The Bachman Books by Stephen King

The Bachman Books: Four Early Novels by Stephen King

The Bachman Books

Published: 1985

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The Bachman Books by Richard Bachman, aka Stephen King, were written under the pen name because his publisher advised King that the public wouldn’t accept more than one book a year.

Okay then. These Four Early Novels include:

Rage, a novel about Charlie Decker, a high school student who ends up taking his class hostage, and killing anyone who gets in his way.  His classmates end up participating in a type of group therapy session among themselves.  This was really good, and I liked how the kids stuck together.

In Roadwork, Barton Charles Dawes is having problems letting go of the laundry he works at, and the house he lives in, despite the fact that both are about to be demolished.  I didn’t particularly like this one, the poor man was just a little crazy.

The Long Walk is about a group of boys that compete in an annual walking contest, starting at the Canadian border and heading down the east coast, until only one boy remains standing.  The rules are simple, you can bring anything you want and can carry, you will be given water whenever you ask, food at 9am every day, but you have to keep the pace of at least 4 miles an hour.  No stops.  You will get verbal warnings, but once you are given a ticket, you are out.  I liked this one too, because although the boys were competitors, they grew to care for each other.

The Running Man, takes place in 2025.  Ben Richards, a poor, unemployed resident of Co-Op City, has a very sick daughter, and no money for medicine.  He turns to the Games Network, and is selected as a contestant for the highest paying show.  All he has to do is stay alive and avoid capture.  He has a 12-hour head start, and then the hitmen are out to get him.  Even the citizens can turn him in.   For every hour he stays alive, his family gets $100 and there are bonuses. If he makes it 30 days, $1 billion is his. He doesn’t really stand too much of a chance.  I really enjoyed this one too.

Overall, they are good stories!

 

Re-Read: 2015

About the Author:  

The official Bachman bio tells us he was a dairy farmer who wrote at night.  He had a wife named Claudia Inez Bachman, had one child, a boy, who died in an unfortunate, Stephen King-ish type accident at the age of six. He apparently fell through a well and drowned. In 1982, a brain tumour was discovered near the base of Bachman’s brain; tricky surgery removed it.  Bachman however, didn’t live long after that, dying suddenly in late 1985 of cancer of the pseudonym, a rare form of schizonomia.

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