Top positive review
19 people found this helpful
Fascinating story. And I don't know the guy.
on 31 March 2014
As I start this review, my cat is in the tumble dryer. Don't know why. Something to think about later.
James was a better than average runner who tired of road races and wanted to challenge himself. So began a journey into the world of ultra running; where races are longer than plane journeys, injuries are just something you run with and the challenge of pushing past physical and mental breakdown is everything. It's compelling and fascinating and very well captured.
For blow by blow description and analysis of how it feels and looks to run further than is really sensible it's by far the best book I've read. Graphic and emotionally gripping.
Also, really rather funny.
I haven't put the book down (except to run) while I've been reading it. My OH is less than pleased.
Why not 5 stars?
Because the book is clearly a series of (admittedly very well written and entertaining) blogs strung together with extra bits. Writing a blog requires a different style from writing a book. It's a shorter attention span, more black and white, harder hitting kind of style. And you can repeat yourself blog to blog without it being obvious. We get that he doesn't like "mass market" races, or that people often ask the same questions, but you end up reading that several times more than you need to because he's mentioned it in every blog.
There's at least one really irritating place where the writing jumps around between past and present tenses and it's just very clear that he's not proof read it carefully.
I don't know James and don't follow his blog. I'm not going to either, because if (and hopefully, when) he writes another book I want to buy it. Just please, a little more attention to the text of the book being a book, not some blogs in print form?