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 w
It's been a good 10-12 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."Rage" slipped through the cracks in my mind, big-time. 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?" Didn't remember it at all. 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. 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."The Long Walk" is so far my favorite in this collection. I love the characterization, the boys on this walk, Garraty, McVries, Stebbins, poor, sweet Scramm... 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. What the heck? 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. Stop, man! You won, you're done, lay down and rest, y'know? Otherwise an excellent story."Roadwork" was another one I didn't really remember, but now I'm really glad I read it. 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. That plays a big part in his breakdown/rebellion. 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). 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."The Running Man" took me by surprise. 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. Contestants frequently have heart attacks and/or strokes. 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. 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. They have a 12 hour headstart before Hunters start coming after them, and citizens everywhere are encouraged to call in and report sightings, they get rewarded $100 for a proven sighting, and $1000 for a sighting resulting in the contestants death. For every hour the men stay alive, they earn $100, and if they happen to kill a law-enforcement official, they earn a $100 bonus. 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. Loved it! I won't give it away, but it was excellent, I was left with a big grin on my face, saying "Hell yea!"All of these stories were great in my opinion, and having finished, I don't know if I could pick a favorite between "The Long Walk", "Roadwork" and "The Running Man". A great collection of some early work by SK, and his younger style definitely is represented well here. A viral The Bachman Books Author Richard Bachman Stephen King go inside Book Written under the nom de plume Richard Bachman , here are four early novels by bestselling author Stephen King RAGE, a story of stunning psychological horror THE LONG WALK, the tale of a macabre marathon ROADWORK, a variation on the theme of Home Sweet Home and THE RUNNING MAN, a nightmare vision of a ghoulish game show in which you bet your life literally.. This is a Stephen King pseudonym.At the beginning of Stephen King s career, the general view among publishers was that an author was limited to one book per year, since publishing would be unacceptable to the public King therefore wanted to write under another name, in order to increase his publication without over saturating the market for the King brand He convinced his publisher, Signet Books, to print these novels under a pseudonym.In his introduction to The Bachman Books, King states that adopting the nom de plume Bachman was also an attempt to make sense out of his career and try to answer the question of whether his success was due to talent or luck He says he deliberately released the Bachman novels with as little marketing presence as possible and did his best to load the dice against Bachman King concludes that he has yet to find an answer to the talent versus luck question, as he felt he was outed as Bachman too early to know The Bachman book Thinner 1984 sold 28,000 copies during its initial run and then ten times as many when it was revealed that Bachman was, in fact, King.The pseudonym King originally selected Gus Pillsbury is King s maternal grandfather s name, but at the last moment King changed it to Richard Bachman Richard is a tribute to crime author Donald E Westlake s long running pseudonym Richard Stark The surname Stark was later used in King s novel The Dark Half, in which an author s malevolent pseudonym, George Stark , comes to life Bachman was inspired by Bachman Turner Overdrive, a rock and roll band King was listening to at the time his publisher asked him to choose a pseudonym on the spot.King provided biographical details for Bachman, initially in the about the author blurbs in the early novels Known facts about Bachman were that he was born in New York, served a four year stint in the Coast Guard, which he then followed with ten years in the merchant marine Bachman finally settled down in rural central New Hampshire, where he ran a medium sized dairy farm, writing at night His fifth novel was dedicated to his wife, Claudia Inez Bachman, who also received credit for the bogus author photo on the book jacket Other facts about the author were revealed in publicity dispatches from Bachman s publishers the Bachmans had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King ish type accident at the age of six, when he fell through a well and drowned In 1982, a brain tumour was discovered near the base of Bachman s brain tricky surgery removed it After Bachman s true identity was revealed, later publicity dispatches and about the author blurbs revealed that Bachman died suddenly in late 1985 of cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia.King dedicated Bachman s early books Rage 1977 , The Long Walk 1979 , Roadwork 1981 , and The Running Man 1982 to people close to him The link between King and his shadow writer was exposed after a Washington, D.C bookstore clerk, Steve Brown, noted similarities between the writing styles of King and Bachman Brown located publisher s records at the Library of Congress which included a document naming King as the author of one of Bachman s novels Brown wrote to King s publishers with a copy of the documents he had uncovered, and asked them what to do Two weeks later, King telephoned Brown personally and suggested he write an article about how he discovered the truth, allowing himself to be interviewed King has taken full ownership of the Bachman name on numerous occasions, as with the republication of the first four Bachman titles as The Bachman Books Four Early Novels by Stephen King in 1985 The introduction, titled Why I Was Bachman, details the whole Bachman King story.Source enpedia wiki Richard. The best Books The Bachman Books While I do love all 4 of these works, currently, I have just re-read THE LONG WALK, a bok I re-read every single year- yes, it is THAT good. I never tire of it. I always think new thoughts when I get to that ending, even if I do think the ending happens rather abruptly and is left open to interpretation on purpose. King is a genius. I think this story was written in 1979 or so, and yet he like...predicted the future of humanity. The book takes place in America's future, with The Long Walk becoming the new national TV sensation, game show sensation, reality show sensation and BETTING sensation, with a whole economy wrapped up in a game of death. 100 boys are chosen (after applying and going through a series of tests) to...walk. Starting in Maine, they walk until only one is left standing. The Prize? Anything you want for the rest of your life. A pretty good reason to enter, although there is also that 99% chance that this walk will kill you. Walkers must continuously walk at a pace of 4 miles an hour, dropping speed will give you a Warning. (There are other Rules you can creak, like interfering with another walker, for ex, that will also get you a Warning) 3 Warnings and you 'buy your ticket'- you're shot dead on the road, as the crowds watch in person and live on TV- the very ultimate in reality shows. King wrote this before reality TV even existed, and in the book it is also clear that America has become an unstable, militaristic, recession facing country. Going against the Long Walk (or a number of other offenses) will have you taken off by the government 'Squads' and killed. The Walk is a way for people to hope for better things- many of these boys are dirt poor and have nothing to lose, nor do the people betting, as betting on The Long Walk is the biggest money maker in the country. The 'game' is run by The Major, a military figure who is revered and a giant celebrity. Ray Garrity is our main character, and he is 'Maine's Own', the lone Walker from Maine this particular year, so he gets the unusual experience of walking through his home state with the Crowd on his side, and has his moments of fame. King does so many subtle things so brilliantly in this book- it is not only a means to discuss important issues like death, fame, politics, money, etc as the boys in the Walk talk the hours (and days) away, but to have them talk about these things in THIS situation makes it feel normal, and not preachy. Also, simply doing things like always capitalizing various words and phrases(The Long Walk, Crowd, Warning, Ticket, Squads, Cheer, etc) make you yourself begin to question the 'big questions'. I have owned this book 3 times, and given it to friends every time, as it is THAT good. I still have it in my Bachman collection though, and this is one collection I will NEVER allow to 'Get a Ticket'. (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. -Jen from Quebec :0)
The Bachman Books The Bachman Books by Richard Bachman Without a doubt one of my favourite books, the Bachman Books proves that horror is not about vampires, werewolves and blood but rather about human nature, depravity and circumstance The Long Walk, Rage, Roadwork and the Running Man were included in my copy, with Thinner and the Regulators being read seperately. The Bachman Books Stephen King But with The Bachman Books I feel like King has gone some way to finally reeling me in with what is undeniably a very enjoyable collection of dystopian fiction, which lies somewhere between George Orwell and Richard Matheson The Long Walk in particular was a great read, hard to put down and extremely thought provoking. The Bachman Books by Stephen King Oct , The Bachman Books were a way for Stephen King to write a different style under a psuedonym Under the Richard Bachman pen name, King has managed to paint a bleak but realistic world unlike the supernatural landscape of Salem s Lot and The Stand Rage This book is about a young teenager named Charlie Decker. StephenKing The Bachman Books The Bachman Books Formats Hardcover First Edition Release Date October, Synopsis Omnibus collection of four early Bachman novels Rage, The Long Walk, Roadwork, The Running Man and the essay Why I Was Bachman Notes There will be no future printings of this book at Stephen s request due to the sensitive nature of the material found The Bachman Books Rage The Long Walk Roadwork The But with The Bachman Books I feel like King has gone some way to finally reeling me in with what is undeniably a very enjoyable collection of dystopian fiction, which lies somewhere between George Orwell and Richard Matheson The Long Walk in particular was a great read, hard to put down and extremely thought provoking.