The Walking Challenge

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The Long Walk by Stephen King

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as “The Long Walk”. If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying… (Goodreads)

I loved The Hunger Games and I was mildly entertained with Battle Royale. I read through The Future Diary manga, Fate/Stay novels and loved The Lord of Flies because nothing catches my attention as much as teenagers killing each other. I’m a sick bastard I know.

The difference between the titles I mentioned above to Stephen King’s The Long Walk is that The Long Walk lacks everything that you expect in a battle royale, which is action and violence. The Long Walk doesn’t depart away from these three, if you could enjoy a bunch of boys walking, getting buzzed and shot, and talking deep shit; that’s all the action and violence you could get. The refreshing aspect of this book is that it does not glorify violence nor address a social issue beneath a violent exterior nor put the characters in heart pumping situations nor bring out the beasts of human nature. It’s simply a bunch of boys going through a death march. It’s a quiet page-turner that brings out the worst and best of its characters through dialogue and silence instead of violence.

The Long Walk explores the process of hope and despair and, perhaps, humanity’s struggle to live and survive while still keeping their sense of self in a world where they could live or die anytime. It’s a story of boys discovering themselves little by little as they march towards their death.

The Verdict: 5/5 Stars

A depressing yet touching novel, I recommend this one not as a horror novel, but a sad story about boys growing up too fast.

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