Stephen King: The Long Walk: Reality

Return to Stephen King home page
Return to The Long Walk home page

Which things are an Alternate Reality and which are in Our Reality

Alternate Reality
- The Long Walk never existed
- It's impossible to rip out your own throat
  And Barkovitch's hands suddenly went up like startled doves taking flight and Barkovitch ripped out his own throat.
- As of 2020, there are 50 states in the United States of America
  "Garraty, this is without a doubt-" "-yeah, the most fucked-up state in the fifty-one," Garraty finished. "Go soak your head."
- April has 30 days
  Twelve of the original Walkers used the April 31st backout.
- History that never happened
  The lights filled the sky with a bubblelike pastel glow that was frightening and apocalyptic, reminding Garraty of pictures he had seen in the history books of the German air-blitz of the American East Coast during the last days of World War II.
  This was followed by the face of the New Hampshire Provo Governor, a man known for having stormed the German nuclear base in Santiago nearly single-handed back in 1953. He had lost a leg to radiation poisoning.
- Popular Mechanics is spelled Popular Mechanix.
  Garraty had once read an article about them in Popular Mechanix.
- I could not find Randy the Robot in pop-culture
  Kid is wearing a "Randy the Robot" t-shirt.
- There are no millionaires, and they no longer setup foundations and build libraries.
  In the old days, before the Change and the Squads, when there was still millionaires, they used to set up foundations and build libraries and all that good shit.
- Mellow cigarettes don't exist
  McVries fumbled in his pocket and came up with a package of Mellow cigarettes. "Smoke?"
- The dime with the Potomac River framed in laurel leaves on the tails side, does not exist. I've tried to buy it at coin shops and spent hours Googling for it.
  Abraham muttered, considered, and then revealed his dime. It was tails, showing the Potomac River framed in laurel leaves.
- There is a Governor Hill Mansion in Augusta Maine, but not a Corporate Governor's mansion
- Abraham also corrects by saying "Regional" which is not a thing. Maybe they used to say "state capital" but now after the change, it's "regional capital".
  "Yeah, I've been in Augusta. It's the state capital—"
  "Regional," Abraham said.
  "And the Corporate Governor's mansion, and a couple of traffic circles, and a couple of movies—"
- This magazine doesn't exist
  Did you read that article in World's Week about the Long Walk?
- Hainesville Woods is in Haynesville Maine and is misspelled, maybe on purpose as a clue this is an alternate reality.
  "This might be what they call the Hainesville Woods," Garraty said, not too sure. "Truckers' graveyard. Hell in the wintertime."
- Thelonious Monk and Cannonball Adderley mis-spelled
  Garraty's head seemed to be playing jazz. Dave Brubeck, Thelonius Monk, Cannonball Adderly-the Banned Noisemakers that everybody kept under the table and played when the party got noisy and drunk.
- "The Bridge of San Luis Rey" is misspelled as "The Bridge of San Loois Ray"
  "The Bridge of San Loois Ray," Abraham said. "Maybe if the ones up front stomp a little, it'll collapse again."
- "We come to Lewiston, that's the second-biggest city in the state, bigger than Augusta. We go right down the main drag. It used to be Lisbon Street, but now it's Cotter Memorial Avenue. Reggie Cotter was the only guy from Maine to ever win the Long Walk."
  It's still named Lisbon Street
- "We go down Route 196, then along 126 to Freeport"
  It's actually route 125 that intersects 196 and goes to Freeport. When they turn off 196 onto 125, they cross a bridge over the Androscoggin river which is indicated in this excerpt.
- The book spells Old Town as one word, Oldtown. This could be a mistake, or an alternate reality spelling, or maybe it changed since
  Stephen King wrote it in 1966/1967, or since he updated in 1978/1979 before published in 1979.
- King renamed Hampden as Jampden, which doesn't exist. Hampden is south of Bangor and Hermon.
  The night had passed in a dream-sequence of odd names on the reflectorized overhead signs. Veazie. Bangor. Hermon. Jampden. Winterport.
- The side-streets mentioned in Limestone ME do not exist
  Sidestreets and cross-streets moved steadily past. Sycamore Street and Clark Avenue, Exchange Street and Juniper Lane.
- The periodical cicada is not found in Maine
  lazy hum of cicadas digging into the tough cypress bark for their dreamless seventeen-year sleep.
- Garraty is from Porterville which doesn't exist.
- Plymouth Sleepwear Factory in Newark doesn't exist
- And our history teacher read us an article about how schools are over-populated.
- Garraty says "I've been in Augusta. It's the state capital" then Abraham corrects him by saying "Regional"
  Maine does have regions
  But perhaps the government has changed so that each Region has their own capital rather than just the state.
- There was a business section and three used-car lots and a McDonalds and a Burger King and a Pizza Hut and an industrial park and that was Limestone.
  McDonald's is spelled McDonalds, perhaps on purpose to imply it's an alternate reality.
  Plus, this is really describing Caribou. Limestone is nothing like Caribou.
  even though the book reads "Everyone was disappointed with Caribou. It was just like Limestone."
- They passed beneath a turnpike overpass. Not long after that, they walked into downtown Caribou.
  But in reality, the Turnpike is about 60 miles South of Caribou.
  They couldn't pass beneath a turnpike overpass right before entering Caribou
  so this is another hint that this is an alternate reality.
- Work Permit cards don't exist in our reality.
  Abraham: You have to show your Work Permit card to get in, you know.

Things mentioned in the book that are in Our Reality

Abraham Lincoln
Adder - Vipera berus, the common European adder or common European viper, is a venomous snake that is extremely widespread and can be found throughout most of Western Europe and as far as East Asia.
al dente spaghetti
Bataan March
Cannonball Adderly
Carbine rifles
Cassiopeia constellation
Cha Cha
Coca-Cola (Coke)
Cordite - a smokeless explosive made from nitrocellulose, nitroglycerine, and petroleum jelly, used in ammunition.
Corn Huskers Lotion
Dairy Joy
Dairy Queen
Dave Brubeck
Don Bredes
Eleanor Roosevelt
Elmer's Glue
Flying Dutchman
Gettysburg Address
Glenn Miller
Golden Gate Bridge
Greyhound bus
Hell's Angels
Holiday Inn
H.S.E.T. - High School Equivalency Test (although these days it's HiSET or GED)
J. D. Salinger
James Kirkwood
John Knowles
John Travolta
Kachina dolls - doll for a deified ancestral spirit in the mythology of Pueblo Indians.
knocking on wood
L.L. Bean's
Marilyn Monroe
Narragansett beer
New York
Panama Canal - A man holds up a sign that reads WE GAVE AWAY THE PANAMA CANAL TO THE COMMUNIST N*
In Sep 7, 1977, President Jimmy Carter and President Colonel Omar Torrijos signed the
Torrijos-Carter Treaties to give the Panama Canal to the Panamanians which happened Dec 31, 1999.
Panamanians were not Communists even though Thurmond and other conservatives distrusted Torrijos,
whom they considered to be pro-communist, perhaps because he won power through a coup.
This is another clue that King updated The Long Walk after he failed to publish his first version in 1967.
Philco radio
Popeye funny book
porch glider swing
Ron Howard
Royal River in Maine
Sam Browne Belt - a leather belt with a supporting strap that passes over the right shoulder, worn by army and police officers.
Shirt Shack
Snappy Crackers
tatting of doilies
Thelonius Monk
Tonka toy
Uncle Sam
Waifa chocolate bar
WHGH - Boston radio station

"The road curved again. For a moment the crowd was gone as they crossed the bridge spanning the Androscoggin."
The bridge is narrow so it makes sense that there would be no crowd in order to protect the walkers.,-70.0583331,3a,75y,180.24h,75.11t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJD-RmHCzRZR1L6MFf9dIHQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

"They came to the end of the bridge and the crowd was with them again as they swung left and started up the Brickyard Hill. It was long, steep, and banked. The river was dropping away below them on the left, and on their right was an almost perpendicular upslope."
This hill actually exists exactly as described where it is described, but I'm not sure it has this name.

Date Created November 9, 2018
Last Updated April 22, 2024