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Once a Runner: A Novel Paperback – April 6, 2010
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“By far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner…a marvelous description of the way it really is.” —Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated
“The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy, and you’ll never need another motivator.” —Dave Langlais, Runner’s World
"The best novel ever written about running."--Runner's World
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Top Customer Reviews
a) Competative runners: this is an increadible book, period. The best part about it is reading about a little tiny nuance in Quenton's running life and saying to yourself, "I know exactly what he's talking about, wow", which will happen literally hundreds of times. Your hopefully already-substantial appreciation for the sport will likely increase tenfold with this book.
b) The casual runner, recreational, or other athlete: this is an excellent book and is very highly reccomended. You probably will not appreciate it to it's fullest extent, but there are aspects of the story and how it is told that will be enjoyed by anyone with the capacity for excitement from sports or human physical endeavors.
c) The non-athlete: this book may not make sense to you. Not in the literary sense, but it may seem as though there is little direction in the story, and you might read it and then find yourself thinking that nothing interesting really happened, and you are not really to blame for this. There is still a good chance that you will find it enjoyable, but if you are looking for a piece of literature based on traditional merits (plot, character development, etc) there are likely better books out there for you to spend time on.
Clearly I thought this book was one of the best I've ever read. However, I hope this breakdown about who in particular might enjoy it the most was helpful.
This isn't a book about any of that. This is a book about the elite runner and the near-mythic life they lead and the select group of running gods they surround themselves with (poorly written in a high-school-and-college-were-the-best-years-of-my-life kind of way replete with fraternal shenanigans and the smugness of the naturally gifted). People like me are dismissed in the first chapter as pathetic specimens using running to achieve some other ends that people like the author just can't comprehend.
I'm not knocking all of the work these elite athletes do, and realize it's not all just handed to them, but the tone of this book is just off. Instead of opening up that world and exploring, this book just has the feel of exclusion and exclusiveness. I'm definitely not inspired.
"Once a Runner" follows Quenton Cassidy through grueling workouts and hardships in his social life. It describes the sacrifices he makes in order to continue running and highlights both our accomplishments as runners in training and our failures as runners in competition. This novel defines the things that are important in life and the things that are superficial through a metaphor that is so moving that no other book about running could even deem itself comparable.
A must-read, especially for every runner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good book to read for runners, although a bit slow at the beginning but with a good end.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
One of the best books for real runners out there. Don't take your training tips from it though...Published 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Accurately describes all the mental and physical challenges of training and running. Runners of all levels can relate to Parker's writing.Published 18 days ago by Catharine
A fairly new, but older runner, and I enjoy reading most anything about running. I read great reviews so I decided to read it and enjoyed the book, but I was able to put it down... Read morePublished 1 month ago by LitPointe
I practically read this book in one sitting. I couldn't put it down, I found myself reading it on my iPhone when my Kindle was not with me. Great read!!Published 1 month ago by ladysmith
I don’t think the author is a particularly gifted writer, but since I'm a former college distance runner, the novel held my interest--I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eric J.
This is fantastic. Bought to hand down among my XC captains over the next however many years I coach.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer