Reviewed by: Bethany
Page count: 370 pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: On order
“On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as The Long Walk. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying…” – Goodreads
We have to talk about Stephen King’s The Long Walk. I was cruising through the internet a few weeks ago and I came across an article (http://bookriot.com/2015/12/09/best-stephen-king-book-havent-read/) on Book Riot’s Facebook page. Calling this book the BEST Stephen King book was pretty big talk, so I had to see for myself and I cannot stress how not disappointed I was. This book is so good, you guys!
Now, even though I may be using exclamation points with some frequency in this post, this book is a straight up bummer. There is no happy ending, there is no uplifting revelation, and there is barely a protagonist. There is, however, an interesting outlook on life, death, and blisters. Thankfully, that is exactly what my jam is, so I had a great time.
I’m stealing a really great quote from a fellow Goodreader’s review:
“And life isn’t nice. It won’t slow down for you. Got blisters on your feet? Tough. Can’t climb that hill after walking +24 hours? You’d better. Got to take a shit? If it takes longer than three warnings, you’re going to die with your pants around your ankles.
It seems, in this light, that life is much crueler than death.”
Some have classed this book as dystopian, but I have a hard time agreeing because the book focuses more heavily on the walk than the world outside of it. However, because of the narrow perspective we’re also given the opportunity to really put our feet in the tattered shoes of these poor unfortunate souls. You’ll almost feel your own feet aching along with the Long Walkers as they trudge through (you guessed it) Maine!
Going into this book you know your favourite characters are doomed from the beginning as only one can win the Long Walk, but that doesn’t stop you from rooting for them. Similar feelings are shared by the characters themselves; while simultaneous wanting their competitors to bite the bullet, there is a strange camaraderie among these lads.
A fun fact for any Stephen King junkies: King says that this is actually the first book he ever wrote! (Or at least that’s what Book Riot told me.)