Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
C.C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race: The True Story of the 1928 Coast-to-Coast Run Across America Hardcover – July 10, 2007
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
Pyle, a sports agent and promoter, came up with the idea of a footrace (mockingly known as the Bunion Derby) from Los Angeles to New York that promised $48,500 in cash, including $25,000 to the first-place winner. For a $125 entry fee, male participants got the chance for a nice payday while subjecting themselves to harsh weather, primitive housing and Pyle's ego and shady business practices. They also had to run 3,500 miles over 84 days (the equivalent of 40 miles a day) long before comfortable running shoes and sophisticated sports nutrition. Williams, a contributor to Entrepreneur magazine, has evocatively recreated a long-forgotten sports event, mixing colorful anecdotes from the race with vivid portraits of the runners. There's Brother John, a bearded zealot who raced in a sackcloth, and 20-year-old Andy Payne, a part-Cherokee Oklahoman who competed to pay off his family's farm and to win the attention of the girl he loved. What could have been one long injury report or a sappy piece of nostalgic nuttiness is a breezy, entertaining read that properly balances the runners' integrity with the comedy of errors that was Pyle's grand experiment and his life. Photos. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
On March 4, 1928, 199 men set off from Los Angeles on foot. Their destination: New York City. It was the Bunion Derby, perhaps the most grueling contest in the golden age of endurance competitions, an era when dancing, flagpole sitting, eating, and even coffee drinking turned into tests of will. The race was the brainchild of huckster C. C. Pyle, who shares the focus of this fascinating account with some of the racers (especially young Andy Payne, who entered the derby in the name of true love). In a broader sense, though, author Williams tells the story of pre-Depression America, when the world seemed an exciting place, and when the horizon was bright. The race was an exhausting, punishing event (amazingly, more than 50 racers finished it), and Williams recounts the story with gusto, giving us a real sense of the physical and mental toll the competition took on its participants. Pyle comes off as a likable rogue, a classic Roaring Twenties, get-rich-quick kind of guy. The book is like a time capsuleand an extremely entertaining one at that. Pitt, David
Top customer reviews
I am glad I did. It is a very interesting book in that it gives you a look at our country in the early 20's, a look at some dedicated and not so dedicated runners, and what could be one of the biggest shysters to ever promote a sporting event.
I wanted to keep reading to see how each of the runners faired , how they would be treated, what new concept C.C Pyle could concoct and to see how the citizens would treat these athletes.
You really can't go wrong reading this book.
The only con I would have is that some of the stories about the runners were too short but not enough to hurt the reading of this book.
Today, the conditions under which this incredible event took place, would never happen....for humane reasons, alone. Race organizer/director C.C. Pyle would be vilified and probably arrested!
Anyway, if you want to read a fascinating account of the capabilities of the human body and will to endure, this book will keep you riveted to your seat. I still can't believe this race actually happened!
The race kicks off in Los Angeles, and Geoff Williams takes us along as the runners move eastward, at first mostly sprightly, healthy, and well-fed. As the race moves eastward, we get to know these runners more intimately, and can appreciate the friendships and rivalries that develop. The structure of the book lets the reader enjoy the cumulative effect of time, hardship, and hope on these brave participants of the bunion derby. Because Williams paints his scenes and characters so well, I could not help seeing this book as a movie.
Williams also peppers his prose with a lot of humor, which is a wonderfully unexpected thing in a book that is so well researched. I got lost in his narrative voice and finished this book very quickly. Whether you like to run or hate to run, you will love this book that shows humanity at its wackiest, most exhausted and most stubborn.