Sk's Own Version Of 1984?

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unclelouie

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2012
815
150
Lud
#1
I recently read The Running Man (only Backman novel I'd not read yet). I have no idea why I've put this off for so long (maybe because of the horrible movie version with Arnold.. maybe because SK gives away the ending in the Bachman intro!?). Anyhow, great read. One thing I noted about this read was the similarity between it and 1984 by George Orwell.

The Network almost acts as Big Brother. Instead of the Thought Police, you basically have a stasi police forece that does little more than act as personal thugs of The Network. You have the suppression of information (i.e pollution) in The Running Man, just as information was suppressed (historical events/accounts were even changed) in 1984 by the Ministry of Truth.

SK must have been influenced on some level by 1984, because this novel is very Orwellian.
 

kingzeppelin

Member who probably should be COMMITTED!
Apr 15, 2012
7,441
20,486
Oxfordshire, UK
#3
I recently read The Running Man (only Backman novel I'd not read yet). I have no idea why I've put this off for so long (maybe because of the horrible movie version with Arnold.. maybe because SK gives away the ending in the Bachman intro!?). Anyhow, great read. One thing I noted about this read was the similarity between it and 1984 by George Orwell.

The Network almost acts as Big Brother. Instead of the Thought Police, you basically have a stasi police forece that does little more than act as personal thugs of The Network. You have the suppression of information (i.e pollution) in The Running Man, just as information was suppressed (historical events/accounts were even changed) in 1984 by the Ministry of Truth.

SK must have been influenced on some level by 1984, because this novel is very Orwellian.
Good spot, I never thought of it that way before but you are dead right with your comparison's.
I was enthralled as a teenager by 1984, and thought the Running Man a terrific tale.
Agreed the movie sucked big time.
 
Feb 12, 2009
1,125
1,156
Far Nor Cal
#6
I totally agree that this book is VERY much like 1984-ish. Orwellian indeed.

Just the other day I was telling my husband about this novella and used this same comparison. (Yes, I am trying to make another SK convert :) ) I think one of my favorite things about this book is the 'chapter headings' (I think thats what it is called) Minus 100 and counting.
 

Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,773
#7
I actually like the movie. Classic Ahnold throughout and Richard Dawson is hilarious......
I enjoyed the movie, as well...I think this movie was only my second King-encounter...there at Aunt Bea's in Mount Vernon...headed home, stopover, Uncle Den is sitting on the floor, drinking a beer, this movie comes on...we sit there and watch it, drank a beer maybe two...and I didn't know it was a Stephen King story until the credits rolled. That was...1989 maybe. Have not seen all the movies...disappointed w/the little I saw of Tommyknockers...I mean that ship was as big as the Hungarian gully...huge...not some moppet village. Still did not begin reading him 'til the summer of ought-six. Ought-six...anyone else like writing that? I like how King anticipates "hate-crimes" in this one...that, and other stuff.
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
56,657
206,897
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#8
I enjoyed the movie, as well...I think this movie was only my second King-encounter...there at Aunt Bea's in Mount Vernon...headed home, stopover, Uncle Den is sitting on the floor, drinking a beer, this movie comes on...we sit there and watch it, drank a beer maybe two...and I didn't know it was a Stephen King story until the credits rolled. That was...1989 maybe. Have not seen all the movies...disappointed w/the little I saw of Tommyknockers...I mean that ship was as big as the Hungarian gully...huge...not some moppet village. Still did not begin reading him 'til the summer of ought-six. Ought-six...anyone else like writing that? I like how King anticipates "hate-crimes" in this one...that, and other stuff.
Okay Jethro Bodine - I see you are really good at ciphering (or did he say "naught" rather than ought?) I missed the crazy old Beverley Hillbillies. But to get back on track - I have not seen the Arnold movie but it sounds like something hubby and I could watch together at Christmas. Can you just get if off Youtube would you know?
 
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Walter Oobleck

keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going
Mar 6, 2013
11,749
34,773
#9
Okay Jethro Bodine - I see you are really good at ciphering (or did he say "naught" rather than ought?) I missed the crazy old Beverley Hillbillies. But to get back on track - I have not seen the Arnold movie but it sounds like something hubby and I could watch together at Christmas. Can you just get if off Youtube would you know?
No idea about Youtube...but seems like some video store might could have it. Or aren't there some sort of subscription services? And there's a popular rifle caliber in "ought-six"...maybe that's where it comes from. Commander McBragg?
 

Neesy

#1 fan (Annie Wilkes cousin) 1st cousin Mom's side
May 24, 2012
56,657
206,897
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
#10
No idea about Youtube...but seems like some video store might could have it. Or aren't there some sort of subscription services? And there's a popular rifle caliber in "ought-six"...maybe that's where it comes from. Commander McBragg?
I don't do the Net flix thing but perhaps I should look into it?
Sorry to hijack the thread OP (unclelouie)
 

KINGSMAN129

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
1,669
4,630
B.F.E. MISSOURI
#11
Okay Jethro Bodine - I see you are really good at ciphering (or did he say "naught" rather than ought?) I missed the crazy old Beverley Hillbillies. But to get back on track - I have not seen the Arnold movie but it sounds like something hubby and I could watch together at Christmas. Can you just get if off Youtube would you know?
I ENJOYED both the story, and the movie, though they are DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT tales, very little is the same between them! I MISS the BEVERLY HILLBILLIES too! :)
 
Likes: Neesy

Pucker

We all have it coming, kid
May 9, 2010
2,906
6,209
56
#12
I suppose you could make the case that the story has got a healthy 1984 spirit to it, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Beyond that, it has a much more palpable similarity to a story called The Prize of Peril, by the estimable Robert Sheckley (who is admittedly one of King's heroes -- as well he should be).

Read the Sheckley story, if you can find it and then we can have a discussion about "unconscious homage."
 
Likes: Neesy
Aug 14, 2017
14
52
27
#13
I recently read The Running Man (only Backman novel I'd not read yet). I have no idea why I've put this off for so long (maybe because of the horrible movie version with Arnold.. maybe because SK gives away the ending in the Bachman intro!?). Anyhow, great read. One thing I noted about this read was the similarity between it and 1984 by George Orwell.

The Network almost acts as Big Brother. Instead of the Thought Police, you basically have a stasi police forece that does little more than act as personal thugs of The Network. You have the suppression of information (i.e pollution) in The Running Man, just as information was suppressed (historical events/accounts were even changed) in 1984 by the Ministry of Truth.

SK must have been influenced on some level by 1984, because this novel is very Orwellian.
There are instances in the novel where he even took specific jargon from 1984 and used it in The Running Man. There's a part where the phrase "doublethink" is used. When I reread it a second time I was thinking that Stevie was starting to skirt that grey area where the phrase "copyright infringement" starts getting thrown around. :a24::a24:
 
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