I listened to this as an audio book using Scribd. The story feels like a dystopian set in the near future, as it doing give dates or too many details about the world. The main premise is that one hundred boys, the oldest , cut off age is eighteen ,are picked from a lottery. These boys are supposed to walk, they have to keep a pace of at least four miles per hour. If they go below that , you have three warnings and then they will be taken out of the race…. permanently . The winner is awarded whatever he wants for life.
I enjoyed this book. It sounds like it might be boring to just read about boys walking, but the main focus was on the relationships forged between the boys and how they helped or hindered each other. It follows one boy named Ray Garraty. He doesn’t really know why he decided to get involved in the long walk, he just did to see if he could. On his journey he meets and learns about several his companions.
I found this book slow at some points, but for the most of the book I was pretty grippe and wanted to find out what would happen. The main reason this book didn’t get a five star rating. was some of the language choices that were made. I realize that the book was written and published in 1979, so views and what was acceptable were different than today’s standards.but the homophobic comments, the over use of the N-word got to be a little cringe-worthy. Also I wasn’t a fan of how women were spoken of as sexual objects. I think part of that could be because the point of view is a hormonal teen, but still not acceptable.
Overall, the plot and characters were engaging, and except for the language issue, I really enjoyed the book .
I gave this book 4.25 stars on Goodreads.