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My Thoughts (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'The Long Walk' started by Grant87, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. Grant87

    Grant87 Well-Known Member

    I finished The Long Walk a few days ago, and I think I'm ready to post a few thoughts about the novel. This novel has really been stuck in mind ever since I finished it, and it hasn't been easy to wrap my head around it, especially the ending. I think that says a lot about what King has written here. I'm amazed that SK was so young when he wrote The Long Walk, a fact I didn't learn until after reading the novel. Some very deep stuff for such a young writer!

    For some reason, I've always enjoyed stories that take place entirely in one place. 12 Angry Men would head that list for me. I throw The Long Walk into that category because the story takes place exclusively on the road, albeit throughout the state of Maine. It takes a talented writer to craft an engaging story which takes place in one "location", and with a relatively small cast of characters.

    I enjoyed the ambiguous ending as well. It's been on my mind since I finished the final page, which was, no doubt, the author's intent. Personally, I believe Garraty died soon after winning the competition. Throughout the novel, he and the other contestants slowly come to terms with their impending deaths, and I believe Garraty truly "lived" in the end by facing his own mortality. He finally learned there are no winners in The Long Walk.

    Not my favorite King novel, but light years ahead of Rage, the only other Bachman novel I have read thus far. This is one that will stay with me, and may creep up my personal rankings as time goes on.

    Rating: 8/10

    Up Next: The Dead Zone
    Mr. Cranky, Doc Creed and Neesy like this.
  2. Pucker

    Pucker We all have it coming, kid

    You may have something there.

    Intellectually, all the Walkers know from the very beginning that they're dead already -- the glimpses we get show that few of them really believe they can "win" -- but it seems to me that by the end, the ordeal has destroyed whatever "Garraty" there ever was before The Walk, and all that was left at the end was the Walker. The only way he could "survive" was to keep walking, that was what he had learned, and that was what he had to do, whether they were still going to shoot him or not. He made the critical mistake:

    He came to care about people, and once he did that, he couldn't stop doing it.

    Why else would he run to catch up?
    Neesy likes this.
  3. Sunlight Gardener

    Sunlight Gardener Well-Known Member

    It's been stuck in my head for 20 years. Don't expect to get rid of it any time soon. Speaking of which, I think it's time for a re-read.
    Doc Creed, mal, Neesy and 2 others like this.
  4. Doc Creed

    Doc Creed Well-Known Member

    You make some astute observations. I share your affinity for books that take place in a single location or limited geography; Misery was like that. (Misery was supposed to be the next Bachman book until King was forced to "unmask", to borrow a phrase from The Shining. Conversely, The Long Walk (and Thinner) have a stronger Stephen King footprint, I think.)
    Grant87 and GNTLGNT like this.
  5. Grant87

    Grant87 Well-Known Member

    After reading Different Seasons, I thought Apt Pupil felt more like a Bachman novella than a King one.
    Kurben, GNTLGNT and Doc Creed like this.
  6. Mr. Cranky

    Mr. Cranky Well-Known Member

    Curley had a Charley Horse. Juniper Lane. Narragansett beer. Hank Aaron. P.F. Flyers. Art Fleming. (My opinion: I think King grew up fascinated/resenting game shows as being the epitomy of falseness in capitalist society); In this story, do you think King is Harkness or Pearson?; Lightning bugs; E.V.'s Market; Caribou Paper Mills; I'm like Collie Parker; Reid Beach; Jimmy Owens; Burrs Building Material); There's a 'typo' on page 82 "The Bachman Books" paperback 2012 edition on line 15, there is an 'of' that should be an 'off'; 'cadge of him'; Steubenville State Fair. I'm still reading this story, I like it better now than I read it a while ago.
    Spideyman and GNTLGNT like this.

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