Continuing with my post-apocalyptic phase, we have The Running Man, by Stephen King.
The year is about 2025. Mankind has pretty much polluted the earth to within an inch of its life, and the gap between the rich and the poor has grown to enormous proportions. The Free-Vee reigns supreme as pretty much the only medium of entertainment available—and the shows broadcasted are basically all gruesome reality shows that exploit the lower classes’ strife by offering ridiculous sums to winners.
Ben Richards is one of the unfortunate, exploitable poor. His baby daughter is sick with the flu, and he can’t afford a doctor. So he goes to the Network to try to earn some cash, and ends up on the most lucrative—and most dangerous—reality show: The Running Man. Ben must survive for 30 days, with the odds stacked completely against him, but the grand prize—one billion New Dollars—will put him on easy street forever. But can he do it?
While I can’t say this is one of my favorite King novels, I can definitely say it was written with the same breakneck pace that makes Stephen King awesome. I could feel Ben’s fear, hear his heart pounding, smell his frantic sweat as he forced himself through a tiny sewer pipe to get away from the Hunters. Stephen King is such an incredibly gifted storyteller that even though this plot was not really my favorite, the writing made it worth it.by