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Once a Runner: A Novel Hardcover – April 7, 2009
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This month's Book With Buzz: "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng
From the bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture - perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. See more
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"The best novel ever written about running." -- Runner's World
"Part training manual, part religious tract, part love story, and all about running, Once a Runner is so inspiring it could be banned as a performance-enhancing drug." -- Benjamin Cheever, author of Strides: Running Through History with an Unlikely Athlete
"By far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner...a marvelous description of the way it really is." -- Kenny Moore, Sports Illustrated
"There is a remarkable parallel between the pacing of this novel and a well-run race." -- Ed Ayres, Running Times
"Perhaps the best novel ever written about running. There are parts of Once a Runner that are pure poetry. I enjoyed it thoroughly and have never read descriptions of what it is to run and race as accurate and compelling as Parker's." -- Tom Jordan, Track & Field News
"The best piece of running fiction around. Beg, borrow, or buy a copy, and you'll never need another motivator." -- Dave Langlais, Runner's World
From the Publisher
Truly a cult classic. Now in its 8th Printing! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
This is a story of a runner who is trying to get somewhere with his running, even though this somewhere is just as vague as you would expect it to be. Despite this, his drive is immense and he overcomes many obstacles to run just seconds faster over the length of a mile. As I said, a runner can probably appreciate this more than a non-runner. Many thoughts and happenings in this book will instantly bring a nod or a smile to a runner as they read about them. The quest for a slightly faster time, the loneliness of the run, the hard work and dedication required, the camaraderie with fellow runners, and the adrenaline before a race; we all know these as well as many others that Mr. Parker touches on and this is why I loved the book. It made me realize why I love to run as well as helped me reflect on why I run. It was a damn good book and I'd recommend anyone, runner or non runner, to check it out.
Parker however does a wonderful job in developing characters that are easily related to and understood so that even non-runners would be absorbed by the story. At points it was a little predictable however I still had more than enough times reading "just one more page..." to find out what happened next. A classic for all the right reasons.
I enjoyed the book. The main story line is quite basic. A runner tries hard to set a new record. But there are obstacles. Outer obstacles and inner ones. When he totally devotes himself to the task he gets the power to brake the record and set a new record. I would say that the book is a good illustration of the process of acheivement. Set a goal. Totally devote yourself to it's attainment. Make it a priority. Then and only then you will acheive it. And that is totally great.
I am just starting to run regularly. So I think to do this I should not only run but also read on the subject. To try to understand how other people resolve typical questions. Like why should I run in the first place?
In this book I liked the answer to the above question. You should run because you decided to run. Your desicion is the reason. Period. And that is one way of answering this question. You first sit and think whether you really want to do it. You look at what benefits you will get. What the dark side of the activity will be. But once you have decided - follow your desicion however tought it will be.
To sum up, I would really recomend this book.