Quote: “It’s like practicing pole vaulting your entire life, and then getting to the Olympics and saying, ‘What the hell did I want to jump over this stupid bar for?”
First Line: An old blue Ford pulled into the guarded parking lot that morning, looking like a small, tired dog after a hard run.
** spoiler alert **
This is why I hate Stephen King. He’s got the greatest of ideas, but he just tends to draw out the writing too much.
I’m under the notion that kids sign up for this because they don’t think they have anything else to lose, and so it’s about looking on what you had in your life as you continue to walk until you can’t walk anymore. I can understand that.
The Mayor wasn’t much of a character, despite his major role in the book (in choosing the 100 kids, right?). And I don’t think it would be the Mayor that would do this…getting kids from several different states? Doesn’t that sound more like a president’s thing to do? Doesn’t a mayor have power over one place, not everywhere? Did I miss something while I read the book?
I will say it was interesting to get certain insights about the soldiers. With the one man and his wedding-ringed-finger. Their blank, uncaring looks. The way their boredom took hold and the slow death of one of the boys from so many gunshot wounds that hadn’t put him down immediately, and the replacement of the one soldier that died. None of them cared if a boy lived or died.
The ending didn’t do it for me. I get that it’d have more impact if you made the last person keep walking, but I didn’t feel the same pull as he did to continue. What was it he’d seen again? A shadow of a person up ahead, so he ran to catch up? That just seemed like an abrupt way to end the book. Kind of like, “Okay, books done, let’s just end it now.”
Maybe I’m just used to reading the endings of books that have a bit more pull to them, rather than an abrupt end.