Alfred Alcorn has another winner. The Long Run of Myles Mayberry
, his fourth novel, is a delicious send-up of shallow liberalism with surprisingly profound moments of insight. His well-intentioned, agreeable loser of a hero, Myles O'Malley Mayberry, is a thirty-year-old graduate school drop-out with no particular long-term plans.
Alcorn masterfully titrates suspense with a deeper exploration of Myle's psyche, raising intriguing questions about the nature of our ambitions and goals. After some surprising plot twists, by the end of the book, we feel both exultant and gratified, as if we'd just completed a particularly challenging and satisfying run."- Helen Fremont, Harvard Review, Fall 1999
"'Marathon Man' pens novel Author Alcorn's book is runaway fun.
"We have to think about time and how we spend it," Alfred Alcorn says, the author of The Long Run of Myles Mayberry, a funny and touching novel published by Cambridge's Zoland Books. Alcorn writes: "When Myles hit his stride, there seemed no limits. He could run to China and back. He could run beyond himself." "We are all obsessional to a point," Alcorn says. "From politics to writing even to fixing up a country house, the nature of an obsession isn't that is necessarily has to have a goal. Once someone starts obsessing-running, alcohol, birds, football, almost any human activity-it generates is own momentum, its own rituals."-Wendy Button, Cambridge Tab (excerpt), 11 May 1999
"Alcorn's new novel is an odd hybrid: a send-up of the loony fads, bad fashion and sexual shenanigans of the 1970s crossed with a sober meditation on another of the decade's crazes, running and on the dangers of obsession. Myles Mayberry is a thirty-year-old, Harvard-educated under-achiever who, in almost all walks of life, is running in place. His business, his marriage, even his sanity are failing. Alienated from the '70s excesses that surround him -- the wicker and rattan, the macrobiotic foods, the new-age therapies, the religious leaders in loincloths -- he runs, not away but around and around, in preparation for the Boston Marathon. Through Myles and his "long last shot at winning," Alcorn illuminates the inner life of the runner, exploring running