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Cheever (The Plagiarist) makes an erratic dash through his lifetime of marathon running while offering facts about the sport throughout history. Having discovered running in 1977, at age 28, while working at Reader's Digest, and stuck in an unhappy marriage, he became more and more involved in the sport over the next 30 years, losing weight, gaining a new body type and the much-needed confidence he lacked growing up as the son of the famous writer John Cheever. Alternating with his personal memories of marathon running from races in Yonkers;, New York City; Boston; Médoc, France; and Baghdad, Cheever explores some troubling questions, such as whether running is really natural for mankind and even good for your health (hunters and gatherers weren't efficient runners, yet humans prove they possess impressive endurance running). Cheever tracks examples from Homer to the earliest and later Olympics, from races in the Dark Ages to the art of pedestrianism to Kenyan secrets of success. Cheever fills his pages with accounts by runners for whom the sport altered them profoundly. A terrific list of his 26.2 favorite books on running caps Cheever's springy, upbeat pep talk for the runnerati. (Oct.)
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"Cheever, a former journalist and onetime copy editor at Reader's Digest, melds reportorial skills, literary talent and a wicked sense of humor to capture the irony and indefatigable spirit of running in the 21st century....Beginners will relate to Cheever's inauspicious initial forays into fitness and exercise, and veteran runners can share his enthusiasm for the Kenyans and other leaders of the pack. The result is a joyous and inspirational ode to our transformative sport." -Jim Hage, The Washington Post
Great seller, fast shipping and product just as described. Highly recommended.Published 11 months ago by Jim Kenny
Meh. Cheever spends as much time writing about his own running issues than exploring the history of running. Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Holman
Highly recommended read for running enthusiasts and anyone interested in the sport. Very well-written and packed full of history, anecdotes, and personal insights.Published 21 months ago by casey van maanen
Since I've gotten into running in the past couple of years, this book caught my interest. It sounded like it would be a mix of history with some personal experiences. And it is. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers
The subtitle of this book is a little misleading. There are some stories about running throughout history, but they're almost all purely anecdotal. Read morePublished on February 9, 2013 by K. Wilkins
I think Ben Cheever could make any subject an interesting read, so whether you are a runner or not this book is worth picking up. If you are a runner this will be a favorite.Published on September 13, 2009 by Michelle
It was impossible not to get swept up in Mr. Cheever's enthusiasm (no, too mild, obsession is more like it) with running. Read morePublished on August 13, 2009 by Jo Maeder
I thought this book would have a bit more to it - very informative and lots of good quotes, but I was looking for a little more entertainment. Read morePublished on July 17, 2009 by T. Cassidy
This is a good read. He tells stories that ramble a bit but in a good way. He's like your dad maybe if your dad was handy weaving his life's story around the history of running. Read morePublished on June 19, 2009 by M. Baker