Monday, 20 February 2012

Richard Bachman - The Long Walk

Richard Bachman - or rather Stephen King - tells the story of this years Long Walk. The Long Walk is a walk of 100 boys in their teens, who take part on their own choice. Each boy has to walk faster than 4 mph, if he does not manage, he gets 3 warnings, and if he still does not manage the apropriate speed he is shot. They have to walk day and night, without any stop! The boys are allowed to wear anything they like, and are allowed to take anything with them, they can carry. The get a bottle of water as often as they ask for one (they have to ask by themselves), and food is distributed each morning at 9 in form of a belt full of astronaut nourishment and crackers.

So this years Long Walk starts on the 1st of May, a sunny, warm day. A small group around Garraty forms more or less immediately after the start, and they call themselves the "Musketeers", who one after the other die - despite being a Musketeer - on their own.
Garraty is - propably together with another boy, Stebbins - the main character of the book. Garraty faces the first deaths in a shocked manner, but the more boys die, the duller he gets. Stebbins seems to be the boy who knows most about the Long Walk. He seems to have studied the history, knows all the records, special deaths... Garraty thinks Stebbins to be the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, but Stebbins likes to think of himself as the rabbit type.

Well, the book is well written, a lot of description, which is typical for King, but a lot good story around. I do not like the last few lines, the ending is a little to abrupt for my liking. I award 6 out of 10. This is because I think the characters around Garraty could have been more specifically "illuminated", and I would have liked it more, if one would know, when all of this takes place. It is called a dystopia, but it is not clear, why people changed in such a hard way, why would anyone support such a thing as the Long Walk, why would anyone volunteer for such a thing?

Well. The next book to be reviewed will be "Anansi Boys" by Neil Gaiman.

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