The Long Walk

The Long Walk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After some delay (he’s been on holiday apparently) James Smythe has returned with his latest blog on rereading the complete works of Stephen King. This time he’s talking about “The Long Walk“.

“The Long Walk” is apparently one of King’s earliest books, completed when he was just 18. Unable to get it published at the time it got stuck in his fabled “writer’s trunk” until after ‘Salem’s Lot came out and was then sneaked out under the radar as one of the “Bachman Books” which is how I first discovered it a few years later.

As you know I’ve been training for a 10k run over the last eight weeks and recently published a short story inspired by my experiences called “The Last Mile” which ended up winning the recent Shortbread Short Stories Olympics competition. I have to admit that “The Long Walk” had a bit of an influence on the story as well with it’s plot about 100 young guys competing against each other in a walk across the USA (or until only one is left on his feet) where there can be only one winner and the second prize is death (heh, I sound like a Roger Corman movie trailer!)

I’m not sure I entirely buy into James’ theory that the story is an allegory about Vietnam, even though he makes a strong case. I always thought the book was more about how modern society was still not too far removed from the days of the Roman Coliseum and how we happily buy into the “bread and circuses” put before us by the ruling elite.  The character of the Major also struck me as being heavily modelled on General Douglas Macarthur.

Anyway, I digress. As always, if you’re a King fan then James’ blog is well worth a read. Find it here: Rereading Stephen King Week seven.

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