Today I will present you a dystopian novel written by the famous and talented Stephen King and published in 1979: The Long Walk.
Each year, 100 minor boys are volunteer to participate to a famous competition in the US, a totalitarian country: The Long Walk. Their aim is to be the last to walk and, by the way, the last alive. Indeed, it’s forbidden to stop to walk, or to walk too slowly, otherwise the walker gets one warning. If the walker gets three warnings, he is killed by soldiers who supervise them (each hour one warning is cancelled if they walk « correctly »). The Long Walk never stop even if it’s rainy or if it’s the night. The end of it is only possible when only one walker is alive. They start in the State of Maine, near the Canadian border.
What is interesting in this book is the evolution of characters. We are following Ray Garraty, the main character and his « circle of friend », participants with whom he has created a relationship. During all the story, one question is recurrent: why are they participating to this competion? For what reasons? And, indeeed, the answer is not simple to find, maybe she doesn’t exist.
I liked this book because, first characters are very appealing, and, even if you know that only one will survive you hope that there will be an other end. But the major strengh of this book is obviously all the questions it raises. This long walk is a mass murder because each year 99 people are killed but the population is very excited to see this event. A large crowd is here to see the passage of walkers and if they can see one of them be killed, they are more happier. It’s only a game to them and it’s quite alarming. This book questions us on a lot of human reactions and behaviors and also on our relations with the others.
I hope you enjoyed this article and share your reactions and feelings if you already read the book 🙂