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Again to Carthage: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, September 28, 2010
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Top Customer Reviews
Parker's eye for detail remains impeccable, and he never loses sight of the fact that Cassidy's journey is about life as much as it is about running.
For the runners out there, be assured that John once again captures the elements of our sport that make it so dear to us. The workouts, the sacrifice and the racing are all there, and the more mature Cassidy is a logical extension of the original character.
The slightly off-kilter wit of JLP has has survived intact, adding to the pleasure of the read.
The wait was long, but I was not disappointed. I recommend this book highly to all of my fellow runners.
Just as Once a Runner nails the feelings of the competitive schoolboy runner, Again to Carthage captures the mindset of the middle-aged athlete who struggles to come to terms with the inevitability of physical decline. As one would expect, Parker's training and racing scenes are beautifully and convincingly rendered. What's equally impressive, are his descriptions of nature, fishing, and the mountain lifestyle of Cassidy's relatives. If he goes a bit heavy on the details at times, particularly in the middle chapters concerning Cassidy's family, these passages flesh out Cassidy as a person and ultimately reward the patient reader. My only other knocks on the book are the occasional awkwardness of Parker's prose, the inclusion of several plot contrivances, and the penchant for odd, anecdotal humor. Even these shortcomings, though, become kind of welcomely familiar for those of us who love Once a Runner and crave a similar reading experience.
A few readers, perhaps attracted to its lovely cover and the accolades for Once a Runner on the back , may come to this book new, but most will have read OAR. To the latter let me urge you not to expect to find simply further adventures of the college-age Cassidy. This book, too, has running as its center, but it is in many ways more ambitious and mature. Parker has done a great deal of living since those days. He has much he wants to say. And it is virtually all written with grace and passion.
I'm sure Parker had many doubts about writing a sequel to a book as loved as Once a Runner. I am glad he dared to do so - and had the courage to make it much more than a sequel.
I always wondered if we would ever get a sequel as the end of "Once A Runner" was pretty open ended. "Again to Carthage" had been in the works for a long time and had been long delayed. I had pretty much given up on it until I saw the article on it (and interview with John Parker) in Runner's World. I remember gently teasing my son when he was waiting for the "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" to come out and realized I was just like him with this book. It came in the mail over Turkey Day break, so I stayed up all night and read it cover to cover after my wife and son hit the sack.
OK, so was it worth it? I'd say very much so! Am I going to re-cap the entire story in this review? Hell No, I won't ruin it for you. What I will say is that the story picks up several years after the events of "Once A Runner" and that our hero has settled into a fairly successful life as a lawyer (and recreational runner). However, he starts to get that "feeling" of wanting another mountain to climb. A couple of tragic events involving those close to him kick him into action. This time the challenge is making the Olympic Marathon Team.
To help him, he once again calls on his buddy and fellow Olympic medalist Bruce Denton to provide coaching and inspiration. While there isn't as much detail in specific training like in "OAR" you still feel like you are with Quenton every step of the way.
So what happens at the end? Sorry can't tell ya! :) I WILL say this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I loved the other John Parker books. This one was slow moving and hard to follow.Published 11 days ago by James B Butcher
Full disclosure--I was a college distance runner at the same time as the author. I read 250 pages of Walker's Again to Carthage--the sequel to Once a Runner. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eric J.
The flow of characters interlaced with events made the story believable. Wanted story to finish his career as a runner.Published 1 month ago
Another masterpiece by Parker. Realistic yet inspiring story of racing and living.Published 3 months ago by Mark S Mikel
Not often, is a sequel as good or better than its preceding work. Again to Carthage tests that notion and reinvigorates the lust for running through the trials of Quenton Cassidy. Read morePublished 4 months ago by SLOClimber
Not quite the sequel I expected to "Once A Runner." The story could have been told in half the words. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jimmy K.
Parker was a one-hit wonder, and this pedestrian sequel a potboiler attempt to cash in one more time. The first 100 pages are more about fishing than running. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Matthew Kingore