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Marathon Man Paperback – July 3, 2001
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--The Washington Post
"WELL-PLOTTED, EXPERTLY CHARACTERIZED, AND FAST-PACED."
--Los Angeles Times
From the Inside Flap
Tom "Babe" Levy is a runner in every sense: racing tirelessly toward his goals of athletic and academic excellence--and endlessly away from the specter of his famous father's scandal-driven suicide. But an unexpected visit from his beloved older brother will set in motion a chain of events that plunge Babe into a vortex of terror, treachery, and murder--and force him into a race for his life . . . and for the answer to the fateful question, "Is it safe?"
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Top Customer Reviews
Of his fiction Marathon Man is a perfect example of all the features of Goldman's skills. I remember starting to read this a few hours before a really hot date. I became so engrossed in the plot, the twists and turns and tension growing within Marathon Man which initiated a first for me. I called and ended up cancelling the date just to finish the last 100 pages.
It is a rare book that motivates me to drop everything else and read it from page to page. Marathon Man was the first and one of very few.
You feel for the protagonist and visualize his experiences in your minds eye. You feel the terror, the racing heartbeat and surprise with each page. Goldman had a run where he was the master of the thriller novel. Getting freaked out in a literate fashion is truly a unique experience, one you should experience if you have not yet read Marathon Man.
In the end I made up for my faux pas of cancelling the date in part by giving this book to the woman I cancelled on. She confirmed she couldn't put it down either, chances are neither will you.
Marathon Man, by William Goldman, is an epic thriller, that which simply begs to be read over and over again. The initially mysterious characters and their odd lives that begin to intertwine and show themselves later on are enthralling, and the book is impossible to put down. Marathon Man attracts an audience of virtually anyone who can enjoy the typical fast-paced action-packed spy novel, and yet sense and enjoy the clever wit woven into the text by the author.
(...) When confronted with the question of "How good was this book?" I can only answer one way: Fantastic. The book sets the pace in the beginning with a cryptic car crash, the necessity of this being explained later on in a sort of "light-bulb over your head" moment. To read the book is to be frequently interrupted by your own intermittent cries of, "So that's who he was!" and "Oh! I get it! How amazing!". The narrator pelts with you sarcasm and charm throughout the book, making light of the most dire situations and adding a touch of surrealism to the whole situation in the protagonist's point of view. Every event in the book has some sort of logical place in the story. Nothing is insignificant. It's a puzzle, and the pieces gradually begin falling together as more and more is found out. You begin to crave to know more, to understand more, and you form your own ideas, predictions, and suspicions, until another puzzle piece falls into place and totally spins you around in bewilderment.
The only criticisms that could be genuinely made on the book are that the situation is almost fantasy and unreal. How many siblings do you have that are connected to Nazi scientists from Auschwitz?Read more ›
This is a spy classic. It hasn't lost its edge over time at all. It is some of the best suspense, action writing I have read--skillful and artistic not like some of the packaged, thesaraus writing milled out by some of today's writers.
Go for it; you will be pleased I think.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The twists and turns are only the context for the character-driven goodness that Goldman weaves. His voice continues to engage and enchant. Five stars.Published 3 months ago by Heidi Schmidt
I have read this book before and it is still as gripping and suspenseful as in the past.Published 4 months ago by Christine Garcia
Good read. Hard to get the image of Dustin Hoffman from popping up even though I never saw the movie.Published 5 months ago by Michael J. McGinniss
First time reading one of Goldman's books. I'm a big fan of his screenplays and movies. This is a slow burn, mostly character work, but as with most good writers, never boring. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Justin
Potential for suspense is undermined by repetitive introspection of the main character.Published 6 months ago by Grace S
I have read many of Goldman's novels. Riveting is a reasonable word to describe his writing in general, and this is a very good example of his early work. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Tesselcraig
This fast paced thriller is an absolutely phenomenal read. Babe, the protagonist, is an unlikely hero in a quirky twist on the spy genre. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Matthew Conrad
I did not really know much about the book going in, but it did not disappoint (and now I really want to watch the movie). Read morePublished 7 months ago by asineth