I gave this rating fewer stars than either the service or the book deserve on their own, because I want to draw attention an issue every shopper needs to know. Here's the problem with this book. The original compilation of The Bachman Books was published in 1986 and contained 4 novels. That is also what was described in the Amazon listing. Service-wise, my experience was great--I got a new copy in great condition in a timely manner. However, this 2012 edition only contains 3 novels (The Long Walk, Roadwork, Running Man). The fourth originally included, Rage, was allowed to go out of print, because it had been connected with some real-life school shootings similar to what is depicted in the story. Of course, that being harder to find now, it was my motivation for buying the whole thing. Notice, wary shopper, that the subtitle "Four Early Novels by Stephen King" is not actually on the cover in the photo, despite being the name in the listing. A subtle difference on the...
When I started reading this book as a Stephen King novel, I was kind of bored and disappointed; well, actually, as a Richard Bachman novel--and trust me, if you're an experience Stephen King reader, then you'll know the difference between King and Bachman. In terms of taste, it would be the difference between chocolate (King) and Frank's RedHot sauce (Bachman)--and that is quite the perfect analogy in the sense that most people enjoy chocolate, but Frank's RedHot sauce . . . well, let's just say you need a required taste. Bachman--unlike King--is a bitter, unpleasant author that really has no love for his reader. That's okay, because it is sort of an act. In The Long Walk, it was about a bunch of kids being killed by a big brother society, in which if they stopped walking or went below a certain speed, they would be shot dead. What is enjoyable about that?
And likewise, with Roadwork, what's enjoyable about a man named Burt that lost his job, his wife, his home, and...
This early Steven King book was originally published under another name. He felt his readers would not accept it as one of his own. In this case I recommend reading the preface. Here he gives you the original name and his rational for this. It is a good read and a bit Orwellian. My daughter was assigned this as a college freshman and I found myself thinking, "Steven King? Really?" But when I read it it I realized why. I highly recommend it.
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