Saturday 28 May 2011
Devouring Stephen King (as Richard Bachman): The Long Walk
There are, of course, some redeeming features of the novel, it's length being only one of them (seriously- a novel that has, I think, less than 300 pages after The Stand is such a huge relief!). Garraty is a fully formed, living breathing character, which makes the thought of his death all the more horrifying, and the dehumanising actions of the crowd all the more horrifying. It also makes one think of our own society, and how, taken to the ultimate extreme, our voyeuristic nature (anyone like watching boxing?) could lead to an event as horrible as the long walk. This is perhaps what is most interesting about King writing as Bachman- while he is not actually writing horror stories, he does get to the heart of humanity, and finds only scary things there. But I still want to know more about that dystopian society!
So, The Long Walk. Not a long book, but it's increased length could have been a complete advantage to it. It's worth reading if you want a relatively predictable ending, and a lot of description about walking a really really long way. But, to be completely honest, I could have done without it.