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The Gift - A Runner's Story Paperback – March 8, 2006

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The Gift – A Runner’s Story is Paul Maurer’s first novel. He lives in Wisconsin with his wife, three boys, and his running buddy/dog, Sam.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: LULU (March 8, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1411669258
  • ISBN-13: 978-1411669253
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,323,996 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I receive a lot of books to review for my website [...] and this is one of the best running books I've ever read. I gave the author this quote to use on his website and it sums up the book very quickly: "Paul Maurer, in The Gift, not only presents an interesting and captivating story, but he explores the deeper questions of why runners run, why we compete, and what makes such a simple sport, running, so rewarding to those of us who do it. The Gift is one of the best running books I have ever read. "
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Format: Paperback
This may hold some appeal for die hard running fans, since the passages about and in reference to the sport are the best written and most interesting in the book. However, this apparently self-published novel is as short on originality as it is heavy on a plethora of pop culture references and hokey, contrived dialogue.

While the author is obviously a devoted and passionate runner himself, there is little here to keep a reader involved in the short, soap operatic chapters. It could also have benefitted from better editing, containing numerous punctuation errors and misspellings.
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Format: Paperback
If I had read this before "Once a Runner" it would be the other way around. Some similarities between the two books...almost too many in some cases but a great read for those craving a "Once a Runner" like book that distance runners can relate too. For a first book - great job - now a must read for runners!
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Format: Paperback
As a rather obsessive runner, I was able to very easily feel for Brett (the main character) as he struggles to find balance in his life while giving running as full an effort as he can. It is difficult for him to make those close to him understand why he must run so much, which is something I can relate to. For the highly dedicated runners, you will be able to relate to Brett easily and will enjoy reading this book. For the more recreational runners, this book also has a very good storyline that everyone can enjoy and may provide some inspiration along the way. Finally, for non-runners with a runner in their life, this book (along with "Once a Runner", by John L. Parker) is a must read to help you understand the motivations for us seemingly eccentric breed of people. Overall, I would recommend this book to everyone.
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Format: Paperback
As an avid runner I am very excited for any work of fiction that discusses the runner's experience. However Maurer tries far too hard to match John L. Parker's gift for designing witty dialogue, and ends up creating character interactions that are far from believable. Add to this the main character's cliche obsession with Steve Prefontaine, the fact that Jim Ryun is referred to as "Jim Ryan" and constant insufferable references to a main rival known as "The Kid" it is easy to see why this work was (as someone already noted) apparently self-published.
In sum, the story is actually fairly interesting and not a difficult read, though I would never pay more than seven or eight dollars for a copy because the money would be better spent on OAR or Again to Carthage.
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