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Again to Carthage: A Novel + Once a Runner: A Novel + Running with the Buffaloes: A Season Inside With Mark Wetmore, Adam Goucher, And The University Of Colorado Men's Cross Country Team
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439192480
  • ASIN: B0052HKN5I
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“One of the best accounts in print of the physical and emotional torments athletes endure in their superhuman efforts.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

About the Author

John L. Parker, Jr. has written for Outside, Runner’s World, and numerous other publications. A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism as well as its College of Law, Parker has been a practicing attorney, a newspaper reporter and columnist, a speechwriter for then Governor Bob Graham, and editorial director of Running Times magazine. He lives in Gainesville, Florida and Bar Harbor, Maine.

More About the Author

John L. Parker, Jr. has written for Outside, Runner's World, and numerous other publications. He was the Southeastern Conference mile champion three times, and the United States Track and Field Federation national champion in the steeplechase, and was the teammate of Olympians Frank Shorter, Jack Bacheler, and Jeff Galloway on several championship cross-country teams. A graduate of the University of Florida's College of Journalism as well as its College of Law, Parker has been a practicing attorney, a newspaper reporter and columnist, a speechwriter for then Governor Bob Graham, and editorial director of Running Times magazine. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, and Bar Harbor, Maine.

Customer Reviews

I have read this book over and over- sometimes 3-5 times a year.
Michael Cordi
There was a little too much drama near the end, and the ending of the book was disappointing to me.
TrailDog
Again to Carthage is written about the same characters, but tells a completely different story.
Kevin D. Hicks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By James Marsalis on November 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Parker has written a worthy sequel to OAR. While the book stands up well by itself, if you view it as an extension of the original story and read them sequentially, I think it makes the new novel a more meaningful tale.

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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Joseph VINE VOICE on February 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The long-awaited sequel to Once a Runner picks up on silver medalist Quenton Cassidy's life as a thirty-something practicing law in a small Palm Beach firm. While he still runs recreationally, Cassidy seems content to have traded his years of self-denial for a comfortable Hemingway-esque lifestyle of drinking, boating, and skin diving. A series of personal events lead him to re-examine his life, however, forcing a realization that he will never be completely fulfilled unless he is aspiring toward personal improvement, in the way that only a runner committed to serious training can be.

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.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Pietsch on November 29, 2007
Format: Hardcover
John L. Parker Jr.'s Once a Runner was - and still is - the best book ever written about the world of the serious, elite distance runner. (Cassidy, though a miler then, clearly trained as a distance runner.) Again to Carthage isn't likely to have the same success as its predecessor, but I suspect Parker will be okay with that. It seems clear he wrote this book primarily for himself and to honor his family and friends - and with the sure knowledge that both they and his more distant readers who have endured countless long miles - and life itself - will be captured by this tale of the older Cassidy/Parker.

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.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A. Bruskin on January 18, 2008
Format: Hardcover
As someone who loved OAR (and has read it several times), I was eagerly anticipating reading Again to Carthage. Parker does a great job when he writes about training and racing, but ATC is a literary jumble, with lots of purple prose, extraneous characters that haphazardly come and go, and a rambling storyline. The writing is mediocre (and filled with typos)... until you get to the race description, which is truly awesome. You have to suffer through 300 pages to get there, but it's worth the price of admission. A mixed bag, for sure.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By T Squared on November 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
"Once A Runner" is pretty much considered "required reading" for any serious runner. Any runner who read the first book can find something to identify with in Quenton Cassidy's "trials of the miles"

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. Runners World editor Amby Burfoot reviewed "Again to Carthage" (you can find it on the net).
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