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The Running Man

The Running Man

The Running Man is a science fiction novel written by Stephen King under his pen name Richard Bachman. The dystopian novel first appeared in 1982 and was made into Hollywood film in 1987, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. The plot, set in 2025, involves a man named Ben Richards participates in a game show, "The Running Man," where contestants are hunted for entertainment.

In the future, Ben Richards lives in Co-Op City. America's economy is destroyed and Richards is unable to find work, having been blacklisted. Needing money to buy medicine for his daughter, Richards volunteers to appear on The Running Man game show. Contestants are given twelve hours before the Hunters are released. The Hunters are network-employed hit men. Contestants earn $100 for every hour they survive, $100 for every Hunter or police officer he kills, and $1 billion if he survives for 30 days.

Richards eventually breaks the Running Man survival record of eight days and five hours, and bluffs his way onto an airplane. In a call with the producer of the show, Richards is offered the job of lead Hunter, but, upon learning that his wife and daughter have been murdered, flies the plane into the Games Network headquarters.

Stephen King later said that he wrote the entire novel over the course of a single week. Publication of The Running Man also led to the exposure that Richard Bachman was his pen name, a move that angered King.

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