[Long stretch] Ah, the first signs of Spring; that robin I ate, those hikers I scared off, watching them run put me in a nostalgic mode for a movie from my youth. There I was fiddling with the rabbit ears to get better reception on my television when Running Man came on; something I noticed for the first time was that Running Man was based off of a book. Really? As I sat in my cave watching the glorious acting of Arnold Schwarzenegger, running around a post-apocalyptic-American Gladiators looking set, fighting off people who could have been American Gladiators themselves, a guy who I was positive was on F-Troop, and I do think I spied the former Governor of Minnesota, I kept wondering was there really a book that was the inspiration for this movie?
The following morning, after another “first” robin of Spring, I hit Amazon where I found The Running Man by Richard Bachman AKA Stephen King…damnit! Figures Stephen King would be responsible for this, I should have seen the signs, many a movie made during a certain period of my childhood were made of material written by him and all of the movies had similar traits. Damnit! I am, even after close to a year has passed, not over the Dark Tower Betrayal. Still I am a curious bear. Curiosity kills cats not bears, as we are hardier creatures, thus I ordered the book along with a book by Neil DeGrasse Tyson because I like to read about Blackholes.
Yesterday was a day of rain and many power outages, you can read about my thoughts on the power outages on my Facebook page-I’m a modern bear-with nothing to do I cracked open The Running Man. Hoping for the best, but fearing the worst, I devoured the book. No, I did not eat the book, but read the book from start to finish in one sitting*. The Running Man was that engrossing to me. The Running Man novel bares little resemblance to Running Man the movie, thankfully. I do not know if I could have read my way through a book as bad as the movie is-the movie is fun to watch, but let’s be honest the movie is a bad movie.
Here is what is similar between the two: there is a game show, but Running Man is not the only game show, just the biggest. There is a Killian, but he is not the host of the show, he is an executive; the host of the Running Man show gets very little book time. Ben is the protagonist, but he is not a soldier, he is just a man looking out for his family in the only way he can. There are hunters, but they are not hilariously costumed, over-muscled buffoons, but more a nameless-faceless-relentless antagonist that is always somewhere near by. Both the movie and the book have a message, the messages are similar as they are different, and there are groups of resistance again similar as they are different.
The primary difference between the movie and the book is that the book is told from Ben’s point of view, thus there is a lot less of the game show aspect, which is a good thing in my opinion. If you like the movie, you may like the book, you will definitely enjoy seeing the origin for the movie and then wonder what were the movie people smoking. For the first read of the Spring The Running Man was not a disappointment.
* Stephen King felt some need to write a really long, boring, and…suffice to say after two-pages I skipped to the start of the book.