At the end of it, you get whatever your heart desires for the rest of your life. First, you must walk. Before The Hunger Games and before Battle Royale, there was “The Long Walk”. On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race. A race might not be the right word. The boys must walk the length of America, the last one standing wins. There are rules and if you break those rules, you get a warning. Three strikes and you’re out.
The story was originally ‘written’ by Richard Bachman, we know him today by his true identity: Stephen King. I consider myself a fan having only read a small spattering of his books. I like to think if I’d read the majority of them and read Richard Bachman, I would know it was Mr King. There’s something so immediate and sensual about his writing. It breaks convention to make you feel every moment; feel the pain and the fear. I run and after reading this book it’s not the same. Even walking, I have never been more aware of the movement of my feet, the muscles at work and know exactly how they would feel after walking nonstop for days.
There was much discussion about the book in the office, it was read for the book club I initiated. What did the walk represent? Was the walk reflecting war? Walking and marching towards a better future. I don’t think so. Was the walk reflecting life? The sense of direction but not necessarily purpose, we are only given so many chances before we’re out of luck. For me, I think it’s about greed. At the start, one hundred boys talk about riches, material things and women. That’s what they want when they win the walk. At the end, the skeletal like remains of the boys dream of the end. Their heart’s desire is to stop.
Watch my video review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2T1NGyk9Fpc