Title: The Running Man
Author: Stephen King
Page Count/Review Word Count: 220
One of the first things to mention here is that the book is nothing like the movie, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in it. In fact, it’s a hell of a lot better, and while it was written under his pseudonym of Richard Bachman, this is undeniably Stephen King at work. And it’s a corker.
The premise itself is the same as the movie, and while I’m pretty sure it was original when King first released this, it’s almost a cliche by now – it’s set in a dystopian society in which the poor people will literally risk their lives to appear on reality TV shows which will either end in their death or in victory. Think Battle Royale, only earlier.
What’s interesting here is that it’s a quick and easy read that makes you think, and it stands up to the test of time in the same way that Isaac Asimov does. It might be set just a couple of years in the future at the time of writing, but I can still imagine it actually happening, which is a good sign. Especially when you consider that it was written back around the time that I was being born! Read it.