I went in thinking this book would be like The Long Walk by Stephen King (which I also really enjoyed) but I was pleasantly surprised that the books don’t have much in common at all, so don’t start reading this book expecting The Long Walk.
The country is in economic despair with the poor not being able to afford food or medicine and are controlled by “FreeVee” the mandatory to own (but not mandatory to watch… yet) television that airs game shows 24/7 to entertain the masses and keep their attention away from what’s happening outside their own windows- pollution so bad that it’s causing young children to die of lung cancer.
To afford his daughter’s medicine, Ben Richards tries out to be on a game show on FreeVee to win cash. Richards is run through several tests and put into a game show called The Running Man where the objective is to run from the Hunters who are out to kill him. He earns $100 for every hour he survives and a bonus for every officer or Hunter he kills along the way. Meanwhile, viewers can earn money by capturing Richards on video or giving a tip that results in his capture. It’s not an easy game; it’s rigged and no one has ever survived thirty days resulting in the prize of one billion dollars.
The Running Man is a very good book, fast pace and I couldn’t put it down. If I didn’t have to sleep between readings, I would have read the entire book in one sitting.