I've long had a stance of avoiding popular authors who appealed to what I thought of as the mindless masses. But sometimes mindless entertainment is just what you need. Well, let's not get too carried away. There's a line you shouldn't cross when it comes to mindless entertainment, and the world portrayed in The Running Man
has certainly crossed that line. "The Running Man" is a reality television show in which a man is given a few hour's head start to "run" away from the network's hunters. The longer he can stay alive, the more money he can earn for his family. Nobody's ever survived the full month that would guarantee the Running Man's freedom. The question isn't so much who is dumb enough to play this game as much as who is desperate enough to play this game. Desperation usually comes from a scenario that involves game earnings could buying precious medicine for a loved one to keep on living or for loved ones to transcend their life of squalor. This month's Running Man hopes the money will help save his baby daughter from dying of the flu. And he's different than the Running Men who have come before him. Soon the hunters become the hunted. And the ending is magnificently perfect. I wish all books could promise endings as satisfying.