Thoughts on books, often interpreted through the high-brow prism of cartoon (read: Archer) references. Wait! I had something for this...
I was nine years old when I started writing letters to the director requesting that I would, some day, be allowed to participate (though I wouldn't be eligible for the long walk until I was fifteen). After reading this, the first of my King as Richard Bachman books, that sentence sounds pretty sinister.
While there are some pretty crucial differences between what I would, ultimately, do when I was fifteen and what King's Long Walk entails (you know, the whole not being held at gunpoint, completely deprived of sleep, and in a group of 100, out of which only one of you will survive- those types of little things). There was also a good chunk of overlap in two key areas. The first is one of simple geography- walking from Maine to New Hampshire (though the long walk most definitely wasn't following the Appalachian Trail). The second, and this was the one that made this such an interesting book for me, was the somewhat sudden and truly terrifying moment (common to members of the Bluth family) when you realise "I've made a huge mistake."
While there was a palpable rainy day feel to it all (as King described in the introduction, Bachman tends to hold a more sinister view of the world), I think my own tendency toward existential nihilism made the philosophical elements seem somehow almost banal. You know, little things like how we're all too often engaged in what a therapist might call "passive suicidal tendencies."
And then there is, of course, the societal blood lust for it all. Heck, if the networks would allow it, I'm guessing that The Long Walk would have both willing participants and a ravenous audience as a reality television show. Of course, typically we like to disguise this desire from ourselves by adding bells and whistles aplenty. But, Maeby can go ahead and pick up tickets to a disaster for me any day.