Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: The Running Man by Stephen King


The Running Man by Stephen King (writing as Richard Bachman) 3.5/5

17888618_10209322568602979_1196252525_nThe Running Man is set within a dystopian future in which the poor are seen more by the government as worrisome rodents than actual human beings. The protagonist of The Running Man, Ben Richards, is quick to realize this as he watches his daughter, Cathy, grow more sick by the day and tread closer and closer to death. Desperate for money to pay Cathy’s medical bills, Ben enlists himself in a true reality style game show where the objective is to merely stay alive.


Ben Richard’s little girl is dying from pneumonia in a Dystopian world where human rights only apply to the rich. The only way for Ben to get money for her medicine is to sign up for the deadliest reality game show, where he has to run, not get caught, and not die.

This book is like The Hunger Games before The Hunger Games ever existed. Once again, King (Bachman) creates a realistic, dystopian world that is immersive and lends itself to such an unbelievable game show and makes the reader believe it wholeheartedly. The concept is great, and the innovative ways that King creates to keep Ben Richards alive are page turners. There is a underlying theme of how media brainwashes people, how easily the media fools, and how the government uses the media to their own end.

Ben Richards is a desperate character and that desperation heightens the more you read. This is a fast paced narrative from start to finish, and you keep turning pages because you need to know the outcome. I was happy with the way it ended. There had to be a big bang finale to satisfy that build in tension throughout the book.

I would have liked a little more insight into Ben’s wife and daughter’s life during his time as The Running Man as I think this would have made more of an impact on the ending for me as a reader. Also, there was an important issue raised in the narrative about air pollution that didn’t really get its day to the extent that I would have liked. Otherwise, this was a fast-paced, intriguing narrative that I recommend for dystopian fans.

The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties

All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman

K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review

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