The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon & The Long Walk

Posted April 2, 2024 by Carole in Reviews / 8 Comments

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon & The Long WalkThe Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Narrator: Anne Heche
Published by Pocket Books, Simon and Schuster Audio on April 1, 1999
Genres: Fiction / Thrillers / Psychological
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes
Pages: 224
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller from Stephen King—uniquely frightening suspense about a young girl lost in the woods as night falls, with only the voice of her beloved Red Sox relief pitcher to sustain her and help her survive—maybe.

During a six-mile hike on the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail, nine-year-old Trisha McFarland quickly tires of the constant bickering between her older brother and her recently divorced mother. But when she wanders off by herself, she becomes lost in a wilderness maze full of peril and terror. As night falls, Trisha has only her ingenuity as a defense against the elements, and only her courage and faith to withstand her mounting fears. For solace she tunes her headphones to broadcasts of Boston Red Sox baseball games and follows the gritty performances of her hero, relief pitcher Tom Gordon. And when the reception begins to fade, Trisha imagines that Tom Gordon is with her—the protector from an enemy who may or may not be imagined…one who is watching her, waiting for her in the dense, dark woods…

I really liked this book! I have been trying to read one of Stephen King’s books every month in 2023. I have to admit that I grabbed this book largely because it was one of his shorter works but I have to say that this story is not small at all. I quickly became invested in Trisha’s story and couldn’t wait to see how things would work out. Trisha gets lost on a hike with her brother and newly divorced mother and things go horribly wrong. I loved that Trisha never gave up but there were moments when her desperation was palpable. I wanted to see this little girl come out of this situation unscathed but I feared that would not be how things would work out.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that the late Anne Heche did a phenomenal job with the narration. I felt like I was right there with Trisha trying to find my way out of those neverending woods because the narrator really made her character come alive. I listened to this book for hours at a time and do believe that the narrator’s performance added to my overall enjoyment. This isn’t my favorite of King’s books but I would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon & The Long WalkThe Long Walk by Stephen King, Richard Bachman
Narrator: Kirby Heyborne
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio on January 1, 2016
Genres: Fiction / Dystopian
Length: 10 hours 42 minutes
Pages: 319
Format: Audiobook
Source: Library
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In this #1 national bestseller, master storyteller Stephen King, writing as Richard Bachman, tells the tale of the contestants of a grueling walking competition where there can only be one winner—the one that survives.

Against the wishes of his mother, sixteen-year-old Ray Garraty is about to compete in the annual grueling match of stamina and wits known as the Long Walk. One hundred boys must keep a steady pace of four miles per hour without ever stopping...with the winner being awarded “The Prize”—anything he wants for the rest of his life. But, as part of this national tournament that sweeps through a dystopian America year after year, there are some harsh rules that Garraty and ninety-nine others must adhere to in order to beat out the rest. There is no finish line—the winner is the last man standing. Contestants cannot receive any outside aid whatsoever. Slow down under the speed limit and you’re given a warning. Three warnings and you’re out of the game—permanently...

How far could you walk? There is no doubt I wouldn’t have made it very far as a contestant in this contest. 100 boys must walk a minimum of 4 miles per hour without stopping until only one is left. If you stop or fall behind, you get 3 warnings before you are terminated. Yes, they will kill you if you can’t keep up the pace.

Ray Garraty is one of these contestants and we get to know many more during this grueling and torturous walk. The mental and physical strength required is not for the faint of heart. I felt like I was right there with these boys as they struggled to keep going, even though they knew the odds were against them. This was one of those books that I just couldn’t get out of my mind and found myself thinking about it anytime I had to put the book down.

I listened to the audiobook and thought that the narrator did a great job but I did note that some of the sentences were clipped at the end, but I think that had more to do with the production than the narrator’s performance. I thought the narrator added just the right amount of emotion to his reading to keep me glued to my headphones. I would definitely recommend this book to others.

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8 responses to “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon & The Long Walk

  1. I really should read more King. I’ll have to see if I can find the audio for The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon even though it wasn’t your favorite. A good audio can really make a book even better.

  2. Both of these sound good! And I like that they’re not over 600 pages like a lot of King’s novels. I haven’t read one of King’s books in a long time, though I have several on my TBR list. I always enjoy the way he creates such memorable characters.