Title: The Long Walk
Author: Stephen King
Format: Paperback, Kindle
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The Long Walk is actually a short novel, originally published under King’s Richard Bachman pseudonym. It is also the first book King ever wrote, finished even before Carrie, when he was still in college. The book is something of a novella compared to the rest of his works, and reads fairly quickly when compared to his other work.
The story revolves around the Long Walk, an endurance race held once a year. The walk beings on the Canada-Maine border and follows highways and backroads southward. 100 teenage boys volunteer for the race, but only 1 can finish. The race goes until only one walker is left alive. The central character is Ray Garraty and the story revolves around his relationships with his fellow walkers, as well as his memories and thoughts of his mother and girlfriend.
The Long Walk is a brutal journey and this book is not for the feint of heart. It is at once psychologically traumatizing and physically agonizing as the walkers struggle to maintain a four mile-per-hour speed through wind, rain, and darkness. It offers a glimpse into the minds and thoughts of 100 teenagers who all believe they are invincible as they come face to face with their own mortality.
This is the best novel I have read in a good long while, one that I will absolutely be revisiting in the future.