BN.com Gift Guide

The Running Man

( 210 )

Overview

In the year 2025, the best men don’t run for President, they run for their lives….

Ben Richards is out of work and out of luck. His eighteen-month-old daughter is sick, and neither Ben nor his wife can afford to take her to a doctor. For a man with no cash and no hope from the poor side of town, there’s only one thing to do: become a contestant on one of the Network’s Games, shows where you can win more money than you’ve ever dreamed of—or die trying. Now, Ben’s going prime-time...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (36) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $4.51   
  • Used (23) from $1.99   
The Running Man

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

In the year 2025, the best men don’t run for President, they run for their lives….

Ben Richards is out of work and out of luck. His eighteen-month-old daughter is sick, and neither Ben nor his wife can afford to take her to a doctor. For a man with no cash and no hope from the poor side of town, there’s only one thing to do: become a contestant on one of the Network’s Games, shows where you can win more money than you’ve ever dreamed of—or die trying. Now, Ben’s going prime-time on the Network’s highest-rated viewer participation show. And he’s about to become prey for the masses….

With an introduction by the author, “The Importance of Being Bachman”
 

Set in the year 2025, The Running Man is a frightening tale of a sick society, fascinated by bloodthirsty game shows where desperate individuals wager their lives for a shot at fabulous riches. From The Bachman Books by Stephen King writing as Richard Bachman. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in the film version due to open mid-July. Includes 8 pages of photos from the movie. (Movie/Tie-in)

Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
“Under any name King mesmerizes the reader.”—Chicago Sun-Times
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451197962
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/1999
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 76,165
  • Lexile: 700L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.74 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen King

Stephen King lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. He has written more than forty books and two hundred short stories. He has won the World Fantasy Award, several Bram Stoker awards, and the O. Henry Award for his story “The Man in the Black Suit,” and is the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

Read More Show Less
    1. Also Known As:
      Richard Bachman
      Stephen A. King
      Stephen Edwin King
    2. Hometown:
      Bangor, Maine
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1947
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portland, Maine
    1. Education:
      B.S., University of Maine at Orono, 1970
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 210 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(86)

4 Star

(82)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 210 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WARNING!

    So this would have been the first Stephen King book I read cover to cover. I was REALLY excited with the story line and could not wait to start reading it. The mistake I made was start at the beginning and am warning you about it because during the introduction "The Importance of Being Bachman" King gives away the ending!!! Not just a "Oh, and then something negative happens" but "Blah, blah, and then he blah blah" specifically. If you want to enjoy the book (as I am CERTAIN I would have) DO NOT READ THE INTRODUCTION!!!!

    Who does that?? Yes, I get it, it has been republished so you want to add a note, but for those who would have picked up the book for the first time (never had seen the movie either so I don't know if it tells the true ending) the book has been ruined!!!. . . I always pictured Stephen King as a smart man. . . WRONG!

    So please! Add a HUGE SPOILER warning if you are giving away the ending of a book before the story even starts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    "Sample"?

    You mean the cover, table of contents, and less than a paragraph of the introduction. Honestly, B&N, if you can't control the price of the book, at least make the sample long enough so I can decide whether or not to agree to the extortion your prices are.

    13 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Race to the End

    This novel is a tense, page-turning, heart stopping chase. I wasn't expecting it to be so suspenseful or so dark. As others have mentioned, don't read the introduction until after you have read the novel since it reveals the ending rather matter-of-factly. The "Introduction" really should be changed to an "Afterward" with a disclaimer that it reveals key plot elements of The Running Man. I'm not sure why the publishers haven't made this change in recent printings. Incidentally, the other Bachman books share the same introduction, so if you are reading Roadwork or The Long Walk, for example, and you haven't yet read The Running Man, skip the introduction. This novel is more tightly plotted and cinematic than the other Bachman books. The 100 short chapters, titled only as a numerical countdown marching feverishly towards 0, contribute to the feeling that time is running out. The social commentary is biting and caustic, and the ending is both sad and chilling. Although I'm a huge Stephen King fan, I neglected to read this book because of my associations to the movie. The book is much better, much darker, and I am glad that I read it. For King/Bachman fans - don't miss it.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    9 page sample

    You know, I'm sure this book is great, but there's no way to tell from the free sample. It's nine pages long, and eight of them are copyright information and the table of contents. Barnes and Noble, if you're reading this, please lengthen some of your samples to include some of the actual story. People don't buy books for the introductions.

    7 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 22, 2010

    The Running Man Review

    The Running Man is set in a 2025 American society in which the government is corrupt, pollution is rampant, and the television, or free-vee, runs people's lives. The protagonist, Ben Richards, is an unemployed man struggling to care for his wife and sick six month old daughter. As a last resort, Richards finally enters as a contestant in the game show Running Man, a show in which the contestant is given a head start and is then hunted by professional bounty hunters and essentially, all of America. For every hour he remains alive, money is sent to his family.

    While this novel sends meaningful messages about corruption, pollution, and social chaos, it was only vaguely entertaining and left me feeling indifferent about the themes and book as a whole. Though it was a bit of a page-turner, by the end, I felt as though I had only wasted my time reading it. I was more optimistic in the beginning of the novel, but the twisted ending was simply unnecessary and unsatisfying. Ben Richards, who, in the start of the novel the reader identified with and was rooting for, was alienated from the reader by the end because of his extreme actions and thoughts. He began as the underdog, but quickly became a heartless man whose only aim was inflicting pain on others. Though some may argue that his actions were justified and necessary for the author to effectively get his point across, I was slightly angered by the time I had finished the novel.

    Though the novel does communicate some frightening truths concerning the future of our nation regarding pollution and social class separation, it was overall not worth reading.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't put the book down

    This was a great book and it really lies mention to the difference in social groups, as in poor and rich. It is a fiction and to the extreme. The ending is very unpredictable and you will find yourself wanting to keep reading to finish the book. I will definitely keep for a book I might read again

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Best of the Bachman Books

    I have read 4 of the Bachman Books, by far this is the best. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys other Stephen King novels. Five out of five stars.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Ooh man.

    This is definitely NOT like the movie! The book is so much better! I just finished reading it, and let me tell you, it is so mind boggling, you'll never put it down! Excellent read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    The Best of the Bachman Books

    the running man is one of the few books i have ever read in which i could not remove my eyes from the pages. if you were only to read this by stephen king, i think you would have a good summary of his style.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2007

    Bachman = King = Great Story

    King wrote this book back when he was still pretending to be Bachman, and it is nice to see that it is being published with the King name on it because it was a great read. I was a little nervous about reading this book because lets face it, the movie was terrible. Thankfully the story is much different, better, from the one staring a certain California Governor. This is not horror story, which may turn off some King loyalists, but more of an action thriller. It's set in 2025 where the rich get richer and the poor die young. The only way to make some money for your family is to enter the Games.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2007

    Stephen King Does IT again

    The Running Man is evidence that Stephen King is the best action thriller writer around. The book is set in a world of pollution and turmoil, only twenty years ahead of our own. Only a few years ago the government made a law forcing every one to get a Free-Vee, it¿s almost like today¿s television, except for the game shows. The Game Network makes people not compete for just money but for their survival. Ben Richards, out of work and poverty-stricken and is unable to afford a doctor for his seriously ill daughter, Cathy . After watching her suffer with no medical care, he decides to collaborate with the thing he hates most, the Games. He soon gets picked for the deadliest game, if you lost you would not end up in the hospital with a heart attack or loose one or two limbs, you would die. This game name is The Running Man. I thoroughly enjoyed this well written novel it had a perfect blend of suspense action with the numerous plot twists. Besides the action and the main plot, this book illustrates our fears of the future. Stephen Kings writing leaves no room for improvement and demonstrates amazing writing anywhere. If you liked the book you would love, some of King¿s other novels. These include Salem¿s Lot, and the Dark Tower series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 31, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Dystopian thriller of prescient vision Stephen King wrote this

    Dystopian thriller of prescient vision

    Stephen King wrote this novel very quickly under his pseudonym, Richard Bachman. He talks about this in the book’s prologue. As many reviewers point out, he also provides a major spoiler. So don’t read that first (unless you don’t care).

    Ben Richards lives in squalor and because of his refusal to punch it in like other cog fodder for the rich elite, he is outcast and unable to find suitable work. His refusal, as explained, is a refusal to put himself into a horribly unhealthy work environment. Unfortunately his idealism has caused the family unit further financial woes and his wife is forced to forsake her marriage vows to make ends meet. What could be worse? Well, how about a young child who is suffering from a curable aliment, but one which the protagonist cannot afford the medicine. Richards hates this and it spurs him into taking his idealism into full bloom, which he does by signing up for a game show that can earn the family money based on how long the participate can stay alive. If you survive for a certain amount of time, then you are home free, but of course nobody ever has.

    The game show uses the complete world as its stage. The protagonist literally is a “running man” being chased by man hunters who will kill him when they find him. The whole thing is televised and the general public can earn money by reporting on his location. A further twist, is that Richards has to video record himself twice a day and mail the tapes in by a certain time – otherwise he’s disqualified (oh and the man hunters will still kill him). Although, it’s claimed that the game show won’t use his mailings to track him – it’s highly suspect.

    Before Richards begins, he is advised by the game show’s dubious host to hide out among his own i.e. the poor (as they are the only ones who probably won’t turn on him). Richards takes this advice to heart. What follows is a maddening thriller of short successive and numerically titled chapters that count down toward the end. You can really picture yourself, as the main character. Where do you go? What do you do? Your face is plastered all over the state-run television system and everyone in the entire world will know your face and likely be motivated to turn you in for money. Do you run? Do you hide? King does a great job of letting you feel the natural paranoia that would accompany such a scenario. Every person the protagonist passes by, every time Richards stops to rest he thinks – they know! They found me out already!! Even if he can’t be sure, he can’t risk sticking around to find out. He must just keep moving.

    And yet, it would be almost impossible to go it completely alone. You would have to trust someone, somewhere, sometime. Again King does a good job of fleshing out the other people who Richards inevitably comes into contact with and whom he must decide whether or not to trust (sometimes without option). Through Richard’s interactions with others, we get a bigger sense of his world. This story is set in a dystopian future where the government’s manipulation of media and culture gets into 1984 type levels. The divide between poor and rich has become ocean wide, to the point that the “have’s” now even have a different currency system. Not surprisingly, we learn the powers that be are likely furthering the subjugation of the poor by worsening environmental conditions and then lying about it.

    Which brings out another good thing about this book, there is a struggle in the main character between looking out for his own interest (surviving the game how to provide money for his sick and struggling family) and fighting the oppressive powers dominating the poor. He knows its bad out there for everyone. Oh how he knows, how he has lived it. In fact, it’s so bad, that he’s decided to give up and make a last bid for money as he “checks out”. A sort of giving up. This is what the totalitarian regime wants. Don ‘t care don’t try. Just give in and play along. A classic scenario. And yet, the more the regime tries to get Richards to play along, the more he starts to wake up. To evolve. Suffice to say, the story culminates to a grand conclusion (that won’t be ruined if you don’t read the prologue).

    As far as Stephen King goes, this is a fast fast fast book! It reads very quickly and is devoid of his usual long-winded descriptions. You know that a Stephen King book (whether written as Bachman or as himself) is going to be written at a certain level – and this book is no exception. I would definitely recommend this story for those who don’t know King outside horror. He’s written in a lot of other genres – and done it quite well. Though, you still get his mastery of scaring. There is a particularly suspenseful and frightening scene involving a sewer pipe and raging fire that kept me quite on edge and is totally classic King.

    All in all an enjoyable read. Perfect science fiction, dystopian, thriller for a plane ride or vacation trip. And a great introduction to King’s talents for those (few) who might have overlooked him all these years.

    Podcast: If you enjoy my review (or this topic) this book and the movie based on it were further discussed/debated in a lively discussion on my podcast: “No Deodorant In Outer Space”. The podcast is available on iTunes or our website.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2014

    Like reading from a new author

    I am a long time King fan and i was pleased with this book and i am actually going to read all the Bachman series of books. A simple read yet very captivating. You can see the usual King crazyness on certain passages yet in a different view! I enjoyed this novel and like most of King's books I could not put it down! The main character Richards is clever, strong, yet broken. but from what I hear, I will stay clear from the movie version of this novel!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    very interesting

    this was the very first Stephen King book i finished it got me interested from the very first page. if you read this and and like it i recommend the long walk by Stephen King.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 6, 2013

    I just meant to pick this up and glance through it in passing. N

    I just meant to pick this up and glance through it in passing. Next thing I know I’ve skipped three classes and have to finish it. Be careful when you start this thing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 5, 2013

    This book did not stop once to catch its breath or let me catch

    This book did not stop once to catch its breath or let me catch mine. It was a breathless race to the end. Best to start this one at the beginning of the day and not before bed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 2, 2013

    OMG I have loved Stephen King since my first encounter with him

    OMG
    I have loved Stephen King since my first encounter with him in 1981. I have never missed buying a single book of his and own The Bachman Books in hardcover. I read The Running Man many years ago, and just finished rereading it this morning. This is a roller coaster ride that is almost physical. Yesterday I had to stop reading midway to come to work, and I was in a heightened state of tension all day. No words can describe how terrific it is. One of the things that makes it so great is King's unmatched way with his characters. This is always true of his writing, but maybe even more in this book, as the stakes are so high. Do yourself a favor.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    Best of Bachman

    I love Stephen Kings books and recently started reading the Bachman books, I have found they are not as good as his Stephen King novels but this is deff the best among the Bachmans

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Lol read this

    RUN FOREST RUUUN!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Boring.

    Nothing much happens, just a lot of talking and trying of evade death.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 210 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)