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4.5 out of 5 stars20
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 17 April 1998
Tom Jordan's book Pre: the story of america's Greates Running legend Stever Prefontaine, is a very inspiring story of the life, and tragic death of one of the greatest American distance runners ever. The book starts before Steve (as he was called then) even began running. In Jr. High when he saw the High School cross country team runn by he said "What kind of crazy nut would spend two or three hours a day just running?" Soon he became hooked on running. And the story takes off from there.
Tom Jordan's writing in places still gives me chills every time I read parts of the book. The description of Pre's Olympic 5000m final is one of these sections. Even after reading the book over ten times, I still get chills reading the chapter on this race.
if it was possible, I would have rated this book a 15, but the scale only goes up to 10. If you are a runner of any kind, even a sprinter, or someone who jogs evey morning, and could never break 9 minutes for the mile, I would suggest reading this book. Perhaps it will inspire you to run faster, and set a new PR.
I'm going to end this review with the same sentance that Pre used to end talks to children: "To give anythig less than your best is to sacrafice The Gift."
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on 16 January 1999
While Tom Jordan's writing style is quite straightforward and easy to read, it quickly becomes predictable. Fortunately, the subject, Steve Prefontaine, comes to life through a series of personal experiences, Prefontaine quotes, colorful races accounts, and reflections of friends and family. Prefontaine comes across as a brash, energetic, and competitive young man with an indomitable spirit. His lesson for aspiring distance runners is that hard work, discipline, toughness, and determination are the traits that lead to success in distance running. For the competitive runner, Prefontaine's style and approach are well showcased by the book. As one reads the account of "Pre's" life and running, it quickly becomes evident why he has become an icon to distance runners. The account of his most important race, the 5000 meter at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, is poignant. Overall, a very satisfying book.
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on 1 September 2010
This book has a lot of detail in about Pre's life! It does what it says on the tin. You read mostly a collection of other peoples memories of how they remember Pre in different parts of his life. If you are a runner this will inspire you. If you are not into sports then I would recommend you buy something else.
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on 20 March 1999
I personally thought this book was excellent. Although some may not have liked the "stride by stride" of some of the races, I loved it. It got my heart pumping and my adrenaline going. I believe that Steve Prefontaine is a perfect example of what an American icon should be. I'm disappointed that there aren't many books on Pre, but I guess any others would be difficult to top after this one, and there isn't much else to say about him in the full scope of things. I'm a runner myself, and I might be a little biast on that topic. In any event, I'm glad there was this book on him and that it has the quality that it does.
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on 26 September 2008
I love reading running books and especially about athletes such as Prefontaine who in his own right was a running legend, especially in the States even though he never won an Olympic gold medal. After reading all the 5 star reviews on here, I decided to buy this novel and read it whilst I was on holiday.

I have to be honest, the book was written very factual and direct. I actually wanted to know more about "Pre" the person and not necessarily just about his running ability. What was he like as a person? There needed to be more information about his personal life as well as his athletic ability, but this book just seemed to be a little one dimensional.

The other complaint I had about the book was the running times that the author thought so important throughout the novel. I love my running and love to hear about other peoples PB's and lap times etc. but this was taken to ridiculous proportions with some chapters detailing about six or seven different times that Pre recorded in one athletics meet alone. It was all again a bit too data driven and I sometimes got a little lost due to it being too much information in small pockets.

Overall the book was an interesting read and I did enjoy it but there needed to be more information about Prefontaine the person as well as the athlete he so obviously was.
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on 5 September 1999
Steve Prefontaine truly was the greatest American distance runner ever. I bought this book and I loved it. If you care at all about Pre, I highly recomend it. It's got a lot of good pictures, too.
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on 5 September 1998
This is a very inspirational book for anyone who runs long distance or competes in any area of life. Steve Prefontaine was on top of the record books for many years, and this book chronicles those years in an inspriational AND quite intersting way. Use this as a motivational tool or just to learn the story of one of the most successful and famous atheletes of our time.
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on 23 March 2000
The book speaks for itself. If you believe in the humanity of mankind, you'll cry your way to the end. Pre= Loved by me (squared).
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on 16 June 2012
A fantastic insight into one of he all time running greats. A got a real sense of how tough this man was and the hard work and sheer bloody mindedness it takes to reach the top. If you beat PRE, you ran bloody hard and fast, none of this sitting on the shoulder of someone, letting them do all the hard work and kicking off the final bend. e stretched the field right from the off, and usually stayed out in front.

My only critisism it the length of the book, just 150 pges, nowhere near long enough!
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on 26 December 1998
After reading this book I was greatly inspired by Pre. He was a man who once he set a goal he would not not look back until he had reached it. The book is well written and I feel Tom Jordan has done a great job and hope many more will read this book.
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