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Again to Carthage Hardcover – April 1, 2008
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“One of the best accounts in print of the physical and emotional torments athletes endure in their superhuman efforts.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
It is refreshing to read Parker's writing these days when many of the books I read are not of the same quality. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptive style and the story line kept my interest. As a runner, I find the detail Parker put into describing the pains a runner goes through during a marathon intriguing. I am anxious to start the next book in the series, "Racing the Rain."
Not as good as Once a Runner, but a worthy companion.
"Again to Carthage" is a more complicated book than OaR. The characters are given a bit more depth. It is also not just about running. One of the major characters (from the first book) goes and dies in Viet Nam. The wistful and somewhat despondent tone is more pronounced in the sequel as the protagonist -- Quenton Cassidy (and the author) had to come to terms with the sunset of their running career. Quenton Cassidy is well aware that the race, set in the end of the book, is his swan song. Yet, this very race and the reckless drive for physical perfection come out as the victory against inevitable decline and the affirmation of the joy of life itself. The description of the race and the book's ending, reminiscent of the first book's, are quite moving.
Parker is a former elite runner. He essentially writes about himself which brings to the novels the raw authenticity that won the first book so many admirers among runners. Actually, the novel is structured as a sequence of notes written as if by a runner in heavy training as an escape from the grind of the routine and torment of twice-daily workouts. The book has its weaknesses. A letter from Quenton to his girlfried that takes up a whole chapter is rambly at best. The arch-villain is painted with a broad black brush. He is introduced nearly at the very end of the book just late enough for Quenton to raise the stakes. Overall, the narrative's direction weaves, turns and occasionally seems to be lost. However, the books sincerity and authenticity is certain to endear the book to generations of runners.