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The Long Walk

Written by: Stephen King
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (133 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this number-one national best seller, "master storyteller" (Houston Chronicle) Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, tells the tale of the contestants of a grueling walking competition where there can beonly one winner - the one who survives.

In the near future, when America has become a police state, 100 boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Among them is 16-year-old Ray Garraty, and he knows the rules - keep a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings and you're out - permanently.

With an introduction by Stephen King on "The Importance of Being Bachman".

©1979 Richard Bachman (P)2010 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about The Long Walk

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, terrible audiobook

This audiobook is like listening to my GPS reading a novel. Wooden, there are frequent skips and/or errors with the audio. Not a pleasant experience.

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

bad recording, boring story

Let's start with the technical. there's a TON of bad cuts, halved words, bad editing.. there's at least 5 mistakes / chapter. it's super annoying and overly noticable. for the story, it's a good premise on the surface. but that's about it. 10% of the book is interesting, the beginning that is. the end is lame and he breaks his own rules when it comes to the game (time wise, it doesn't add up) The overall story after the start can be summed up with repetitive whining about feet hurting, boring stories and a few insults here and there. all the while nameless characters (about 80 of them) die off in the same way pretty much every time. Do not waste your time on this, I honestly don't know why people recommend this, it's shallow, boring and uneventful. It seems people pretend it's good because of the author, but regardless of the name, it should be ignored.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

good story but recording has issues

loved the story, however the recording is not smooth there are many drops where words are spoken and cut off like a bad editing job. I don't believe you lose anything but it takes you from the story.

1 person found this helpful

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good reading, boring story

I kept waiting for it to get interesting and suddenly it was over. characters were ok, but no real depth to the story line or interesting conflict. would not reccomend it.

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A great audio performance

This is the second time I listened to this book and the guy reading it is phenomenal. I loved all his different voices for the main characters. The last 30 mins especially I thought tugged at the old heart strings. I’d recommend this book to anyone who liked the hunger games series. Although it’s quite a bit more mature. My only gripe was story wise you don’t get to learn more about how future society got that way. Other wise, a good audible.

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Review on the long walk

Story was amazing. I loved it! The only thing that bothered me a bit was that the audio would cut off for a sec which threw me off. But other than that it was really good.

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Powerful, yet crushing

Amazing, I felt every footstep and shuttered everytime the guns rang. only issue is the audio cuts abruptly every so often. Pulls you out of the experience but its insanly easy to fall back into the walk.

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Beware

Problems with the production or the app maybe. Many many times the audio glitched. Usually the last word in a sentence or paragraph would get cut off disturbing the pace of the story. Overall i enjoyed the book and narration.

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One of my new favourites

I don’t read a lot but when I find a book that hooks me I can’t stop! This was such a personable, well told story. I really felt for the characters and felt the breaking down of the characters minds and bodies. I hung onto every development, curios where the story would go. I was extremely curious about why The Long Walk existed and what the aftermath of the story was - but I just have to deal and use my imagination. The narrator did a great job, changed it up for each character. Only negative (which I don’t think can be helped by anyone) but all the characters ended up sounding the same when he had to portray them yelling.

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Stephen King's greatest novel

The Long Walk was the first book King wrote chronologically, albeit not the first to be published. It's a much more subdued book compared to his other titles. Slower paced, more drawn out. The book was written long before King's novelist style was further solidified and his common clichés manifested. It's a deceptively simple story with a greater deal of subtle worldbuilding sprinkled throughout. The premise of the story is every year 100 boys volunteer to walk down a road. Each walking at least 4 miles per hour. And if they fall slower than this speed they risk getting warned. 3 warnings leading to being shot by a group of soldiers following. The book has an extremely bleak tone that at the same time carries forward themes of friendship and camaraderie. These themes are the highlight of the book and really keep its slow pace gripping. The Long Walk is a really good example of subtle worldbuilding. The book takes place in an alternate history United States but it doesn't come across that way on a first reading. Only from listening to the subtle clues of dialogue does this become apparent. "The German airblitz on the east coast of the United States during the last years of World War 2". It's surprisingly effective at making the world the story takes place in feel believable. King would later go on to write somewhat fantastical stories taking place in very outlandish settings. See: The Stand, the Tommyknockers etc. However The Long Walk accomplishes something none of his later stories are able to truly grasp. This simultaneous marriage between extremely vivid characters with a bleak and desolate setting. When it's ending comes it leaves you wondering what it all means, what might happen next. The Long Walk has since greatly inspired me artistically in life since I first read it and I greatly appreciate how well written it is. I've always desired a sequel to this book exploring more of its mythos. But at the same time I'm also satisfied with it ending in such an ambiguous way. And I hope future readers/listeners do too.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kent R Carlberg
  • 2018-06-04

Great story, poor editing/sound design

The narrator inflicts the pain and plodding nature of this story, and drags you along the path relentlessly s the characters in the story. The only issue is that every so often, a sentence will hard cut off, it takes you out of the moment and makes it difficult to follow.

46 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • RT
  • 2017-05-08

love the papbook but clipped audio is unlistenable

Any additional comments?

Really surprising that an audio book company would take your money for part of a st ... because whe ... (isn't that REALLY annoying???). If you don't want to bother to take the time to deliver a decent product, at least warn customers in the header that this is an incomplete and choppy audiobook.

114 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tracy R Isenberg
  • 2017-10-18

Wish they would fix the editing

I LOVE this book. I had never read this particular King/Bachman book and decided to try it out. I have now listened to it 8 or 10 times. The only issue is that the editing department got a little too excited and cut off sentences too soon. You can still understand the book and the meaning but it does mess with the flow of the character's conversations and the "reader"/listener's concentration.

55 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Tanner A.
  • 2017-09-22

Great Book, but....

Any additional comments?

The book cuts or skips out at certain points which is mildly infuriating. Great listen though.

50 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jean-Paul
  • 2017-05-29

Before the Hunger Games there was ...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have recommended this book. Written years before all the dystopian teen sacrifice stories, this one rules them all.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Garrety of course but also McVrees is the typical tragic hero.

Which scene was your favorite?

No one particular scene stood out but the story still haunts me.

If you could rename The Long Walk, what would you call it?

Farewell to Youth.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • james Spafford
  • 2017-12-07

Don’t be put off by the audio glitches!

I was initially put off from checking this out from other reviews bemoaning the audio editing of this book. Sure there are some sentences where the last syllable is chopped off - it happens maybe 50 times. Sounds like a lot but it never got in the way of the story for me, and I’m really glad I dived in regardless. This book clearly came from the same place in Bachman’s brain as The Running Man. It’s set around a sort of Battle Royale / Hunger games scenario that’s stripped back to a super basic core - walking. Non stop walking. It would be hard for most authors to take something so basic and make it enjoyable for so long, but not King / Bachman. Here he does what he does best and brings us troubled characters with stories to tell up against grim odds. I heartily recommend you go along for the walk!

11 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike Strazzabosco
  • 2017-10-31

Great story but...

Words seem to get cut off half way, hard to tell if there was more that was supposed to be said.

26 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Julia
  • 2016-08-10

Great Story, Clipped Audio

I really loved the story. The narrator did a good job too, but there are moments in the audio where the sentences appear to be clipped off. I can't tell if this means I ended up missing a sentence or two or if it's just a glitch. But, unfortunately, it kept taking me out of the story.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven Kilpatrick
  • 2018-07-01

Love the Book, but it needs a polish

The book is probably my favorite of the Bachman books, but this particular version has some very choppy audio editing that buries sentences, runs through pauses, and sometimes cuts out entire phrases. Fix those issues and my review score would go up.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-04-29

ONLY,---- WHAT A STUPID WORD!

A MOMENT LATER, A RED HEADED BOY'S FACE WAS BLOWN AWAY
A Good book, written by a great author. I am in agreement with several of my fellow reviewers: Beverly- Who would have thought kids walking would make such a good story. I am always amazed in how King takes so little and does so much with it. A woman tied in her bed, a man stuck in bed and being tortured by a crazy lady, a girl lost in the woods etc... King is the expert at building characters. I have said it one hundred times, King's books are so scary because we get to know the characters and care what happens to them. Khadeejah- Story was intense. Mostly towards the end, these kids are in so much pain, physically and mentally and the writing is intense, which leads to Dustin- My feet still hurt. I felt I was on the walk, I felt tired, physically and mentally, I was worried I would get three warnings. I also agree with Jenna- Want to know more about the state. The United States these boys live in, is not very well explained. A police state is hinted at, but no world building is done here. Course, I hark back to character development, King rarely builds universes he seems to like us to use our imaginations to come up with what we think.

I liked the book and it pulled at my heart strings.

I GAVE HER MY HEART
SHE TOOK IT APART
WHO GIVES A FART

114 people found this helpful