am 6. Mai 2000
The Long Walk is the second book I have read that was written by King under the name Richard Bachman. It is the in-depth story of how a boy named Ray Garraty must survive the greatest challenge of his life -- the Long Walk. This annual event is summarized as follows: 100 boys start walking; if you walk under 4 miles per hour, you get a warning; after 3 warnings, if you slow down again, you are shot dead. The winner of the Long Walk is the last boy left walking.
Stephen King (a.k.a. Richard Bachman) introduces and develops the characters of many of the boys in the event. As a reader, you get to learn about Garraty, Pete McVries, Hank Olson, Art Baker, Barkovitch, Stebbins, and others, who each have their own personality quirks and ways of looking at life. Each boy has entered the Long Walk for a different reason and I found their discussions about life and death to be quite interesting (a social statement by King, perhaps?). The reader is led along the course and each significant event is mentioned along the way, with some unexpected occurrences that may surprise you.
As the challenge narrows down from the original 100 competitors to less than 50, then to just a handful of boys remaining, the scenario becomes rather intense. Who will die next? How will he die? And most importantly, who will be left at the end to claim the Prize? Although the suspense builds slowly, it tends to add to the dramatic effect of the final moments and keep the reader wanting to read more to find out what happens (I was so eager to find out that I read the last half of the book in one sitting).
Although the story is interesting and held my attention, there are a couple of criticisms that knocked it down from 5 to 4 stars. First, the ending was too predictable. I had a feeling from the start of what would happen and being verified at the end tended to downplay the whole story. Second, some of the characters were killed off rather abruptly without much detail or explanation. I guess it just depends on what you are expecting and how you interpret the story.
Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed reading the Long Walk. It tests the limits of human endurance in a unique way and makes the reader think about life and death in a new light (or at least I did). Unlike many of King's other novels, the Long Walk is more of dramatic suspense story rather than a horror story, which is what I have noticed about his writing as Richard Bachman. It is a good read, however, and I recommend it to anyone, whether you are a fan of Stephen King or not.
am 24. Mai 2000
The Long Walk has got to be one of Stephen King's greatest short story accomplishments, up there with the highlights of the Skeleton Crew.
The story is about an endurathon contest, where 100 boys just start walking, and if any competitor falls under 4 miles an hour, he is issued a warning. However, if a competitor slows down to under 4 miles after receiving 3 warnings...he is shot dead.
King introduces many unique characters to us, and we begin to almost feel their personalities, and the annoying little habits that they have. King does a masterful job of removing some of the characters from the story with not much detail, really placing an emphasis on the mental drain that is occuring with the competitors in The Long Walk, they are so tired they dont even notice how or when some of their friends are being killed.
The final surge towards the end of the walk is written quite ingeniously, and is even quite surprising.
Overall, I would highly recommend this short story. ALthough the book may be about an endurathon, it is certainly not an endurathon of a read, the pages will just fly by.
am 7. Februar 2001
I'ts useless to tell you what the book is about because then you wouldn't even think about reading it. But the amazing thing is that King takes a plot (any other auther would say "A plot that doesn't give me enough to work with." [or something like that]) and writes one of the best stories ever written. Once I started getting "involved" with the story (which took about 5 pages) I couldn't put the book down, but at the same time I was almost feeling bad for reading it because by doing this I almost felt like I was no better than the crowd that cheered when a "walker" got shot. That's how intense this book is! During the time it took me to finish the book (3 days) the story was almost living inside me. This all probably doesn't make much sense (and you probably think I'm nuts), but read it and you will know what I mean. The only reason I gave only 4 stars was because of the ending. If the book was 50 pages longer it would have gotten all 5!
Irgendwann in der Zukunft an einem 1.Mai starten 100 Jugendliche eine Wanderung. Eigentlich eine positive Sache, nur nehmen sie an einem etwas perversen nationalen Wettkampf in den USA teil und es gibt eine erschwerende Randbedingung: wer langsamer als 4 Meilen die Stunde läuft, erhält eine Warnung, und nach der 3.Warnung wird man erschossen. Dem Letzten, der übrigbleibt winkt als Preis die Erfüllung aller Wünsche auf Lebenszeit. Mit einer Überlebenschance von 1% ziehen die Jungs entsprechend motiviert los.
Die Idee hat was. Die Zahl der Toten ist von Anfang an bekannt, die Frage ist nicht ob, sondern wann der nächste stirbt. Über das ganze Buch ist man Tage lang konstant in Bewegung, alle Gespräche, Szenen usw. finden im Laufen statt. Die Stimmung erinnert etwas an den Film "Speed", dem Bus mit der Mindestgeschwindigkeit. Freundschaften werden geschlossen, das Schicksal schweißt die Teilnehmer zusammen, und doch wissen sie, dass sie nur durch den Tod der anderen gewinnen können. Einziger kleiner Knackpunkt: das ganze Buch läuft relativ vorhersehbar mit linearer Abnahme der Teilnehmer ab. Der "Long Walk", zu deutsch der "Todesmarsch", lebt von der Situation, nicht von seinem Ende.
Stephen King kritisierte mit dem "Long Walk" bereits 1979 - damals noch unter seinem Pseudonym Richard Bachman - den Drang zu immer abartigeren und tabuloseren Shows. Das hat er auch mit "Running Man" (Menschenjagd) getan, den ich noch spannender und dramatischer fand. Am "Long Walk" sind das interessante die Charakterstudien: jeder Teilnehmer reagiert anders auf die Extremsituation, einstudierte Rollenbilder werden aufgegeben. Minuten vor dem Tod werden - leider zu spät - die tiefliegenden Psychoprobleme mancher Jungs gelöst, die zur Teilnahme geführt haben. Eine bizarre Idee und auf jeden Fall einer der guten Kings.
am 25. Mai 2015
Todesmarsch , ist eines der ersten Bücher , welches der Kulthorrorautor unter seinem Pseudonym Richard Bachman veröffentlicht hat . Wie bei den meisten Büchern dieser Art , sind die unter Bachman erschienenen Bücher wesentlich subtiler und weniger an den klassischen Horror angelehnt , als die Bücher unter seinem wirklichen Namen .
Dennoch ist dieses Buch nicht weniger schockierend , manchmal tieftraurig und so spannend , dass man als Leser, das Buch nicht mehr aus der Hand legen kann .
King spart in diesem Buch weder an gesellschafts noch an sozialer Kritik , völlig mühelos , verbindet er Spannungsroman mit einer sachlichen und tiefgründigen Story ,die hinter die Kulissen der Charaktere blickt und mit denen er uns die Probleme der Gesellschaft näher bringt .
Für mich vielleicht "Das Beste Stephen King Buch " überhaupt , selten habe ich so mitgefiebert , gestaunt und entsetzt feststellen müssen , wie nahe mir diese Geschichte geht .
Ein wundervoller , detailgetreuer und manchmal so sachlich und präzise auf den Punkt gebrachter Schreibstil , der mich vollkommen überzeugen konnte !
am 28. April 2014
A month ago I read "The Long Walk" a book by Stephen King which he wrote under the name Richard Bachman. I had knowledge of Steven King as I have read a few books by him already, however the books I read were much more voilent and were real horror strories which i enjoyed more than this book.
The book is about a 16-year old boy from Main. He takes part in The Long Walk. The Long Walk is a popular event were 100 boys compete to win a prize to recieve everything that they want. It is like competition, they have to walk faster than 4 miles per hour. If they are slower or want to have a break more than three times then the outcome is that they are shot.
Before I started reading the book I thought it would be really boring because it is just about waking. However after the first 100 pages it started to become more interesting. You got to know more about the participants and this made the book worth reading.I started to feel the same things Garaty felt.However I wasn't upset when somebody got shot.
In gerneral I liked the book and I would recomend the book to you but you have to keep in mind, that this book isn't something you would expect from Stephen King.
am 14. Juni 2000
I'm not particularly a Stephen King fan. In fact, this was the book of his I've ever read all the way through...
And it was without a doubt, a story that will stay in my head for a long time, if not forever.
When I was reading this, I sometimes had to just stop, breathe a few deep breaths, and think:
What it would be like begging for a break in your walking from absolutely emotionless soldiers who saw killing you because you were slow as no more significant than kicking a pebble on a Sunday morning stroll...
Or having every step you take feel like a hundred knives being plunged into every muscle in your body...
Obviously, something like what transpired in this story could probably never happen...
But "probably" isn't sure enough. That's the thing about this story. It's unbelievable and yet horrifyingly believable at the same time.
I wouldn't put it past human nature to devise something like this...
So, we better be careful.
am 12. Mai 1999
The Long Walk is an old book that Stephen King wrote under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman. It encircles a few days in the life of Richard Garrarty, when he is on a "Long Walk" with 99 other teenagers. They all walk until the last man is down, and the winner gets "the Prize," which is something that is really good, I suppose.
A walker gets three warnings, a warning being issued every time they fall under four miles per hour. If they fall, or sit down, they get a warning. Each hour that passes, they lose a warning. After three warnings, a "ticket" is issued, where the soldiers on a half-track shoot the walker to death with their carbines.
Consequently, Garraty wants to win. He befriends Peter McVries, another walker, and analyzes the behavior of Stebbins, a kid who never talks, and especially never acknowledges the Major, the chairman of the event. Later in the story, Stebbins reveals his plan and it is discovered that he is the Major's son and wants revenge for something that happened a long time ago.
It takes several days of pure punishment for the walkers to wear each other down. Garraty is the last one standing, and he wins the Prize, but he concludes that there isn't any importance in it anyhow.
The Long Walk is somewhat like J.D. Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" where the teen protaganist rambles within his thoughts, but it is a bit more tame in that. It is a chilling story, based on death marches that the Nazis put Jews through during the Holocaust. Do not read this book by yourself!
am 28. Juni 2014
I'm a King fan, and thought I'd heard of everyone of his books, and if I hadn't read them all, that was because I had good reason not to (some topics just don't meet my taste). With this book, it was different - I came across it today, purely accidental, and decided to give it a try. I wasn't disappointed in the least. This is King at his best - well-developed, believable characters, mystery and horror elements, very good writing, and of course a chilling dystopian plot which is all to realistic despite its madness. The world in which the Long Walk takes place is not too far from ours, the differences become clear only in details dropped so carefully into the text that you could easily overlook them. The mood of the book is desperate, raw, but you also feel a kind of distance towards the characters. You don't understand what is making these teenagers risking their lives in a game where the odds to survive are one percent, but I don't think you need to, it just adds to the mood of the book. Without giving too much away, not all loose ends are tied up at the end, but for me that was alright, it would have felt kind of cheesy if everything had been solved in time. 5 stars!
Immer, wenn man Bachmanns/Kings "frühen Werke" nochmals liest, wird man sehr nostalgisch - und auch traurig:
Denn leider gibt es diesen alten Bachmann/King nicht mehr, der so facettenreich, intelligent und auch visionär schreiben konnte.
Nun ja, nicht ganz richtig, denn in seinen Kurzgeschichten blitzt der "alte" King schon noch durch - aber diese Fülle von Ideen fehlt irgendwie, die ihn in den siebziger und achtziger Jahren auszeichnete.
"The long Walk" ähnelt von der Thematik dem deutschen TV-Ereignis "Millionenspiel" - oder auch "Running Man":
Ein totalitäres Regime der Zukunft liefert dem unterdrückten Volk einmal im Jahr "Brot und Spiele" - der Überlebende von 100 startenden Teenagern bekommt lebenslang alles, was er sich wünscht. Aber jeder der Jugendlichen weiß, dass die Chance auf den "Hauptgewinn" 1:100 ist und der Gewaltmarsch zum Sieg knallhart.....
Auf dem langen Weg quer durch Maine und die Ostküste entlang haben die Jungs sehr sehr viel Zeit, sich über ihr Leben, ihre Sorgen und ihre Zukunft (?) Gedanken zu machen, während am Straßenrand Groupies, Familien und Kameras ihren "Todesmarsch" begleiten - denn was anderes ist es ja letztendlich nicht! Wer dei vorgeschriebene Geschwindigkeit unterschreitet (4 Meilen/Std), schlappmacht oder gegen weitere Vorschriften verstößt, bekommt drei Verwarnungen - danach endet der Marsch für ihn ....
Ein wirklich überdurchschnittlich guter, spannender, intelligent aufgebauter Roman, der leider nur eingefleischten King Fans ein Begriff ist - zu unrecht, denn vieles, was in der medialen Welt vor 30 oder 40 Jahren reine Fantasie war, ist jetzt schon längst Wirklichkeit - "Big Brother" läßt grüßen .... und bei den derzeitigen "Reality Shows" ist noch sehr viel Luft nach oben!
Fazit: Sehr lesenswert!