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The Running Man School & Library Binding – Oct 1999


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Product details

  • School & Library Binding: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Turtleback Books (Oct. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0613177312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0613177313
  • Product Dimensions: 17.7 x 10.9 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,660,346 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Merely by tickling the keys of his word-processor King can make the flesh creep half a world away (The Times)

Stephen King is one of those natural storytellers...getting hooked is easy (Frances Fyfield, Express)

An incredibly gifted writer, whose writing, like Truman Capote's, is so fluid that you often forget that you're reading (Guardian) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

To coincide with the exciting publication of BLAZE - the book written under Stephen King's Bachman pseudonym just found and to be published for the first time - comes a reissue of THE RUNNING MAN in the new cover style. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Love Halloween! on 15 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
Far superior and not much like the film adaptation. Yes it is a game show and yes the lead character is being hunted but that's where similarities end. The stakes are high, in the future there are few jobs and people living in complete filth and depravation, the games are the only way for a lot to make money. The higher the risk the greater the reward. The ultimate game, The Running Man, promises to give the winner untold riches and good living forever. But the odds are slim to none. You have to stay away from the trackers for 30 days, send tapes in to the studio to prove you are still alive, avoid being recognised and each day an amount of money becomes yours in the end. So the whole world knows your face, the tapes you send in are post marked with the area from which you have sent them and failure to send them results in forfeit and elimination on sight. The lead character Ben Richards has a sick child at home and a wife who has to sleep with strangers for the cash to pay for their daughters treatment, a desperate scenario which makes him ripe for the corporate picking. He makes a few grand escapes and the whole story culminates in a bitter sweet pseudo tragedy which leaves you bemused.

It isn't a long read but certainly an enjoyable one.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. J. Noyes TOP 100 REVIEWER on 15 May 2013
Format: Paperback
The Schwarzenegger film was a seminal movie of my childhood. I never realised who the author was, and discovering it to be Stephen King I had to see the source material.
All the King adaptations I've seen, I've loved.

Of course at first I was confused though - who is Richard Bachmann? I'd never heard that King used a pseudonym to release a few novels different to his then 'horror' tag, and it was also interesting to read with this in mind -would you have known? I wouldn't - it's just good writing and good imagination.

Having now read this, I can say, the book outclasses the film.

Ben Richards is an everyday Joe (not a bulked up military man), with a family and living in skid row in a dystopian hell on earth. He volunteers to be TV cannon fodder to earn the money he needs for medicine for his sick daughter. His physical prowess and above average intellect see him chosen for prime time show The Running Man, where the whole country takes part in tracking him and seeing him shot down.

It's a chase scenario, with suspense and some violence, but a dark heart of resignation, commitment and anger as Richards stays alive for longer and longer. It's a tense finale, gripping and well-played.

A great King to read - its not horror, not quite sci-fi though Richards' society is exceptionally well-drawn and detailed. Stands up well with such classics as Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451.

I really want someone smart to make this into a film the way it SHOULD be made. Just please, don't tell Arnie!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
Published in 1982 under the pseudonym, Richard Bachman, the author was strangely prescient, as the novel takes place in the year 2025 in the good old United States of America, only it is not so good anymore. With an economy that sharply divides the haves and the have nots, reality television is the only thing that brings these two disparate halves of the economy together.

Twenty something Ben Richards is living with his wife and baby girl in a ramshackle housing development in dire poverty. He is at the end of his rope. His wife is turning tricks to keep them barely alive, and their baby girl is dying from the flu for lack of proper medical care and medication. Theirs is truly miserable existence.

The only entertainment for those such as them is Free-Vee, which delivers non-stop reality television shows in which desperate wretches try to win big monetary payoffs. Desperate for money to be able to help his little girl, Ben auditions for a reality television show and is selected for the ultimate life or death reality show, where the truly desperate are hunted down by a group called the "Hunters", whose only mission is to kill their quarry. The payoff is big, should one succeed in evading death, but no one ever has.

Such is the desperation of Ben Richards that he would even consider signing on for such a show. Unfortunately for him, he soon realizes that there is a reason no one has ever succeeded in evading the "Hunters" and decides that it is time that someone changes the status quo. That someone will be him, as he turns the show on its head.

The book is definitely bleak in its outlook and pretty depressing. There is virtually no character development of anyone other than the protagonist, and even there that is somewhat limited.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. H. Bretts VINE VOICE on 15 Sept. 2007
Format: Paperback
Written 25 years ago, The Running Man turns out to have been startlingly accurate about the future when it comes to pollution, social division and mass entertainment. It is also an extremely taut story, in which Stephen King not only creates a driving narrative but is able in a few quick strokes able to conjure up some very vivid characters. It has worn well, and while not one of King's most characteristic productions - there are no supernatural elements - it ranks with his best work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Kelly on 28 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
The Running Man is a futuristic tale about a regular Joe called Ben Richards who has to go on a TV game show to save his daughter's life--she's ill and they can't afford the medication. As part of the show, Richards has to outrun and out-hide and outmanoeuvre real-life assassins for thirty days to survive. Each day he survives, money is sent to his family, which means his wife doesn't have to carry on hooking and his baby girl can get well again.

The book rattles along at a manic pace, zipping past like a two-sentence-per-page James Patterson novel without sacrificing character development. You might have seen the lame Arnold Schwarzenegger film based on this; don't let that put you off. The film is completely different to this. They bought the film rights to King's novel and just butchered it. The central concept is the same, but the main plot is different.

According to King, he wrote this novel/novella in only seventy-two hours, the novel being published with barely any changes. He was probably on coke at the time (he never said this; I did) and if this is the magic that he can produce in seventy-two hours then he should write all of his novels in three days. And aside from a confusing scene where the main character is crawling through pipes, which I can't decipher or work out, it's enjoyable the whole way through, with memorable lines such as: "He'll make you s*** in your boot and eat it."

People can complain that the satire and messages aren't subtle enough, but I thought it was clever, fun, and quick-paced. King needs to write more books like this and less like the bloated Insomnia.
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