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Purple Runner

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0915297061
ISBN-10: 091529706X
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Editorial Reviews


When I read The Purple Runner, I was a senior distance runner and English major at Boston College dreaming of becoming an elite runner; when I finished this novel, I suddenly turned those dreams toward becoming an elite writer. Paul Christman's prose came to me at a time where I was looking for something different, exciting, international, and literary. The Purple Runner took me to a place that other running novels had failed to. Pastoral Hampstead Heath just outside London, as well as his characters are as magical as Camelot or King Arthur's Green Knight. Twenty-five years later, Christman's writing has even proved to be visionary as the world record in the marathon creeps toward the two-hour mark and teenage harriers still are curious about the mysterious legends like Steve Prefontaine. In the end, I probably lost training time reading and re-reading his vibrant passages as his protagonists surged past Big Ben or up Parliament Hill, disappearing down a dirt trail, into the woods. The Purple Runner is a must read for anyone who has ever put on a pair of racing flats. --Michael J. Atwood, author HiStory of Santa Monica and Boston Globe Track and Field Coach of the Year

The Purple Runner has long been a favorite, capturing as it does the daily interactions of a handful of dedicated runners training together and racing against each other in a London that Christman manages to make familiar to us even if we've never been there. As the world marathon record continues to come down closer to two hours, the novel takes on even more importance. And what boy in a man's body doesn't love The Purple Runner's batcave? --Richard Benyo, editor, Marathon & Beyond, author of Timeless Running Wisdom

The Purple Runner is a captivating story about the seemingly neverending search for answers and love, intertwined with that equally elusive search for the perfect run. Against the backdrop of London, the colorful characters come alive, making you wish you were there for the Sunday morning run amongst the heaths or walking down to the neighborhood pub. A timeless story that will make you want to turn off the TV, switch off the computer, lace up your shoes, and venture out in search of your perfect run. --Bruce Connelly, Vice President of Nike Footwear --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul Christman is the former editor/publisher for Running Stats (1985-2007). His articles have appeared in many publications, among them Running Times, Marathon & Beyond, Athletics Weekly, and the Santa Fe Reporter. He currently resides near and teaches in Santa Fe, New Mexico. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Cedarwinds Pub Co (June 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 091529706X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915297061
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,104,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Paul Christman is the author of The Purple Runner, The Madwoman of El Malpais (amazon e-book), and Running After 50 (amazon e-book). In early August of 2013 he finished a noir mystery, Santa Monica Dead Palms, on performance-enhancing drugs. It is unpublished and soon he will be seeking an agent. For 23 years (1985-2007) he published and edited Running Stats, a 42-times-per-year newsletter of long-distance racing results and information. Currently he is working on a noir mystery while he lives in Tesuque, six miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. His articles have been published in Running Stats, Athletics Weekly (ENG), Athletics Today (ENG), Athletics (CAN), Marathon & Beyond, Running Times, Colorado Runner, the Santa Fe Reporter and others.

Earlier in life Christman was an international banker in Bank of America's Asia Division, and over an 11-year career at NBC Burbank, held jobs ranging from mailman to film exchange clerk to projectionist to film and video tape editor for KNBC and NBC News.

He was born in Columbia, Missouri, where his father was an All-American football player at MU, and mother a yearbook queen at Christian College. Paul has lived in Park Ridge, Illinois, Lake Forest, Illinois, Champaign, Illinois (U of Illinois), Madison, Wisconsin (U of Wisconsin), San Francisco, Westwood (Los Angeles), California, London, England, Auckland, New Zealand, Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico before taking up residence on private property on Tesuque Pueblo property.

Christman has always been active, completing 15 marathons including NYCM (4 times), Boston, and London, as well as the Western States 100 Mile from Squaw Valley, California to Auburn, California. Currently several times a week he rides his mountain bike from Tesuque into the noted coffee house, Downtown Subscription in Santa Fe. The ride is only 14 miles round trip, but it contains 1000 feet of climbing.

Christman remains a voracious reader, listing among his favorite authors, William Styron, Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Don Delillo, Raymond Chandler, and Michael Connelly.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By wingfoote on November 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is one of the big "three" in fictional running books. (The other two are "Once a Runner" and "The Long Road to Boston".) What makes this a most unique experience is that it tells a double story - about a New Zealand woman marathoner who looks to break her cycle of "not quite good enough finishes" in the marathon and a mystery man who is world class but has a disfigured face and is embarrassed by it. The workouts run by the mystery man are jaw dropping to say the least. Even with today's super athletes in the distance specialties from African nations would have trouble keeping up with this guy. But it is all compelling and the climax is both the New Zealand woman and the mystery man running in the London Marathon. The whole tale by the way, takes place around London. Having competed at a high level in the past I can honestly say the woman's tale is even more believable than the mystery man (his time in the marathon is much better than the current world record). Still, it is enjoyable reading for any runner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Kotsko on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must for any runner. This is not a "how to" guide. Instead, this is a book on the highs and lows that every runner goes through. This is one of my favorite books and ranks up there with "Once a Runner".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Paul Christman is one of the eminent writers of fictional distance running, in the elite class with Alan Sillitoe, author of "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner" and John L. Parker, author of "Once a Runner." Christman's skill as a writer and intimate knowledge of distance running is obvious in "The Purple Runner" and is a joy to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. F. Terpening Jr. on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An epic story. Interesting characters and the aspects of running and geography are very descriptive. The story encourages and inspires.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written yet crap. I absolutely despise that the major female character, Solian, had sex with every major male character in the book. Toward the end, Solian gives running advice to a young girl to inspire the girl to continue to run, as if she was some manner of strong woman. That dialog was a bunch of crap considering that Solian has been characterized as a weak willed woman who is terribly lonely without a man in the sack.

The mystery identity of the purple runner is a fun story. The record breaking marathon run made for fun reading. However, my feelings toward this book are based on how much I despised Solian's and Warren's characters. If they were real people, and I were prone to physical violence, I would slap them both.
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