Originally self-published in 1978 and now in hardcover for the first time, "Once a Runner" is by far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the ...Show synopsisOriginally self-published in 1978 and now in hardcover for the first time, "Once a Runner" is by far the most accurate fictional portrayal of the world of the serious runner . . . a marvelous description of the way it really is ("Sports Illustrated").Hide synopsis
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John Parker's classic book is now finally back in print
one option is getting it from Australia -
easier option is the US edition now out published
by Scribner's - a must read (and re-read) for any serious
Even though this is a book that I discovered through a reccomendation in "Runner's World," there are plenty of amusingly disparaging remarks about that publication within its pages. That's typical, though, of the main character's process of whittling (or hacking) away at any connection between himself and his reasons for running and anyone else or else's. Ultramarathoners are a "sub-species" to this miler whose skills, abilties, sacrifices, and accomplishments make up the skin and bones of this deceptively simple tale. It's about the personal journey that we all undertake (albeit, at varying velocities).
Surprisingly fresh, irrverent, and funny, here's a book about running that starts out all elbows and awkward and finishes as fine literature. If you're a runner on any level, you'll identify and be in awe of Quenton both on the track and inside his thought process as he motivates himself to push physically far beyond where 99,9% of us will ever go.
There are great characters throughout and you won't want the experience to end, making this an investment you'll return to again and again and want to share as the treasure this book is.
I'm not sure why a book of this caliber is not more widely available, but there's no doubt that it is a classic that crosses many boundaries.
the great thing about this book, other than the juicy details of characters and the joys of running enumerated, is the powerful mix of dedication and subversive, side-with-the-underdog, raise-a-little-hell-in-the-name-of-joy found in the main characer.
Parker offers insight into the mythos of the athlete/warrior who focuses so intently on one task, one effort, that all else almost completely disappears. what i like about the story is that Parker reminds us that it never all disappears, that one athletic endevour is connected not only to the history of other such events, but to a greater community, and that such events have effects well-beyond one man's glory or failure.
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