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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner Book Company; 1 Reprint edition (6 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416597891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416597896
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John L. Parker, Jr. has written for Outside, Runner’s World, and numerous other publications. He was the Southeastern Conference mile champion three times, and the United States Track and Field Federation national champion in the steeplechase, and was the teammate of Olympians Frank Shorter, Jack Bacheler, and Jeff Galloway on several championship cross-country teams. A graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism as well as its College of Law, Parker has been a practicing attorney, a newspaper reporter and columnist, a speechwriter for then Governor Bob Graham, and editorial director of Running Times magazine. He lives in Gainesville, Florida, and Bar Harbor, Maine.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 Aug. 1999
Format: Paperback
this book is the best book i've ever read about running. This books truly digs in to a runner's spirit and reveals it to the world. definitely a classic that shouldn't be missed by any running afficionado.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 16 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Simply a great book. Nothing comes closer to explaining what it is like to run on a college team. I have read it at least 4 times and loved it every time.
John Parker has outdone all others when it comes to writing about running. I only wish it were longer!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Jun. 1997
Format: Paperback
Being an avid runner, I'm no stranger to reading running novels. Unfortunately, most of these books are written by people who simply chose to write about running and aren't runners themselves. They figured that by doing a little research, they can write with the proficiency of someone who has been running hard their entire life. Usually, their creative efforts wind up being ridiculous, because reading a novel about a high school runner breaking 3:40 in the mile seems a little extreme. This book, on the other hand, gets to the heart of the most serious runner. Parker recognizes and accentuates the highs of victory and the pitfalls of training. He brings to life the desire of a champion and the sacrifice needed to get to that level. This book is a must-read for any runner who is passionate about their sport. I enthusiastically give it a ten.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 10 April 1998
Format: Paperback
Parker lived and trained with Frank Shorter and Jack Bacheler and the other Florida Track Club greats of the early '70s. He captures that atmosphere perfectly. Bruce Denton is Bacheler, Kernsville is Gainesville, Dick Doobey is Doug Dickey, and Quenton Cassidy is... the author - in his dreams, or aspirations. Even better, his dreams become yours. I don't know any serious runner who doesn't love this book. It's at least 20 years old - ignore that 1987 publishing date, Parker self-published it earlier - and it still holds true, absolutely.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 July 1999
Format: Paperback
Once a runner is the most inspirational book about running that I have ever read. Currently I am on a Track and Cross Country team. This book totally helped me take my training up to the next level.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By December Hare on 28 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is like a marathon in reverse. It starts off weak and is quite painful to get through at times, but improves leading to a strong denouement (which is quite thrilling). In essence therefore it gets 2/3 stars for the first half and 4/5 for the latter. My overall rating reflects the fact that I am runner - my feeling being that if you aren't a runner you probably will come away feeling less than enthused about it.

The story follows a university student (Quenton Cassidy) and his running team mates through a period of heavy training during which they are embroiled in a sporting controversy which leads to Cassidy being sidelined on the track just when the world mile record holder is going to be competing at a local meet. Can he get himself readmitted onto the track and if not will he miss this date with destiny? Sorry for being a little vague here- but I think giving away too much of the plot will ruin the story.

The story is sold in certain quarters at "part training manual...religious tract...love story," so let me say at this juncture that if you want a training manual read 'The Lore of Running', if you want a religious tract try an actual Holy Text; as for love story...I'm not sure that a character actually explicitly expresses love or ardour at any point in the book! It's all about running...and if you like running you will probably enjoy it.

But it does have quite a few weaknesses. The central characters are very weakly pencilled in and I found it hard to sympathise with Cassidy for much of the book- we don't learn about his background and near death experience until we are almost 3/4 of the way through the book. As a a result its hard to really care about what happens to him.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 7 Oct. 1996
Format: Paperback
Want to know what makes a runner tick?
Read this book...you'll be forever
changed. It describes a fictitious collegiate
track program with some very colorful
characters. Their tales and traumas
boil down the essence of running.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By badakjawa on 5 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the book a hard read - owing to the almost impregnable language represented as used by American college kids in the '70s. But what really put me off were some of the metaphors: 'Her neck smelled like a parakeet's tummy.' I'm unsure how that is supposed to assist the reader in obtaining a clearer understanding of how his girlfriend smelled.
I gave up at page 142 and the book now resides in a charity shop along with the sequel 'Again To Carthage' which I - unfortunately - purchased at the same time.
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