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Riding the Bullet
Riding the Bullet
Riding the Bullet
Audiobook1 hour

Riding the Bullet

Written by Stephen King

Narrated by Josh Hamilton

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

3.5/5

()

About this audiobook

A Stephen King ghost story in the grand tradition, Riding the Bullet is the ultimate warning about the dangers of hitchhiking.
A college student's mother is dying in a Maine hospital. When he hitches a ride to see her, the driver is not who he appears to be. Soon the journey veers off into a dark landscape that could only be drawn by Stephen King.
LanguageEnglish
Release dateMay 1, 2002
ISBN9780743563383
Author

Stephen King

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes Fairy Tale, Billy Summers, If It Bleeds, The Institute, Elevation, The Outsider, Sleeping Beauties (cowritten with his son Owen King), and the Bill Hodges trilogy: End of Watch, Finders Keepers, and Mr. Mercedes (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and a television series streaming on Peacock). His novel 11/22/63 was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works The Dark Tower, It, Pet Sematary, and Doctor Sleep are the basis for major motion pictures, with It now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. He is the recipient of the 2020 Audio Publishers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2018 PEN America Literary Service Award, the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. He lives in Bangor, Maine, with his wife, novelist Tabitha King.

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Reviews for Riding the Bullet

Rating: 3.5390243902439025 out of 5 stars
3.5/5

410 ratings25 reviews

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  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    A short and sweet ghost story. The narration was great and the person really mastered the accent familiar to Maine. It looks into the relationship of mother and son. King at his best.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    I finally had the opportunity to listen to this story. The narration was great and the person really mastered the accent familiar to the Maine territory. This goes a lot deeper than the paranormal aspect--it looks closer into the relationship of mother and son and all of the choices that both parties make. Would you really give your life for the other or would you hesitate with the true choice upon you? This works is masterful in working the lines between fantasy and reality, leaving one deep in thought and wondering if you would have done anything differently.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Chilling I enjoyed every single solitary second of it. King always knows how to hit the high spots
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    boring. anticlimactic. predictable. probably the worst King short I've read.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    Well written but I payed $13 for it and it was a very short story. It's not clear on the site
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Great performance; engaging story maintains suspense and interest right up to the finish line
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Hitchhiking is dangerous now days as you don't know what kind of a person is behind the wheel of the vehicle, but it is more dangerous if you are reading about it in a Stephen King book!

    A college student is trying to get home as he finds out that his mother is dying and he decides to hitchhike to get there faster. His first ride is twilight zone weird (what do you expect as you are in a King book), but his next ride makes him go cold and shivery as the man behind the wheel is supposed to be dead.

    Thus begins the ride of his life and he then remembers the warnings from his mother about hitchhiking. What happens on his ride with the ghost man? Does he make it in time to see his mother? No spoilers here as you will just have to read the book.

    This was a short and to the point kind of book which encompasses the fear of hitchhiking as you never know "who" or "what" will be picking you up.

    Moral of the story: Do not hitchhike and if it is Stephen King behind the wheel, all I can say is: RUN!

    Four stars for this one!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Great audiobook on Scribd! Stephen King is the MASTER??? of all!
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Awesome short story. Awesome for a short road trips or to relax
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Great ghost twist story cleverly disguising life lessons , cleverly summarised at the end. Loved it.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Theres no ghost story like a Stephen King ghost story. He can take a simple 10 page story and run a mesmerizing novella without loss of any short story integrity. Superb.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    It's good don't get me wrong. But I hate to say it but I actually enjoyed the movie more. Still worth a listen.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    Was a interesting story. I wish it was longer. I enjoyed it.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    It was an amazing book. But I had high expectations. The 3/4 of the movie was really good. Then it started to get boring. Pretty good book though.
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    5/5
    It was a good short listen. Decent story l, decent narration.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Classic Stephen king style, great descriptive build up with his signature horror element and what turns about to be a rather philosophical story
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    As a longtime Stephen King fan, I have read a lot, and I mean a LOT, of his books. But given how prolific of an author he is, and given how long he’s been at it, there are still plenty of King books, novellas, short stories, et all that I haven’t read yet. And while I’ve hit most of his more popular and famous works, it’s the ones that I’ve never heard of that continuously surprise me on my reading adventures. Be it “The Long Walk” (written under his Richard Bachman pen name) or “Charlie the Choo-Choo” (a children’s book based on the book within his “Dark Tower” series), King has popped up and shown me new things in the past couple of years. So when I was looking for something to listen to in the car, I just punched King’s name into the search bar to see what was available. It was then that I saw a title I had never heard of before: “Riding the Bullet”. Seeing that it was short and that I’m always trying to expand my King repertoire, I downloaded it.Even in a novella such as this one, King has created a cast of characters who feel so well explored and real that I got a sense for who they were and what motivated them. Specifically Alan Parker, our narrator and protagonist who is picked up by a ghost on the night his mother is sick in the hospital. As you read the story you get the sense that Alan has a strained relationship with his mother; though they are really all the other one has, Alan also notes moments in their past that could be seen as abusive. You understand the love he has for his mother and why he would drop everything to try and hitchhike down to see her when she has a minor stroke and ends up in the hospital. But taking this into account, even without King saying how deep this tension and complexity to their relationship goes, it makes things down the line seem believable in the face of incredulity.I really enjoyed how king took the old urban legend/ghost story of the Phantom Hitchhiker and turned it on it’s head, with the hitchhiker being the one who is potentially in the presence of a ghost who leaves a trinket behind. In the usual story a person picks up a hitchhiker on the side of the road on a dark night. Usually it’s a man picking up a young woman. They talk and connect, telling each other their names and about their lives, and the driver drops the hitchhiker off to wherever she wants to go. They part on friendly terms, but as the driver is driving away he realizes that she left a sweater, or a scarf, or something behind. He tracks down where she lives based on her name, and when he brings the object back to the house, a family member will ultimately tell the driver that “She died ten years ago” or something to that effect. It’s a classic. In this case the ghost is George Staub, the ghost of a man whose grave Alan had seen in a cemetery on his journey south. While on the short but terrifying ride with George, Alan notices the button that the ghost is wearing: “I Rode The Bullet At Thrill Village, Laconia”, a rollercoaster that Alan once had the chance to ride when he was a child. But when he and his mother got to the front of the line, he chickened out. Now instead of trying to return the forgotten object (as there is no question that Staub is a ghost from the get go), it serves as a reminder for what happened that night, and the consequences to what happened in the car between Alan and Staub.What I liked most about this story is that there is a certain ambiguity to it. The ambiguity isn’t whether or not Alan was picked up by a ghost that night, as that much is clear. But the ambiguity is placed within the choice that Alan makes (which I don’t want to reveal), and whether he ultimately has any culpability in the potential consequences that may, or may not, come because of it. It kind of digs into philosophy about what children owe to their parents, and what parents want from their children. As the story carries on beyond the encounter with the ghost, Alan has to grapple with these questions. He’s convinced that because of his actions, something bad will happen to his mother…. And the tension of this, of finding out whether or not this is the case, definitely had me on the edge of my seat in the car. I think that there wasn’t really a good release for the tension I was feeling, and that I could have used more story to really unwind from all of it. As it was, it just kind of tapered off, and I was left wanting a bit more.I should also mention that Josh Hamilton was the narrator for this audiobook, and I thought that he did a great job. I know him best from when he played Serge on “Absolutely Fabulous” and also from a driver’s ed video I watched when I was a teenager (I WISH I COULD FIND THIS VIDEO). It’s so important to have a person who really dives into the story they are reading, and I was totally immersed in his narration.Overall, I enjoyed “Riding The Bullet”, both for it’s effective suspense and for the bittersweet pathos that it had. Stephen King is so good at both horror and humanity, and “Riding the Bullet” is a solid example of both.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Classic Stephen King ghost story - not over the top scary - but enough to give you the chills. A college kid gets the call that his mother had a stroke and she's in the hospital - he drops everything to go to her. The only problem is... his car isn't working. He decides to hitchhike the 120 miles because he is desperate to make sure his mom is ok - she's the only family he has. He thumbs a ride and then another - but the drivers aren't who they appear to be. In fact there is something wrong about the whole evening. It might take him a lot longer to get to his mother - if he ever gets to see her again. Quick, suspenseful, and satisfying. I thought the ending was particularly thought provoking and not what I expected.
  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
    3/5
    This is the perfect spooky story or campfire ghost story type read. It's good for teens and adults to get into the Halloween mood.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    USA, ca 1995Den unge mand Alain Parker læser filosofi på universitetet. Han får en besked om at hans mor Jean Parker er blevet indlagt med et slagtilfælde og tager på tommelfingeren hjem. Første lift er med en gammel mand, hvis bil stinker forfærdeligt, så han stiger hurtigt af og går lidt rundt for at trække frisk luft. Det er på en kirkegård og han bemærker en gravsten, hvor der står George Staub på. Andet lift er med en mand, der undervejs præsenterer sig som George Staub. Til sidst er han overbevist om at han er oppe at blaffe med døden selv og siger "Tag hende. Tag min mor, men lad være med at tage mig." og så falder han ud af bilen og vågner op ved Staubs gravsten.Stik imod hans forventning overlever moderen faktisk og de har syv gode år sammen, inden hun dør.Stephen Kings udgave af Blaf med Døden. Findes også i novellesamlingen Everything's Eventual.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    Great presentation of King's novella and Garris' screenplay/director's notes.
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
    1/5
    I am a huge Stephen King fan, but hate to say that I really did not enjoy this short story. There was a fair amount of suspense as Allen makes his way to the hospital and has his 'encounter', but after that the story just went downhill for me...or perhaps I just didn't get the ending.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    The story was pretty good. Typical King. I enjoyed reading it, and especially liked the ending.
  • Rating: 2 out of 5 stars
    2/5
    I had not read anything by Stephen King, so I picked this up on a whim because it was short. It struck me as just a typical hitchhiking/ghost story kids might tell over a campsite in the woods. I'll have to try one of his earlier works.
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    4/5
    On March 14, 2000, shortly after his nearly fatal accident, King published Riding the Bullet as an e-book, exclusively, as his introduction to electronic publishing. Simon and Schuster worked with Softlock offering the 67-page novella for $2.50, payable by credit card. On the first day the demand for download was so high that Softlock suffered a lockup, preventing eager readers from accessing Riding the Bullet for a few days. Loyal King readers complained that availability was limited to those with credit cards, e-readers, and pcs. Mac owners couldn't download the book. Barnes and Noble and Amazon offered the download for free.In 2002 Riding the Bullet was published as one of 14 short stories in Everything's Eventual. In 2004 a movie version was released.