In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. The game is simple - maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and you're out - permanently.
"The importance of being Bachman was always the importance of finding a good voice and a valid point of view that were a little different from my own. . . .Bachman has been one way in which I have tried to refresh my craft, and to keep from being too comfy and well-padded."--From Stephen King's Introduction "The Importance of Being Bachman."
Only death can keep you from the finish line--in the ultimate competition of the all too near future. . . .
Each year, on the first day of May, one hundred teenage boys meet for an event known throughout the county as the "Long Walk." Among this year's chosen crop is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty. He knows the rules: Warnings are issued if you fall under speed, stumble, sit down. After three warnings, you get your ticket. And what happens then serves as a chilling reminder that there can be only one winner in the Walk: the one who survives.