posted on Dec, 2 2008 @ 04:58 PM
The Running Man was published by Stephen King under the pen name Richard Bachmann. The stories that he published under Bachmann are, along with the
short story collection 'Different Seasons' his finest work. The book, unlike the film, places far more emphasis on the role of the media (TV) in
the disintergration of social norms, the 'blood lust' of a bored audience (fall of Rome) and the willingness of the desperate to humilate and even
die before the camera for money (although as events have had it, celebrity has become a commodity in itself, but King is not a science fiction writer
so he can be excused for not getting that right. William Gibson far better predicted the celebrity culture in his novels...).
Brilliant short story, mediocre film.
NB The Long Walk, from the Bachmann books is one of the best short stories ever written (IMO).
EDIT TO ADD: For an acute representation of the cultural dimensions of the police state see Philip K Dick's Flow my Tears the Policemen Said, and to
a lesser and different extent, The Man in the High Castle (a newly contemporary twist, PKD really did see the path we are on - if we don't
jump off - the details may not be spot on but the understanding of intent is beyond question).
[edit on 2-12-2008 by KilgoreTrout]