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Runners & Other Dreamers Paperback – May, 1997

5 customer reviews

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Paperback, May, 1997
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Editorial Reviews


". . .Parker excites and tantalizes the reader. . . Every runner should read this jewel." -- Ruben Flores, San Antonio Light

". . .a collection of true stories about runners, for runners, by a runner. John Parker knows running from the inside out and knows how to tell a story. -- California Track and Running News

About the Author

John L. Parker, Jr. has been writing about runners and running since his competitive days as a member of the early Florida Track Club. His novel, Once a Runner, first published in 1978, has become a cult classic among runners.

The first edition of Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot was widely hailed as the first clear and cogent explanation of heart monitor training for runners. In 1996 using the training principles in this book, Parker finished the 100th running of the Boston Marathon, at age 50, in 2:58:45.As a masters triathlete, he has been ranked nationally, and has completed an Olympic distance triathlon in 2:09:15.

Parker has written for Runner's World, Running Times, The Runner, Ultrasport, Outside, and other magazines. He lives in Tallahassee, Florida.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 211 pages
  • Publisher: Cedarwinds (May 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0915297248
  • ISBN-13: 978-0915297245
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,824,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Corey Davidson on July 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
John L. Paker Jr. is an elitist, and thank God. Those people who think everything written about running should be aimed at Runner's World readers can stock their shelves with the stuff written from the editors and contributors of that magazine without worry of running out of words. Plenty is written, and will continue to be written for the person who runs for fun, excerise and socialization. For those other people, however, who know what it's like to strive towards fast times, for those people who know what it's like to run 20 quarter mile repeats, and run 100 miles in a week, books by John Parker are for you.
Read "Runner's and Other Dreamers," and read "Once a Runner." These books will haunt you because they sound like they are describing your inner thoughts, dreams and nightmares. These books tell how it really is to be out there on your own, thrashing your guts out on a trail them and know you are not really alone at all.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 12, 1998
Format: Paperback
For those who love Parker's "Once a Runner", this book reveals many of the experiences that helped mould the his ideas. Read about Jack Bachelor, see how the fictional Quenton Cassidy's brush with death as a child is in fact based upon Parker's own real life and see what Jim Fixx really meant to running. If you loved "Once a Runner' then you won't be disappointed with 'Runners and Other Dreamers'
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R.Cavalli on January 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
Quite simply,John L Parker is one of the two great authors on the subject of running and related subjects,the other is Kenny Moore. "Runners and Other Dreamers" is a good place to start if you want to see why I say John L Parker is a great writer.
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Actual User on May 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Parker's writing in both "Once and Runner" and "Heart Monitor Training", I happily looked forward to reading Runners and other Dreamers. This book however, was a letdown. A collection of essays primarily about elite runners known to the author, the tone of the book is somewhat bitter and jaded. Parker seems to focus on the darker aspects of distance racing for elite athletes and is often dismissive of those who do not possess the talent of the elites. Those essays that do have a relatively positive tone basically fawn over certain elite athletes, mostly friends of the author, casting them in an almost reverent light, while glossing over their flaws. The overall effect is to make them a sort of caricature. The lasting impression from the essays was that the author divides the world into two distinct groups, those more talented than himself (these he idolized) and those less talented than himself (for these he could care less). Perhaps, at the time he wrote this book, the writer's own gift of talent was his greatest curse. He had the ability and desire to run a race to win, but in running to win he missed the point that running in an of itself can be a victory. Maybe other elite runner's share Parker's views, but this age grouper has a different perspective, one that allows me to find satifisfaction in a PR, and worth in others seeking the same goal. Finally, based on the humor and understanding evident in his book on "Heart Monitor Training", I'd like to think that Parker "outgrew" his cynicism, and appreciates that those of us running behind the elites have our victories as well. If you want a great read try his other books.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Derrick Peterman on August 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a series of various essays written by John L. Parker from the late 70's to the mid-80's. Most of the essays are about running, races, and various track athletes from that period, but the last few essays are about fishing and hunting, as near as I could tell, and I found them forgettable.

The strength of the writing comes from the fact that Parker was a talented running himself in the early 70's, and clearly understands the subject matter intimately. That he also knows personally many of the subjects of his essays adds to the depth and insights to his work here.

Perhaps the most provocative essay is the dismissive epitaph of Jim Fixx, the famous author of running books, who lacks any real credibility in Parker's eyes. While I found what Parker wrote to be dead on target, he is also guilty of being very disrespectful, written so soon after Fixx's death. One thing you can say about Parker is that he is not afraid of controversy.

As a long time runner who trained and competed in this era, this book brought back a lot of good memories. I would recommend non-runners read a few essays from this book to understand the strange tribe of runners, and would up my recommendation to four stars for any serious runner.
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