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I have owned this book 3 times, and given it to friends every time, as it is THAT good. Especially because it still includes the old story 'Rage' which most editions do not carry any longer. This book is short and brutal and amazing. This novel is definitely raw in many aspects, but I think that is what helps to give it its charm. The story centers on a student who kills his teacher in front of his class and holds the class hostage for most of the day.

He and the class then discuss a variety of issues, but the main conversation revolves around what has led him to t Rage: He and the class then discuss a variety of issues, but the main conversation revolves around what has led him to this. I rank it up with the top of his novels from the story-telling aspect of this novel alone.

In the traditional style of his Bachman writings, it is much more raw than most of his other writing. I enjoy the change in style as it lends even more realism to his writing and makes the story even more intense. The Long Walk isn't really a horror tale so much as it is a tale of friendships formed under dire circumstances.

We see up close how this interpersonal relationships grow and dissolve and reform again with great frequency throughout the race. It is also about the strength of the human spirit. When pushed to its limits, the human mind continues to push the body on into realms never deemed possible by the rational mind.

The story is a good one, if a little predictable, and even though it moves along at a slower pace than some, it's almost like we are right there with the walkers as follow-along spectators. Rich in detail and character, the slow pace doesn't make you want to stop reading, if anything, it enhances the tension. I truly enjoyed rereading this novel and plan on visiting it again in the future. This is my lowest rated King book so far. Not to say that it is a bad book or that I would discourage anyone from reading it, but it's definitely not on par with the majority of King's other works.

As usual, character development is top notch and the plot itself has no real problems. My problem with the book is that it really takes forever to get anywhere. The basic theory of the plot is that we see a man's descent into madness as everything that he has worked his entire life for is being taken away from him. He systematically sets out to destroy anything that he has left and tries to find a way to exact some sort of vengeance against the powers that be who have ruined his existence.

I have no problem with this storyline except that the way that it plays out, a lot of it is a rehash of what happens to the mind of Jack Torrance in The Shining. It's not nearly as nutty as The Shining, nor do we have the supernatural overtones in Roadwork, but I just got the general impression that I'd experienced the feel of the novel somewhere else.

Anyway, I don't want to condemn this story in any way. The main character is compelling and endearing in his way and the novel definitely has some strong moments here and there, I just felt that it took a little to long to get to some of them. It's the future and Ben Richards journeys to the Network Games Building to apply for a job as a contestant in order to supply the money to feed his family and provide medicine for his sick infant daughter. The job he gets ends up being more than both he and the Network bargained for! The Running Man is a fairly well written tale set in the now not too distant future.

Interestingly enough, the country is riveted to their free-vees in order to watch what is in essence nothing more than an unending stream of reality television game shows. It makes me wonder if Mark Burnett based some of his ideas upon this book and the sort of related movie. Once Richards has moved through the application process, the action moves along at a pretty brisk pace and there are some really nice elements of storytelling apparent throughout.

My only complaint is that King tries a little too hard with creating the future setting and goes overboard with the names and slogans for things that he uses in his setting. At times, especially during the beginning of the book, it's a bit cheesy and distracting. View all 4 comments. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's been a good years since I've read this one, and it was long overdue for a re-read. Especially considering the fact that the only story I could really even remember in even the vaguest way was "The Long Walk".

So I picked it up to give it another whirl. Not disappointed at all, but of course, that's no surprise. I was browsing around online, and seen an article about this book of SK's about a school shooting that was no longer bein It's been a good years since I've read this one, and it was long overdue for a re-read. I was browsing around online, and seen an article about this book of SK's about a school shooting that was no longer being published. I was like "huh?

Good thing I've got this edition for my collection. It's the story of boy Charlie Decker reaching his breaking point. Mentally unstable, he's got this deep, hateful rage toward his father going back to when he was a toddler. Due to his mentality, he has some trouble in school, especially one time when he gets called up to the blackboard to do a problem, and the teacher makes fun of him. So he busts the teacher in the head with a big wrench.


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That sets in motion more problems for Charlie, with the principal, with the guidance counselor, and with his father. So one day he decides to use the gun he's been carrying around, and after lighting a fire in his locker, he proceeds to kill two teachers, and holds his classmates hostage. But not with the intention of killing them.

Sure, he threatens it, but mostly he just wants to teach them a lesson of sorts. Through the day, the kids learn things about each other, and themselves, culminating in some revenge taken out on another student. Charlie ends up in a mental hospital, and that's probably for the best.

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I definitely wanted more information on what kind of world they were living in, how had this walk come about, what was going on with the Government, what and why was this Squad-ing? I can't imagine having to walk like this, endless, no stopping, no resting. I'd die for sure! I like how the boys handled it differently, and I liked how SK depicted the encroaching madness. The only thing I didn't like was the ending.

He made it to the end, his mind had been slipping, but mostly seemed to be holding in there, then when he finally reached the end and won, I guess it was too much for his mind to handle? I don't know, I didn't like how he just took off running. You won, you're done, lay down and rest, y'know? Otherwise an excellent story. It may even be the new best in the collection. I thought it was quite a good story, if a little slow in the beginning.

It's a day by day tale of a depressed guy, Barton Dawes, who just decides he can't take it anymore. By all outward appearances, he's happy, good marriage with a pretty wife, nice house, a long-time job at an industrial laundry. But the city has plans underway to build a freeway extension that will go right through his neighborhood, destroying his home, and the plant he works at. So inside, sort of subconsciously, he's freaking out. He's supposed to be handling the deal on the new plant where his company will move to, and his wife thinks he's handling the finding of their new home as well.

He's balking at the idea of over 20 years of memories being bulldozed and paved over, especially when he thinks of his son who passed away. He starts talking to himself, he spins a ton of lies, and eventually ends up losing his wife and job.

In place of going to work, he begins traveling up and down the freeway every day, and even stops to pick up a hitchhiker one day. She ends up being a good part of his thoughts, and I liked her character though I really liked his wife Mary too.

The Bachman Books : Four Early Novels by Stephen King (1985, Hardcover)

He finds Sal Magliore, an Italian mobster type character, a little stereotypical, but easy to envision in my mind, and even sort of likable in a strange way, so not a terrible thing I guess. Bart has a plan to make his point and go out with a bang, and it works, if only for a short while. I almost am surprised at how much I liked this story. Reading the short little description on the back of the cover, I didn't think this would be one I would be real into, but it was an excellent surprise, and it's now a story I'll think about for a good while.

This was a great sort of dystopian story, where America has been sort of taken over by a TV Free-Vee Network, and poor people are just fodder for the "entertainment" machine. The main character, Ben Richards is poor, unemployed with pretty much no chances of getting a job, sort of angry and down in the dumps, his baby daughter sick with an awful case of the flu, and no way of getting medical help for her. Their meals consist of a food pill for him and his wife, maybe some fake coffee, and fake milk for the baby. On the Free-Vee, there are game shows, brutal and even sort of sinister.

For example, "Treadmill to Bucks" where the contestants all have heart or respiratory problems. They are put on a treadmill, and for every minute they walk while keeping up conversation with the show host, they win ten dollars. Every couple of minutes, they'll be asked a question, and if they get it right, they'll get fifty dollars. If they get it wrong, fifty dollars is deducted from their winnings so far, and the treadmill's speed is increased. And that's just one of the tamer day-time shows. The prime-time ones are even worse. So Ben, with no other options, decides to go to the Network headquarters and sign up for a show.

He's just one of a long line of poor people waiting to sign up.

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Finally, he gets in, and is put through a barrage of physical and mental tests, and is selected as a contestant. He's one of six that get called up to the upper offices, and 3 of the six are led off on way, while Ben, a guy named Laughlin, and another guy get led off the other way. Turns out, Ben has been selected to be the new man on the hit show "The Running Man", a show where two guys in this case Ben and Laughlin are introduced to Free-Vee audiences nationwide, and given exaggerated profiles of being anti-social and anti-establishment.

Ben's desperate for the money for his family, and he has to trust that the people in charge will give it to his wife. So with everyone on the lookout for him and hating his guts, he's released back into the city. And oh yea, he has to mail in two 10 minute video tapes to the Network per day, or he'll forfeit the money, and the hunt will still be on.

Too bad the Network uses the postage stamps to locate Ben, despite saying that they wouldn't. Ben meets up with some more of "his people" the poor from the inner-city and gains an accomplice who helps him elude the Hunters, if only for a short time. But someone reports him, forcing him to make a run for it, getting him injured in the process. He starts to take desperate measures, taking a hostage, and bluffing his way through roadblocks and onto a plane. Here, towards the end, the story was really flying, I couldn't read fast enough, it was like barreling downhill toward a river.

Ben discovers some terrible things on his last flight, and makes a dramatic last stand, with a fiery conclusion. I loved the ending.

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I won't give it away, but it was excellent, I was left with a big grin on my face, saying "Hell yea! A great collection of some early work by SK, and his younger style definitely is represented well here. View all 3 comments. These four novellas are almost as good as their cousins from Different Seasons.

It's a shame that the Columbine Shootings have directly proceeded to the best of the four stories— Rage , with its everyone-can-find- some -angle-to-relate-to protagonist Charlie Decker, he who thrashed in his sleep whilst in the marescape of The Cherokee Nose Job —being consigned to the ashbin of publishing history. No more shall the intrepid young reader experience the thrilling fractured-mirror empathic pulses from t These four novellas are almost as good as their cousins from Different Seasons.

No more shall the intrepid young reader experience the thrilling fractured-mirror empathic pulses from the original teen instigator of Let's Take the Class Hostage and Commence Playing Operation Mindfuck without seeking out older, shopworn editions. In the light of events that happened in the past few decades, I suppose the decision is understandable, if, IMO, somewhat lamentable. It may be that my memories of Rage are all the fonder as, one hash-filled eventide during my eighteenth year, select passages from the narrative of Charlie Decker, read to me by a luscious lynx of a Croat, were accompanied by one of the finest, most leisurely handjobs I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing that wasn't self-administered—she worked it like the shifter of a banana yellow Porsche —and until the day I die I will always, first and foremost, associate Rage with that pleasant sharing with a svelte story chum.

The other three stories have no erotic recollections attached to them, alas, but nonetheless they remain damn fine stuff. The Long Walk was suitably appealing to my temperament at that particular age; and I can still recall the clenching induced by the whipcrack of a rifle as the first amongst these futuristic, neo-gladiatorial stripling walking dudes was ticketed , though, of course, I knew it was coming. The Running Man proved a far better experiment in dystopian pursuits than the rather goofy, Dawson's Cheek of a movie that was subsequently hatched under its rubric; and the underrated Roadwork —which, regrettably, has had nary a kind word written anywhere to acknowledge its depiction of a hands-on cleansing of a particular built-up blockage of modern blue-and white-collar frustrations, wherein midsize shop employees felt a part of a family , rather than processed positions or payroll number sequences—possessed itself of a sweaty midwestern charm that I appreciated the more with each further reading.

Still, it was the opening gambit of the savage explosive power of teenage torment contained within Rage that always drew me back—it just won't be the same without Charlie Don't Mind If I Do! Decker and his Ted-baiting shenanigans greeting the curious reader and inveigling him towards Getting It On.

What a mixed bag. I loved The Long Walk with its imaginative plot and great character study.

The Bachman Books : Four Early Novels by Stephen King (, Hardcover) | eBay

Who would have thought that a book about walking can be so intense and gruesome? Hunger Games has nothing on this bad boy. Roadwork, on the other hand, kind of bored me. I could see what it was trying to do - mainly a slow unraveling of the main character into madness, - but I just couldn't focus on the story. What is the motivation? I understand that the house represented more than What a mixed bag. I understand that the house represented more than just a material possession to this guy, but I could not sympathize with him or get behind his point of view.

"The Bachman Books". Stephen King.

Running Man sort of returned to the glorious exploration of survival that I liked in the Long Walk, but again failed to completely engage me. The characters weren't as fleshed out, and the ending was sort of meh. To those unfamiliar with Richard Bachman's writing I can say that in my opinion Stephen King created this pseudonym as a no-pressure foray into psychological thrillers, rather than his usual horror genre. I'm kind of on the fence about these attempts, but will certainly recommend The Long Walk to anyone interested checking out that side of King. Aug 05, Kandice rated it it was amazing.

Rage was so predictive! I'm glad it's no longer in print, but equally glad I read it first. View all 9 comments. Every time I re-read this, with my old, ragged copy that's falling apart at the seams with masking tape and hope keeping it from completely collapsing into a pile of loose pages, I fall a little bit more in love with it. I'm going to take it a novel at a time, because I love each and every one of them, even if it did take me a while to enjoy Roadwork as much as I do now, or at all, really, so let's get started. Rage , first of all - I've always loved Rage, and I love that it's the first one in the Every time I re-read this, with my old, ragged copy that's falling apart at the seams with masking tape and hope keeping it from completely collapsing into a pile of loose pages, I fall a little bit more in love with it.

Rage , first of all - I've always loved Rage, and I love that it's the first one in the bindup because it's so interesting. I remember hearing a reviewer on YouTube describe it as 'Breakfast Club with a gun' once, and that's just about the best description of this book that I've ever heard.

It follows Charlie Decker, who holds up his algebra class and they all have a lot of fun. It's got that definite 'early King' feel, and it makes me slightly angry and in-awe because he wrote the thing when he was younger than I am now. Next up is The Long Walk , which is actually my favorite book. Like, I re-read this thing at least twice a year, that's how much I love it and all of the characters and everything.

I love everything, to misquote Abraham on purpose because what he actually says wouldn't really work here. I just really love all of the characters you meet along the way, and how they're all broken down completely before being shot in the head. My favorite character fluctuates - I was a die-hard Barkovitch fan for the longest time, that kid's hilarious, but now I've finally accepted the fact that my favorite is Abraham and also that Stebbins is dumb and that he will never be my favorite and I don't understand why he is liked because I hate that kid.

I could say a lot more about TLW, but it's time for Roadwork. See, I didn't like Roadwork the first time I read it. Or for a while after that. But as I was re-reading this thing at least once a year, I ran into it at least once a year. And somewhere along the line, I really started to appreciate it.

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  • Mercedes is the nickname given to a man who stole a car guess what make and plowed into a group of job seekers standing outside a building waiting for a job fair, killing 8 and wounding many others. Mercedes, but when he receives a letter purporting to be from the villain, instead of succumbing to depression as the writer intended, he begins to investigate.

    The reader knows who the culprit is from early on in the book, so the appeal is following the cat-and-mouse hunt as the suspense builds. Fast-paced popcorn reading, "Mr. Mercedes" just hits the spot; recommended! Some books I rate with 5 stars just because of my pleasure in the story. These aren't always well-written or creative, or something someone else would like. Then there are those books that are so well-crafted, not just with character development or storytelling but in the writing itself. This is one of those books. I've always given Stephen King credit as the "king of the flashback" and here he gives us some of what he does best, but he also shows again his ability to get inside the head of the character in the present.

    From making up lyrics to songs sung by a fictional boy band and the brand names of fictional ice cream treats, to details of a Midwestern city that make those of us living in Midwestern cities think ours is the one in the story. I wondered in the beginning of the book if King was making a game in paying homage to himself with hints he dropped to reference some of his previous best sellers, but he played this game for just a short while. There are plenty of other pop-culture references in the minds of the various characters that do well to establish their ages and backgrounds.

    As the story unwinds after the climactic events, my emotions surprised me. I've cried while reading books before, but not while reading the words of a bureaucratic proclamation! I waited until I read all three books in the Bill Hodges Trilogy before starting my reviews of the individual books, and I'm glad I did. Doing so allowed me to get a broader view of the story as a whole. The overarching theme of the series, first shown early in "Mr. Mercedes," is suicide, both the tragedy of it and some people's fascination with it.

    In this thriller, Det. William Hodges frequently has suicide on his mind. His life doesn't seem to have much purposes since his retirement, he doesn't often see his old friends, and is largely estranged from his daughter. On top of that, several cases, still open when he left the police force, still weigh on him, especially the case of a man who plowed a Mercedes into a job fair crowd, killing eight and wounding many more.

    Then, he receives a letter in the mail from the Mercedes Killer, bragging about the mass murder and taunting him. What ensues is as much a psychological battle as a mystery as Hodges pursues the killer, often breaking the law to do so. This story is filled with well-rounded characters, complex motivations, and action. It's a powerful start to a fantastic trilogy.