The Long Walk (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

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9780613173506: The Long Walk (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

FOR USE IN SCHOOLS AND LIBRARIES ONLY. In a futuristic America, 100 of the nation's hardiest boys must endure a 500 mile marathon in order to win fame and fortune.

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About the Author:

Stephen King, the world's bestselling novelist, was educated at the University of Maine at Orono. He lives with his wife, the novelist Tabitha King, and their children in Bangor, Maine.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

 

Part One - STARTING OUT

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

 

Part Two - GOING DOWN THE ROAD

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

 

Part Three - THE RABBIT

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Only death can keep you from the finish line—in the ultimate competition of the all-too-near future. . . .

THE LONG WALK

Every year, on the first day of May, one hundred teenage boys meet for an event known throughout the country as “The Long Walk.” Among this year’s chosen crop is sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty. He knows the rules: that warnings are issued if you fall under speed, stumble, sit down. That after three warnings . . . you get your ticket. And what happens then serves as a chilling reminder that there can be only one winner in the Walk—the one that survives. . . .

WORKS BY STEPHEN KING NOVELS

Carrie
’Salem’s Lot
The Shining
The Stand
The Dead Zone
Firestarter
Cujo
THE DARK TOWER I:
The Gunslinger
Christine
Pet Sematary
Cycle of the Werewolf
The Talisman
(with Peter Straub)
It
Eyes of the Dragon
Misery

The Tommyknockers
THE DARK TOWER II:
The Drawing
of the Three
THE DARK TOWER III:
The Waste Lands
The Dark Half
Needful Things
Gerald’s Game
Dolores Claiborne
Insomnia
Rose Madder
Desperation
The Green Mile
THE DARK TOWER IV:
Wizard and Glass
Bag of Bones

 

 

AS RICHARD BACHMAN
Rage
The Long Walk
Roadwork
The Running Man
Thinner
The Regulators

 

 

COLLECTIONS
Night Shift
Different Seasons
Skeleton Crew
Four Past Midnight
Nightmares and
Dreamscapes

 

NONFICTION
Danse Macabre

SCREENPLAYS
Creepshow
Cat’s Eye
Silver Bullet
Maximum Overdrive
Pet Sematary
Golden Years
Sleepwalkers
The Stand
The Shining

SIGNET
Published by the Penguin Group
Penguin Putnam Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A.
Penguin Books Ltd, 27 Wrights Lane, London W8 5TZ, England
Penguin Books Australia Ltd, Ringwood, Victoria, Australia
Penguin Books Canada Ltd, 10 Alcorn Avenue, Toronto, Ontario,
Canada M4V 3B2
Penguin Books (N.Z.) Ltd, 182-190 Wairau Road, Auckland 10, New Zealand

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England

First printing, July 1979
First printing (with King introduction), April 1999

ISBN: 9781101138182

Copyright © Richard Bachman, 1979 Introduction copyright © Stephen King, 1996

All rights reserved

Grateful acknowledgment is made for permission to reprint an excerpt from ”Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Bob Dylan. © 1965 Warner Bros. Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCA REGISTRADA

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE AT QUANTITY DISCOUNTS WHEN USED TO PROMOTE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES. FOR INFORMATION PLEASE WRITE TO PREMIUM MARKETING DIVISION, PENGUIN PUTNAM INC., 375 HUDSON STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10014.

The Importance of Being Bachman by Stephen King

This is my second introduction to the so-called Bachman Books—a phrase which has come to mean (in my mind, at least) the first few novels published with the Richard Bachman name, the ones which appeared as unheralded paperback originals under the Signet imprint. My first introduction wasn’t very good; to me it reads like a textbook case of author obfuscation. But that is not surprising. When it was written, Bachman’s alter ego (me, in other words) wasn’t in what I’d call a contemplative or analytical mood; I was, in fact, feeling robbed. Bachman was never created as a short-term alias; he was supposed to be there for the long haul, and when my name came out in connection with his, I was surprised, upset, and pissed off. That’s not a state conducive to good essay-writing. This time I may do a little better.

Probably the most important thing I can say about Richard Bachman is that he became real. Not entirely, of course (he said with a nervous smile); I am not writing this in a delusive state. Except . . . well . . . maybe I am. Delusion is, after all, something writers of fiction try to encourage in their readers, at least during the time that the book or story is open before them, and the writer is hardly immune from this state of . . . what shall I call it? How does “directed delusion” sound?

At any rate, Richard Bachman began his career not as a delusion but as a sheltered place where I could publish a few early works which I felt readers might like. Then he began to grow and come alive, as the creatures of a writer’s imagination so frequently do. I began to imagine his life as a dairy farmer . . . his wife, the beautiful Claudia Inez Bachman . . . his solitary New Hampshire mornings, spent milking the cows, getting in the wood, and thinking about his stories . . . his evenings spent writing, always with a glass of whiskey beside his Olivetti typewriter. I once knew a writer who would say his current story or novel was “putting on weight” if it was going well. In much the same way, my pen-name began to put on weight.

Then, when his cover was blown, Richard Bachman died. I made light of this in the few interviews I felt required to give on the subject, saying that he’d died of cancer of the pseudonym, but it was actually shock that killed him: the realization that sometimes people just won’t let you alone. To put it in more fulsome (but not at all inaccurate) terms, Bachman was the vampire side of my existence, killed by the sunlight of disclosure. My feelings about all this were confused enough (and fertile enough) to bring on a book (a Stephen King book, that is), The Dark Half. It was about a writer whose pseudonym, George Stark, actually comes to life. It’s a novel my wife has always detested, perhaps because, for Thad Beaumont, the dream of being a writer overwhelms the reality of being a man; for Thad, delusive thinking overtakes rationality completely, with horrific consequences.

I didn’t have that problem, though. Really. I put Bachman aside, and although I was sorry that he had to die, I would be lying if I didn’t say I felt some relief as well.

The books in this omnibus were written by a young man who was angry, energetic, and deeply infatuated with the art and craft of writing. They weren’t written as Bachman books per se (Bachman hadn’t been invented yet, after all), but in a Bachman state of mind: low rage, sexual frustration, crazy good humor, and simmering despair. Ben Richards, the scrawny, pre-tubercular protagonist of The Running Man (he is about as far from the Arnold Schwarzenegger character in the movie as you can get), crashes his hijacked plane into the Network Games skyscraper, killing himself but taking hundreds (maybe thousands) of Free-Vee executives with him; this is the Richard Bachman version of a happy ending. The conclusions of the other Bachman novels are even more grim. Stephen King has always understood that the good guys don’t always win (see Cujo, Pet Sematary, and—perhaps—Christine), but he has also understood that mostly they do. Every day, in real life, the good guys win. Mostly these victories go unheralded (MAN ARRIVES HOME SAFE FROM WORK YET AGAIN wouldn’t sell many papers), but they are nonetheless real for all that . . . and fiction should reflect reality.

And yet . . .

In the first draft of The Dark Half, I had Thad Beaumont quote Donald E. Westlake, a very funny writer who has penned a series of very grim crime novels under the name Richard Stark. Once asked to explain the dichotomy between Westlake and Stark, the writer in question said, “I write Westlake stories on sunny days. When it rains, I’m Stark.” I don’t think that made it into the final version of The Dark Half, but I have always loved it (and related to it, as it has become fashionable to say). Bachman—a fictional creation who became more real to me with each published book which bore his byline—was a rainy-day sort of guy if ever there was one.

The good folks mostly win, courage usually triumphs over fear, the family dog hardly ever contracts rabies: these are things I knew at twenty-five, and things I still know now, at the age of 25 X 2. But I know something else as well: there’s a place in most of us where the rain is pretty much constant, the shadows are always long, and the woods are full of monsters. It is good to have a voice in which the terrors of such a place can be articulated and its geography partially described, without denying the sunshine and clarity that fill so much of our ordinary lives.

In Thinner, Bachman spoke for the first time on his own—it was the only one of the early Bachman novels that had his name on the first draft instead of mine—and it struck me as really unfair that, just as he was starting to talk with his own voice, he should have been mistaken for me. And a mistake was just what it felt like, because by then Bachman had become a kind of id for me; he said the things I couldn’t, and the thought of him out there on his New Hampshire dairy farm—not a best-selling writer who gets his name in some stupid Forbes list of entertainers too rich for their own good or his face on the Today show or doing cameos in movies—quietly writing his books gave him permission to think in ways I could not think and speak in ways I could not speak. And then these news stories came out saying “Bachman is really King,” and there was no one—not even me—to defend the dead man, or to point out the obvious: that King was also really Bachman, at least some of the time.

Unfair I thought then and unfair I think now, but sometimes life bites you a little, that’s all. I determined to put Bachman out of my thoughts and my life, and so I did, for a number of years. Then, while I was writing a novel (a Stephen King novel) called Desperation, Richard Bachman suddenly appeared in my life again.

I was working on a Wang dedicated word processor at that time; it looked like the visiphone in an old Flash Gordon serial. This was paired with a marginally more state-of-the-art laser printer, and from time to time, when an idea occurred to me, I would write down a phrase or a putative title on a scrap of paper and Scotch-tape it to the side of the printer. As I neared the three-quarter mark on Desperation, I had a scrap with a single word printed on it: REGULATORS. I had had a great idea for a novel, something that had to do with toys, guns, TV, and suburbia. I didn’t know if I would ever write it—lots of those “printer notes” never came to anything—but it was certainly cool to think about.

Then, one rainy day (a Richard Stark sort of day), as I was pulling into my driveway, I had an idea. I don’t know where it came from; it was totally unconnected to any of the trivia tumbling through my head at the time. The idea was to take the characters from Desperation and put them into The Regulators . In some cases, I thought, they could play the same people; in others, they would change; in neither case would they do the same things or react in the same ways, because the different stories would dictate different courses of action. It would be, I thought, like the members of a repertory company acting in two different plays.

Then an even more exciting idea struck me. If I could use the rep company concept with the characters, I could use it with the plot itself as well—I could stack a good many of the Desperation elements in a brand-new configuration, and create a kind of mirror world. I knew even before setting out that plenty of critics would call this twinning a stunt . . . and they would not be wrong, exactly. But, I thought, it could be a good stunt. Maybe even an illuminating stunt, one which showcased the muscularity and versatility of story, its all but limitless ability to adapt a few basic elements into endlessly pleasing variations, its prankish charm.

But the two books couldn’t sound exactly the same, and they couldn’t mean the same, any more than an Edward Albee play and one by William Inge can sound and mean the same, even if they are performed on successive nights by the same company of actors. How could I possibly create a different voice?

At first I thought I couldn’t, and that it would be best to consign the idea to the Rube Goldberg bin I keep in the bottom of my mind—the one marked INTERESTING BUT UNWORKABLE CONTRAPTIONS. Then it occurred to me that I had had the answer all along: Richard Bachman could write The Regulators. His voice sounded superficially the same as mine, but underneath there was a world of difference—all the difference between sunshine and rain, let us say. And his view of people was always different from mine, simultaneously funnier and more cold-hearted (Bart Dawes in Roadwork, my favorite of the early Bachman books, is an excellent example).

Of course Bachman was dead, I had announced that myself, but death is actually a minor problem for a novelist—just ask Paul Sheldon, who brought Misery Chastain back for Annie Wilkes, or Arthur Conan Doyle, who brought Sherlock Holmes back from Reichenbach Falls when fans all over the British Empire clamored for him. I didn’t actually bring Richard Bachman back from the dead, anyway; I just visualized a box of neglected manuscripts in his basement, with The Regulators on top. Then I transcribed the book Bachman had already written.

That transcription was a little tougher . . . but it was also immensely exhilarating. It was wonderful to hear Bachman’s voice again, and what I had hoped might happen did happen: a book rolled out that was a kind of fraternal twin to the one I had written under my own name (and the two books were quite literally written back-to-back, the King book finished on one day and the Bachman book commenced on the very next). They were no more alike than King and Bachman themselves. Desperation is about God; The Regulators is about TV. I guess that makes them both about higher powers, but very different ones just the same.

The importance of being Bachman was always the importance of finding a good voi...

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Editore: Turtleback (1999)
ISBN 10: 0613173503 ISBN 13: 9780613173506
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Descrizione libro Turtleback, 1999. School & Library Binding. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0613173503

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