- Hardcover: 130 pages
- Publisher: Counterpoint; First Edition edition (February 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1582431116
- ISBN-13: 978-1582431116
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,322,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Running After Antelope First Edition Edition
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The signs that Scott Carrier was a writer and not an athlete showed up early. At the age of 12, Carrier was the free safety and captain of the defense on his football team. During one game he got his teammates into a huddle and told them he was going to do something different:
We're going to line up in a six-three, but as they get set I'm going to say a haiku, and I want you guys to start moving around, dance around, stand on your head, do whatever you want. We'll kill them. Ready, break!
When the quarterback started his count, Carrier shouted, "The wind brings dry leaves enough to start a fire!" and his teammates froze. When asked by his coach what on earth he'd been doing, Carrier calmly replied, "We're running a haiku." When pressed for a rationale, he said simply, "It was just an idea. It didn't really work out like I thought it would. I'm ready to move on, if you are."
And move on he did, crisscrossing the country as a contributor for NPR for nearly two decades. Some of his radio pieces (as well as longer essays written for Esquire and Harper's) have been collected in Running After Antelope. Sometimes sad, sometimes haunting, often funny, Carrier writes about travels to war-torn areas, personal relationship crises, and, of course, his quest to chase down an antelope--thus perhaps validating his vertebrate-morphologist brother's so-called running hypothesis: that humans became upright in order to breathe better.
In the book's final essay, Carrier is chasing after an antelope he calls the Lone Male. His friends have kept the animal running for almost an hour when it crosses Carrier's path. Relatively fresh, he takes off after it, "And I laugh. I laugh and I run and it is, for sure, the best thing I've ever done. I have everything I need, the wilderness is unfolding in front of me."
In the end, little is resolved--the wars and relationships continue, the thesis remains unproven. But Carrier would be the first to remind us that the pursuit--be it for peace, love, or science--has a purpose unto itself. Running After Antelope celebrates that pursuit in engaging fashion. --Sunny Delaney
From Publishers Weekly
Radio meets print journalism in this slim, entertaining anthology of outtakes from Carrier's last 20 years as a writer, hitchhiker, radio producer and occasional war correspondent. The book consists of stories originally broadcast on National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Public Radio International's This American Life; magazine articles originally published in Harper's and Esquire; and a narrative detailing Carrier's obsessive attempts to literally run down a pronghorn antelope. As with all anthologies, some pieces are more successful than others. The best story, "The Test," chronicles a temp job in which Carrier interviewed people on Medicaid support for schizophrenia, taking the agonizing responses and reducing them to statistics and cold data; in the piece's shattering climax, Carrier turns inward and forces himself to answer the same questions. Other stories focus on Carrier's rough-and-tumble encounters with memorable, oddball characters like his brother (a vertebrate morphologist who collected roadkill in the name of science) or the fundamentalist carpenters of "Windfall" (who were obsessed with Star Trek, the Trilateral Commission and Ted Kennedy). The least effective parts are Carrier's experiments as a foreign correspondent in Kashmir, Cambodia, and Chiapas, Mexico, where his touristic narratives are too thin for the gravity of the tragedies he's writing about. ("You'll never figure it out in ten days," a woman in Chiapas told him angrily. "It's pretty arrogant and stupid to even think you could.") The rest of the book, however, is more perceptive and honest, as well as funny. While this "greatest hits" selection may not propel Carrier into the celebrity ranks of fellow NPR alumni David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell, it's a fine performance.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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There are little birds in the trees, and big birds on the rock walls of the canyon - red rock walls in the shadow of the afternoon sun. A dirt road comes around and down and crosses over the stream, and in the pool below road a pale snake slides silent into the water and swims to the other side, holding something rather large in its mouth.
Assonance aside, these sorts of passages, brief and almost haiku-like, crop up throughout the book and provide the necessary calm and elegance to counter Carrier's dark and often morbid musings. It is strange that Scott Carrier, the brooding, almost transient voice so often heard amongst the wacky and the cranky on This American Life, should become a representative belle letterist for this new century. However, the hodgepodge of modes that make up Running After Antelope - memoir, travel essay, nature writing - seems a perfect fit for the era of the translucent computer and gourmet fast-food. Appetites change and morph throughout even a single sitting of reading. To this end, Scott Carrier's short collection of flawed but very often beautiful and haunting essays should provoke even the most distracted of readers.
Over all, yep, it was good. I would love to see another book by Scott Carrier though.
What little material there is about chasing antelope, although meaty, informative, interesting and entertaining, is remarkably short and insufficient and leaves the reader hungry for far more than what measly offerings Carrier offers up. Although his writing makes what little he shares about chasing antelope a pleasure to read, there is so little of it that I was left wondering why the book is titled as it is. And it's his skill as a writer alone that makes much of the other content readable, as tedious and unremarkable as it is.
Most recent customer reviews
The book itself is pretty interesting and funny, and it has that special spark that non-fiction has because this stuff...Read more