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1982 Stephen King – The Running Man Audiobook read by Kevin Kenerly
First released in 1982 under the Bachman pseudonym, The Running Man is a particularly SFish dystopian novel about a future where America is run by a totalitarian government, and also tv game shows are bloody and omnipresent. Essentially, it is The Hunger Games. King wrote it in a week (in actuality, 72 hours, apparently) and it had been pretty much printed as a first draft. These days, the film is far more famous than the sound novel; an action classic, of sorts. It’s full of battle scenes and statements regarding the nature of television of sitting and watching while atrocities occur of a quasi-plausible future. Stephen King – The Running Man Audiobook.
Fourteen-year-old me did not care about that. When beheading a person; “He had to split!” When cutting somebody in half ; “He had been Subzero, today he is just plain zero!” When murdering a man whose gimmick is ice-related)! He smoked an endless run of cigars! He fought for the rights of the common men and women! He won the love of a woman by being really, really manly (in a way that, now, is really a small bit creepy). He brought down the entire government/evil TV firm that framed him for murder!
The audio book, though … Where was the quipping? Stephen King The Running Man Audiobook Free. The storyline was totally different, too. For a start, Ben Richards (and, in hindsight, I must have noticed what a dreadful title for an Arnie personality that is) has a dying child who needs medication, and a wife who has had to take to prostitution so as to provide for your household. He’s a weak man, emotionally and physically, and distressed. He’s not framed for murdering protesters because he is a soldier: he’s a guy who’s ready to do anything for his loved ones. Over the course of this novel, the game series aspect of the film is not the prominent thing, unlike the neon of this filmed counterpart: instead, there is a bleakness, a sadness in the state of the planet. And the end? Well, it’s rather the kicker. (Spoiler follows!) After discovering that his wife and kid have been killed by the tv firm, Ben hijacks a plane and crashes it in their skyscraper. The Running Man by Stephen King Audiobook Download. Quite besides the chilling visuals that provides us with today, it is a horrifying conclusion to the novel: there is no expectation there, not actually. It is not like Ben saves the day along with the world and frees the people from the tyranny of this terrible tv state they live in; rather he is driven (like in most of those early Bachman music books) by private anger, profound internal pain, “his black eyes burning like the eyes of a freak”. Ben is a mouthpiece for King’s own perspectives about where society could be heading; he has something to say, and it is stated through his pain.
But when I was younger, of course, this was not exactly what I desired. I didn’t want moaning and suffering and politics; I desired the quips. Stephen King – The Running Man Audiobook. The movie put my expectations, and the novel failed to meet them. With The Shining, it was different: I read the audio book, and saw the movie as a version. Same by It. But I came to the the other way, and also to some extent treated the King original as a novelisation. That is not a slur; I read a great deal of novelisations once I was a kid, in lieu of seeing the movies (with Alien, pretty much my favourite film of all time, I would browse the Alan Dean Foster novelisation and the Simonson/Goodwin comic before I ever saw the movie) .
This time I browse the audio book and much favored it. Perhaps I am more conducive to the despair now; maybe I am better with the weaker Ben Richards, the desperation which makes him enter the contest. It is decently written: not King’s best, but not his worst. The arrangement is interesting also, echoing his other dystopian game series novel of the time, The Long Walk. Where that novel counted down the boys left alive within the text, here the short chapters are on continuous countdown, starting at 101. Stephen King – The Running Man Audiobook Download. You understand when the audio book is going to end: the timer tells you. It’s a pacey device, and one that serves the game-show content of this novel, and this is a good sound book; mid-tier King.
After I’d read it, I thought it only fair that I revisit the film. I had not noticed it since I watched it just like so many movies of the time, it had been disposable; fun, but the sort of movie you leased rather than owned. Rewatching it was odd. Turns out it is awful. Totally awful: lumbering and poorly made; full of terrible acting, terrible quips (“What a pain in the throat!” There is very little to love; the best thing about it is the John ‘St Elmo’s Fire’ Parr theme song. The things that it’s shouting about – tv, oppression – are little more than pointless bellows. Stephen King – The Running Man Audiobook Free. The sound book has action, but additionally, it has a stage; it has pathos, where the film is all comic-action bluster. He was always intended to be feeble, driven, desperate; and he had been always supposed to have something to say.