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Mass Market Paperback The Running Man Book

ISBN: 0451230620

ISBN13: 9780451230621

The Running Man

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. A desperate man attempts to win a reality TV game where the only objective is to stay alive in this #1 national bestseller from Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman. "Tomorrow at noon, the hunt...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

An excellent thriller!!!

It's 2025. The world's poor live in abject poverty while the rich live in highrises ignoring the starving masses grovelling around them. Dissent is repressed by heavy handed police, and the ironically named Free Vee (the TV went out of style years ago) with its sadistic game shows. These macabre shows - with names like 'Fun Guns' and 'Dig Your Own Grave' - tempt desperate slum dwellers with quick cash but in order to obtain the prize money the contestants must put their body and pride on the line for the enjoyment of the millions of viewers across the world. One man, Ben Richards, driven by the inability to provide for his wife and influenza stricken daughter, decides to join the hundreds of impoverished who line up before the enourmous Games Building for a chance to win the elusive prizes. Richards however is different from the average drug addict or street bum who tries out for the games. He's fit and smart - exceptionally smart. So intelligent that he's picked for the most grueling show of all: 'The Running Man'. A game where the player must try to stay free as long as he can as he tries to hide from the rest of America and a group of elite special forces called the Hunters. If the contestant is caught before thirty days (an impossible goal) the game is over and the contestant killed. I immiediatly began to enjoy the main character, Ben Richards from the very start. King creates a typical outcast of society, and rebel of authority but then adds a more sensitive side to the character. Balancing Richards' scathing wit with his powerful love for his family the author makes Richards both intensly charismatic and convincing. Defintely one of my favourite literary characters ever. However King doesn't stop there. The supporting characters are all really realistic as well especially people like Evan Mcone - the sinister leader of the Hunters - and Bradley - the streetwise visionary who is attempting to start a revolution. King also adds a little bit of satire in his novel. In 'The Running Man' he brings to light how TV is a dangerous weapon which can be used against people. The Free Vee in his novel is a horrible object which pumps propaganda and manufactured happiness into the homes of millions across the nation. It easily suppresses the masses who would otherwise rise up in rebellion. With America today inudated with war propaganda and mindless reality TV shows it is not difficult to find the parallel between the story and reality. In times like these this novel gives an important warning that not everything you see on the boob tube is real. The novel combines this satirical edge and realistic characters into an exciting storyline which will keep you 'running' through the book as fast as you can to reach the action packed conclusion. An excellent intelligent thriller every one should read.

Fast-paced action, one of Bachman's best

I've read online reviews of Richard Bachman/Stephen King's novel The Running Man, and some of them claim that this book lacks a certain something that relegates it to being the worst of the Bachman Books. For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone would think that. As far as I'm concerned, The Running Man is not only one of Bachman/King's best books, it's one of the best straight-up action novels I've had the pleasure to read.When you think about it, there are a ton of action movies out there, but not very many action novels. Sure, you have a plethora of low-grade action series, such as Mack Bolan, Remo Williams, etc, but there aren't very many stand-alone, pure action novels. The Running Man is one, though, and from beginning to end it's a thrill a minute.I grew up in the `80s, and of course loved the Schwarzenegger film, loosely based on this book. Matter of fact, I still do. But the movie just doesn't compare; whereas it's goofy, WWF-type fun, the novel is dark, brutal, and brimming with mean-spirited, hardcore action. Ben Richards, the scrawny, underfed, cynical protagonist of the novel, is a far cry from Schwarzenegger's he-man. This is one of the best features of the novel, witnessing the "pre-tubercular" Richards (per King's description, in his "The Importance of Being Bachman" foreword) take on the forces sent against him.According to King, the novel was written over a 72-hour period, and the published version supposedly isn't much different than that first draft. This speed of writing is reflected in the novel: it chugs along like a No Doze-popping trucker. Whereas most King novels are bogged down by excessive description and detail (something King is normally criticized for by the literary critics), The Running Man is a trim, fat-free exercise in the concept of "less is more." A grander scheme (and theme) is hinted at in the subtext of the book, but like all good novels, it isn't beaten over your head; the story itself is the star, and after reading it you'll reflect on the little details ingrained within. Since this is a Richard Bachman novel, expect his trademark, downer ending. However, the ride there is exciting and excellent, and this is one of the few Bachman/King books I would consider re-reading in the future. The novel begs for a more faithful film adaptation; the modicum of description, the streamlined action and characters, and the black humor dripping from the dialog all make the book read like a well-done, action-packed screenplay.It's never been considered a part of the subgenre, but I think The Running Man is an early example of what has become known as cyberpunk. Though it doesn't feature the trademarks normally associated with the genre, such as computers and hackers, the atmosphere in which the novel takes place - a grim, technology-ravaged, depressing world in which a large wall separates the rich from the poor, and the media reigns supreme - could come straight out of William Gibson, or even the

Run For the Million

Citizen-neglecting government. Truth of horrible realism. Self-serving, spiteful nation. These are a few of the themes that are portrayed in Stephen King's novel The Running Man. This action packed thriller is one of King's best novels. There are 100 chapters in The Running Man, and at only 300 pages, there are only three pages in a chapter on average, giving this book an excellent plot and lots of action. There are many characters in the story, but the major character is Ben Richards, who enters a contest in the future in hopes of winning money to buy medicine for his daughter who has an unknown disease. The game is called 'The Running Man' and the game is just as it sounds. The contestants will be set loose onto the world where he will try to survive his enemy - the world. The individual who successfully kills Richards receives ten thousancd dollars from the government who runs the series of life-taking game shows including Treadmill to Bucks where heart-attack and stroke prone contestants run until they drop. Ben Richards must survive the horde for one month or die. He lays his trust on no one; doing so will get him killed. He must also survive the hunters, a trained group of people who's jobs are to hunt down and kill the contestants. Richards will do anything, incluiding killing others to survive, if not for the money, then to spite the government. The Running Man is a great book that any thrill-seeker would enjoy. It's a short read, only being about 300 pages, but a good one.

One of the Best Stephen King books Ever!

The future is much different from the time we live in now. Jobless people are glued to their Free-Vee's. The only means for entertainment are "The Games". "From "Treadmill to bucks" and "Climbing for Dollars" to the sadistic "Running Man"! Benjamin Richards is out of work. His infant daughter is sick and his family is running out of money. Richards resorts to "The Games" to pay for his family. Ben goes to "The Games" building where he is assigned to "THE RUNNING MAN". Here he meets Killian, the owner of "The Games". Richards must run to earn money. The rules are simple. For every hour he is at large, he gets more money for his family. He can go anywhere in the nation. He can be reported by people. He must mail two 10 minute video clips of himself in daily or else he will be running for free! All of this does not get Ben down. Getting a head start, Richards runs through cities meeting new people. He gets some allies as well as enemies. From purchasing fake I.D.'s to stealing cars, Ben keeps on the run. What will happen to Ben Richards? Will he survive the Game that nobody else has? You'll have to find out for yourself in "THE RUNNING MAN".


If you have ever wanted to read a book purely for the sake of enjoyment, then "The Running Man" is definately for you. Written by King in his early days, this work displays all of the author's talents outside of those involving horror to create a story that is impossible to put down, and prone to numerous re-readings, especially because of its size (just over 200 pp). Just to warn you, this book has NOTHING to do with the motion picture that starred good 'ol Arnold quite a few years back. If the movie did have anything to do with this book,...well, let's just say that it would have been much, much better. The story revolves around one of King's simplest but best literaty characters, Ben Richards, who exists in a futuristic world of disease, capitalism and the all-important "free-vee" that has brainwashed the planet and caused massive seperation in the classes. In order to save his wife and young daughter from a terrible fate, Richards enters the free-vee's most popular game-show, The Running Man, where he voluntarily becomes the most wanted man on earth in order to survive 30 days and receive his billion dollar prize. ANYBODY is capable of turing him in, and trust me, this element alone adds to the story in such a way that causes the pace becomes frantic and the excitement to reach a fever-pitch numerous times throughout the story. Whether or not you a King fan, this book is a DEFINATE MUST-READ. If you want to read a book for yourself and just for kicks, than look no further. Read "The Running Man!"

Running Man Mentions in Our Blog

Running Man in For Fans of 'Squid Game'
For Fans of 'Squid Game'
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 12, 2021

If you're among the legion of fans of Netflix's Squid Game, a South Korean dystopian horror series, you may be wondering what else is out there that can give you the same sick thrill. Here are our suggestions of what to read or watch next.

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