- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1st Edition edition (February 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1476757577
- ISBN-13: 978-1476757575
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 30 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,064,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Running: A Novel Hardcover – February 21, 2017
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PRAISE FOR RUNNING:
"Beautiful and atmospheric. . . . A haunting novel, original and deeply sad." —Kirkus Reviews
“Hoffman impressively evokes the combination of nihilism, idealism, rootlnessness, psychic and economic necessity, lust and love that might set a young person adrift. Unlike the runaway heroes of many queer narratives these characters are not cast out but looking to get lost...The Athens on display here is peopled with rebels and runaways of all kinds, idealists, revolutionary operatives, con men, wayward young scholars, squatters...In Bridey and Milo Hoffman has created memorable anti-heroes: tough and resourceful scarred, feral and sexy. The book and the characters refuse to conform and Running, like all good outlaw literature, takes sharp aim at the contemporary culture’s willingness to do so.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Gritty. . . .Hoffman writes like a dream—a disturbing, emotionally charged dream that resolves into a surprisingly satisfying and redemptive vision.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Hoffman’s haunting, original narrative weaves a gauzy portrait of youthful longing, sticky romance, and regret.” —New York Magazine
“Haunting...beneath the deceptive lyricism of her prose, Cara Hoffman has long shown a healthy fascination with upending the social order...Her observations have the keen immediacy of lived scenes, similar to drawings sketched from life. ” —Seattle Times
“Running creeps towards a page-turning finale that shocks while provoking important questions about feminism and violence in the Western world. " —VICE
“Genius...Running has plenty of dazzle; it races atop remarkable sentences.” —Lambda Literary
"Explores the lingering echoes of our young, passionate friendships through time." —Newsweek
"Hoffman is fearless and trusting of her readers, and her precise prose captures the novel's many settings—Greece, Washington State, New York City—and her characters' feelings and actions, vividly." —Booklist (starred review)
“This uncompromising, incendiary novel holds true to the same fierce commitments as its haunting, haunted characters: it follows risk beyond all rules, and makes a kind of meaning I haven’t seen before. Caught between acts of radical violence and radical love, Hoffman’s poets and conmen are lost souls with no interest in being found, a queer family bound by affinity and nerve. I fell in love with them, and with this ferocious, brilliant book.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
About the Author
Cara Hoffman is the author of the critically acclaimed novels So Much Pretty, Be Safe I Love You, and now, Running. She lives in New York City.
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I loved the premise, and the characters were very interesting in themselves. I wish that the author would have expanded a bit in the narrative, allowing readers to get to know the characters a bit more, also I wish that I would have gotten to know the tourists as well, which this is not really covered throughout the novel, we are left to wonder where these people came from, what they were thinking about the runners they encountered, would have been nice to get a piece of that dialogue. Overall, great story, enjoyable, a decent read, with some improvement needed.
I’ll grant it: reading her is a tense space. Yet I admire her work exactly because there’s something unrelenting about it, a kind of “Where do we go from here, broken as everything is?” She doesn’t put up with illusions or luxury. Her writing is strongly moral in its dead rejection of status quo and unearned privilege. There’s a hardness to her fiction, no place to rest unless you’ve already given up on the system in question and proven that you can survive on your own. Hoffman wants us to be uncomfortable.
The discomfort, though, is part of what makes her work so thought-provoking. And in Running, she gives us a trio of sharply imagined expats in Athens, whose hustle for basic necessities take them further into dangerous territory, toward a decision that resonates across decades. She uses first and third person, multiple points of view, and an unpredictable plot structure–it’s a technically very complex novel that is somehow still straightforward, thanks to its characters and the urgency of its vision. There’s the dark humor too, and of course, the writing about Athens–which creates the city even as it becomes a metaphor for the human being.
Another review I read described the novel as “atmospheric,” and that’s accurate, I suppose, but it’s too airy. This novel’s also sinewy. It has a contortionist’s strength, the way it stretches perspectives, chronologies, and locales. And it’s nostalgic by nature, with nostalgia's necessary melancholy, its wonder, and its sense of time that’s impossible to fully fathom.
There’s a beautiful beatnik sensibility at work here, too, but it’s updated, and not just for today but for tomorrow, when our cultural misogyny will more fully — if never totally — be behind us. If, like me, you’ve always wanted to go to Greece but have never had the money or the gall, this book will be a fast and longlasting favorite.