Book Review: The Running Man

THE RUNNING MAN | Stephen King as Richard Bachman
03.08.2016 (first published 05.01.1982) | Gallery Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


Welcome to a dystopian future where the poor are seen as rodents and not human beings. Their lives are not valued the way those with money are. Ben Richards is one of those poor people. His young daughter, Cathy, has fallen ill and each day grows closer to death. Every day Ben realizes he will never be able to afford the medicine she needs despite his best efforts to find work. In order to save her Ben must risk his life and enter into a reality show where contestants are pitted against a variety of dangerous topics. Ben’s been picked for The Running Man, where the objective is simply to save his own life. 


THE RUNNING MAN is a look into a dystopian version of America that could be easily plausible with the way our world has evolved over time. I love that King was able to think with such a realistic mindset when he wrote this story. Nothing is overly science fiction, but all elements of a world that could be created in today’s day and age. The America of today, much like this America, is obsessed with reality television and has a clear prejudice of those with less money.


Getting to understand this dystopian world through the eyes of Ben Richards was fascinating! I loved every moment of learning about him, watching him compete, and observing the reactions of those he met along the way. THE RUNNING MAN to me became much more than just a dystopian story, but also an in-depth look into what a human being would do when faced with a situation where they’re literally fighting for their lives. What morals do you stick to? Who do you trust? How do you know what is best?

THE RUNNING MAN is a timely and entertaining story that has stood the test of time since being written. I highly recommend giving this one a shot!

This book is available to buy from: Amazon | Book Depository

Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.

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