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Review of The Running Man - It was the fourth book written by Stephen King under his pseudonym Richard Bachman.
It was published in 1982.
The protagonist in the story is a man named Ben Richards, he lives in broken down area of the Midwest called Co-Op City.
The year is 2025, the economy is a mess and he is unable to find work to support his family, his wife resorts to earning money as a prostitute to pay for medicine for their infant daughter who is very ill with flu, possibly pneumonia.
Ben has enough of seeing his family suffer and decides to try earn some money from The Games Network, which broadcast violent shows where people risk their lives for money. Some of the game shows include Treadmill to Bucks and Swim the Crocodiles. After many tests Ben is chosen to be a contestant on The Running Man, the stations most popular but most dangerous show.
Contestants on The Running Man are given a 12 hour head start to travel anywhere in the world before a team of hitmen called 'Hunters' are sent out to kill them. If the contestant can survive the full 30 days of the show he is rewarded with one billion new dollars.
The public can earn money by reporting The Running Man's location if he is spotted, and will earn considerably more money if their tip off of his location ends with a kill.
The contestant is given money and a video camera before he leaves the studio, every day two videotape messages must be mailed back to the studio for broadcasting, if the videotapes are not received daily, the contestant will default his contract and will receive no prize money but will be hunted indefinitely.
From start to finish, this book was very fast-paced and brilliantly descriptive. It's a quick read at 240 pages but every page is thoroughly entertaining and interesting.
Highly recommended to King fans and fans of books such as Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.
5 out of 5 stars.
I read this story in a hardback version of the bachman books. It was the second of the stories in the book, the first being 'the long walk' I liked 'rage' because of the topic. I go to school, and I thought it interesting trying to visualise something like this happened at my school. The story is of a boy that slowly gets paranoid, and in the end brings a gun to school. He gets expelled, and so on his way out he torches his locker, and shoots some teaches. It is then a siege, he holds a class of fellow pupils hostage. Slowly as the story draws to the end, his fellow pupils feel sorry for him, and they get a bond going. As usual, Stephen King manages to give the story a good ending. I find the writing style interesting as not only does the story flow nicely between key points in the book, but it also describes parts of the main-characters past that may have helped shaped his mentality. I feel that the way his past has been described, there are little bits of his history that we all can relate to, which makes this story seem even more believable. It also helps stress the point that guns should be kept a heck of a lot more securely! It is a good book if you're an avid Stephen King fan.
The name on the covers was Bachman. But the imagination could only belong to one man. This is a compelling collection of three spellbinding stories of future shock and suspense. It includes: The Long Walk, Roadwork, and The Running Man - in which Stephen King also explains 'Why I was Richard Bachman'.