Long Walk is a really sick, but fascinating, novel by a guy
named Richard Bachman written in 1978, (later aka Stephan King), and
a must read for the serious day hiker. The bizarre plot is simple
enough: one hundred young boys compete in a marathon, The Long Walk.
They are monitored by a military truck and an enigmatic father-figure
known only as The Major. The goal is to walk, and walk, and walk. The
rules: you cannot walk slower than three miles an hour, you cannot interfere
with the other Walkers, and you cannot stop. If any of these rules are
broken, you get a warning. A Walker can get three Warnings. Then, they
are shot. The winner is the one left alive.
I read The Long Walk a month before I did the 100km hike (2001) along the Potomac River. My
ex-wife had sent it to me - was she trying to tell me something? Actually,
it was a great mental preparation for a marathon plus hike. Reading
the book made the real event seem like a walk in the park.
For more reviews.
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