea is simple out walk the others to win the prize, but it begs to answer at what cost. While the walk is ‘every man’ for himself, Ray develops a bond and even friendship with those he is walking against. In the face of it, this seems detrimental, why become friends with someone you want to get a ticket? That’s the whole idea, they have to buy the farm before you do. However, it seems just the opposite, the friendship between Ray and Pete is what saves Ray’s ass more than once.

This book also makes you wonder, what kind of sick twisted society allows this to even take place. Who let’s teenage boys decide this is a good idea, I can do this. This is the struggle that Ray has on the walk, why did he sign up for this, what is the real reason. The boys not only struggle with their own internal turmoil, they have to struggle against the other walkers, and with their views on society. In the end what is the point? After the struggle and the insanity of finishing the walk does the prize even matter?

The character development is amazing, watching Ray grow and come to understand things that he thought he knew but had no idea. McVries and Stebbins are also great characters and the interaction they have with Ray really gives you pause for thought. I also must admit I really liked Scramm, he was a good guy, big, not too bright, but someone you couldn’t help but like.

Okay my review is getting wordy – in a nutshell – read the book.

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