Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Memory Of Running” as Want to Read:
Memory Of Running
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Memory Of Running

3.75  ·  Rating Details ·  9,614 Ratings  ·  1,400 Reviews
Neste romance fascinante, o leitor trava conhecimento com Smithson (Smithy) Ide, um beberrão
de quarenta e três anos, com excesso de peso, sem amigos e fumador compulsivo, que trabalha como inspector de controlo de qualidade numa fábrica de brinquedos. Na opinião de todos, em especial dele próprio, é um falhado. É então que, no espaço de uma semana, os seus pais, a quem ad
Published by Warner (first published 2004)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
B the BookAddict
Oct 12, 2013 B the BookAddict rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to B the BookAddict by: Elaine's bookshelf
Shelves: favorites, fiction
The Memory of Running is basically a road novel, the story of one man's redemption; it's about growing up, getting older, family and friends, mental illness and the Vietnam War. Smithy, a 43 year old Purple Heart recipient of the Vietnam War, is overweight and he drinks and smokes too much. With a lousy job, no friends, no girlfriend and an apartment he hates, he has just his parents and too many unhappy memories for company.

After a tragedy strikes at home, Smithy sets off on a quixotic bike ri
Books Ring Mah Bell
Frankly, this was a good story. Maybe a GREAT story, but I hated the main character. I didn't start to "care" about the guy until almost 300 pages in, and really, "care" may be too strong a word. Why did I hate him? I just did. Maybe it was his obsession with all things big tittied. (Yes, I'm titless and bitter) I also thought the dialogue fell flat (heh.) and... okay, okay! The boobs annoyed the crap out of me.

Here's how it goes:
Fat, lonely, drunk (FLD) loses both of his parents due to an accid
This book surprised me. I bought it for .50 cents at a thrift store and took it on a trip to Mexico. I was touched by the simplicity of the main character and the overall discussion of mental illness--how horribly tragic and devastating it can be and how those with depression or other disorders suffer and how their loved ones suffer (and ache to heal them).
Apr 25, 2007 Missy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this book was one for the classic shelf! It was a little hard for me to get into. At first, Smithy annoyed me, but as he discovered himself, the reader got to learn who he really is and that the person he had become was simply the chrysalis before the butterfly. I loved this book and would recommend it to all my friends!
Oct 07, 2007 Marisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think that you have to be in a particular mood to thoroughly enjoy this book, and you can't over-analyze what I believe is its core message: Don't judge lest you be judged (quote from the book). Also, I think that the author makes it ieasy for us to relate to the main character, who eats and drinks to hide his pain. Not to say that we all eat and drink obsessively when something goes wrong, but its easy not to confront things that bother you than to deal with them head on.
Doug Bradshaw
Jan 02, 2010 Doug Bradshaw rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In "Flowers for Algernon" Charley goes from handicapped, low IQ guy to super genius guy and then back again. There are similar emotions created in "The Memory of Running." A 43 year old Viet Nam veteran has had a series of difficult things hit him hard including 20 bullets and a tragically flawed and beautiful, but mentally ill sister's disappearance. And so, he is has become overweight, a heavy smoker and drinker with a minimal job, kind of a slob with no real friends, no real life.

I won't take
Jan 05, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to me by a good friend, I began reading this work as an obligation to said friend, and while it took a while to get into it, I was soon sold and began to care about what was to happen to each character and the journey they were on. I love a good story and this is definitely a good story for those that enjoy what may appear, on the surface, to be the lighter side of life, but in truth, explores much deeper issues. Very enjoyable and best of all, an appropriate ending.
This is one of the hardest reviews for me to write. I tore through this book in two days,all the while being intrigued,fascinated, repelled, pissed off. There are parts of this book that I loved with little kernels of wisdom. And then there are parts that should have been better researched.
Smithy, our main character takes off on a bike trip across the US. Shades of Forrest Gump on wheels. Having just lost both parents due to a car accident,he is truly alone. His sister, has long ago disappeare
Mar 24, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by: Melissa Bower
Shelves: fiction
The Memory of Running is a beautiful and sad piece of fiction. A modern-day, overweight, middle-aged Odysseus begins a transformative trek across the country, during which he meets odd characters, avoids (and succumbs to) dangers, and regains his life and himself. At the same time, the story of his family is told in flashback, especially the story of his sister, who is stricken with schizophrenia in the prime of her life.

The disease will rob his sister of everything - her connections to family
Jul 22, 2007 Maureen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an intriguing plot! I was hooked after the first two paragraphs. Within the first few pages, you know more about the main character Smithy and the catastrophic events of his life from the previous day. He is a run-down, going-nowhere guy who knows that his life is crumbling all around him.

He gets through the initial stages of loss by remembering touching yet difficult memories of his sister, and sharing many of his painful secrets with a woman. A great get-off-your-ass awakening that revea
Rich Stoehr
May 10, 2010 Rich Stoehr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"...I gave the Raleigh a few steps, sat ridiculously on the seat, and began to coast on the flat tire rims of my bike, down our little hill."

With this inauspicious beginning, Smithson Ide starts a journey that will take him thousands of miles, across the landscape of America and through the uncertain territory of memory.

"The Memory of Running" is an extraordinary novel, and I do not use that word lightly. It is well-written, in a simple, uncluttered style that I found quite refreshing. It is one
Bark's Book Nonsense
Stephen King personally insisted that I read this book (okay, he recommended it to me AND thousands of others in an Entertainment Weekly column) so here I am. His write up was so enthusiastic that I couldn’t resist. And I’m glad I didn’t.

The Memory of Running is the story of Smithson Ide, your every day boy next door growing up in New England during the 60’s. The story is told in a series of flashbacks and narrated by 40-something Smithy.

Smithy’s sister Bethany constantly told him to keep runnin
J. Yandell
Jan 01, 2009 J. Yandell rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to J. by: Stephen King
I listened to the audio version of this book, and the flashbacks telling the story of his early life and his sister, Bethany, were very engaging. I was far less impressed with the present-day journey.

I couldn't get past the whole "you have got to be kidding" syndrome. Come on. A forty-something, 300 lb. alcoholic smoker gets on his childhood bike one day and just keeps going? Okay, maybe he found inner strength to not miss the vodka, and to ignore what I am sure would have to be serious physica
Jun 11, 2010 Victoria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lit-fic
I loved this book so much I hardly know where to begin... It had a terrific premise and even better execution... The main character, Smithy, in some ways reminded me of a less-socially-apt friend of mine which may sound unkind, but Smithy’s character was both noble and quite heroic in his own way. In fact, if my friend ever decides to read fiction, I will recommend this to him. Honestly, I would recommend this to anyone, really - it was that good. I still can't get over the fact that the author ...more
this book is awful. the writing is so contrived and predictable... the author often forgets what he previously wrote resulting in a lot inconsistencies throughout the book. he is racist (the race of only black characters are noted), sexist (has a bizarre oedipal obsession with breasts) and homophobic (one character tells unfunny, highly inappropriate jokes). also, I swear, there is product placement sprinkled in there as well. fuck... was this book bad. so horrible, in fact, that i would feel gu ...more
Theresa Mannix
A sympathetic tale about a lonely, passive blob of a man who sits around, drinks, has a dead-end job and answers most questions with "I don't know." Smithy is haunted by memories of his schizophrenic sister who disappeared long ago and for a long-time he has just been biding time. With the death of both parents in a single car crash, Smithy is jolted into action. He takes off on his childhood Raleigh with just the clothes on his back on what turns out to be a cross-country journey. He encounters ...more
Nancy Baker
Aug 11, 2014 Nancy Baker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WALK - DON'T RUN THROUGH THIS BOOK. The Memory of Running is a story you will want to take your time with. Let the emotions and characters wash over you slowly to absorb every drop. Smithson Ides (Smithy) is a middle-aged man whose life has been compounded with constant obstacles surrounding his sister, Bethany, who deals with severe mental issues. The toll taken and damage inflicted on Smithy and his parents was, at times, unbearable and as the story progressed I felt actual pain as Bethany str ...more
Sep 22, 2008 Lance rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of my favorite road books. Just behind On the Road and Smashed, Squashed, Splattered, Chewed, Chunked and Spewed.
Jun 06, 2012 Judy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel eloquently describes a man's transformation following loss and a lifetime of failure. His goodness is slowly revealed as he discovers his purpose and finds love. Highly recommend.
Mar 13, 2011 Debra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stephen King said the following about the audiobook in 2003, before the written book was published. By the time I'd read about the audiobook, the written book has been published and I read it. It was wonderful, I cared about the protagonist, and I'm so glad SK took the time to promote it!

From Entertainment Weekly, 9/11/2003 column titled "Listen Up: The best book you can't read. No, "The Memory of Running" isn't in print, but you can still hear it."

"My gig at EW isn't writing book reviews, but
Apr 13, 2011 Kit★ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was waffling back and forth on what to give this book. 4 Stars? 5 Stars? I'm still not real sure. I think I'll stick with 4 Stars though. I picked this book up almost a year ago from the Goodwill, solely on the pretty cover and the recommendation from my most favorite author ever, Stephen King. The blurb sounded interesting too, but without the King rec, I probably wouldn't have bought it since I don't read a whole lot of regular "mainstream" type fiction. I can say for certain though that I'm ...more
May 07, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A lovely tale of a man who sets out on a cross-country bike ride after learning that his older sister has died a Jane Doe in Los Angeles in the same week his elderly parents are killed in a car wreck. Alternating between his present journey from his home in Rhode Island and the events that led up to his mentally ill sister leaving the family home as a teenager, Smithson "Smithy" Ide sets out on a journey of self discovery and reclaims his life. An overweight, drunken slob at the beginning of thi ...more
Oct 06, 2007 Janel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The main character in this book is truly unique. Smith Ide is a middle aged overweight beer guzzling smoker with a dead end job as quality check employee. He is a good son to his parents who are still mourning the disappearance of his older sister who suffered from mental illness. Smithy's parents die in a car accident and Smithy must face lsoing them and then finding out that his sister has died in California. Smithy takes off on a bike and rides across country to pick up his sister's body. Alo ...more
May 19, 2011 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I rarely, if ever find a book that I am unable to finish. I like to give each book a fair chance and am a firm believer that if I have not read the entire book, then I cannot make a fair judgement. I have still not finished this book. I was ecstatic when I found it on sale at B&N for $4 but when I reached the half way point in the book and realized I didn't care what happened to the main character AT ALL, I decided it was time to stop wasting my time. Don't waste yours.
I loved this book and all the others I have read by this author. He tells a great, uplifting story with great characters. His characters are people that I would like to know.
Nov 29, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, sad, original, very well written!
Feb 05, 2011 Gary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
> The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
> New York: Viking Press - 2004
> $24.95 - 358 pages
> "Sometimes there are moments when a person has to make a decision, as opposed to just letting things just happen. A person then has to happen himself. I have never done this. Life bounced off me, and bounced me, and now it was going to bounce me to death." —from The Memory of Running (p. 77)
> The Memory of Running is a “road book.” In some respects it resembles what critics in th
Jun 26, 2017 Alesa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A guy in his 40's is obese, smokes, drinks too much, is in a dead-end job -- and has basically dozed through the past two decades. Then his parents both die at once, and he takes off across the country on his childhood bicycle, with no gear, no planning, no money. It's basically a quest book, because interspersed throughout the story is the unfoldment of his past, including memories of getting shot in Vietnam, and dealing with his sister's insanity.

The best thing about this book is the narrator'
Ruby Noise
Apr 23, 2017 Ruby Noise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a beautiful thing the world is when you find this little gem for $2 in a scrappy old bookstall. This story reminded me a lot of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, except this time he hops on his old bike and takes off when the world around him turns to shit. A story of family relationships, personal foibles and how living with mental illness in the family affects the family as a whole. I especially liked the idea that Smithy's sister had a voice in her head rather a multitude of them an ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
a lovable loser in Rhode Island 9 62 Oct 26, 2014 06:35AM  
Mansfield Public ...: The Memory of Running Review by Jess Neumuth 1 7 Jul 03, 2013 09:40AM  
What's The Name o...: Fiction--fat guy, sister died, rides a bike [s] 3 68 Jul 16, 2012 11:11AM  
  • Fearless
  • The Ha-Ha
  • Angel's Rest
  • The Grace That Keeps This World
  • Chalktown
  • Reading By Moonlight: How Books Saved A Life
  • Stone Creek
  • Sweet Land Stories
  • Star Dragon
  • A Hole in the Universe
  • The Saskiad
  • Mr. Lincoln's Wars: A Novel in Thirteen Stories
  • The Quality of Life Report
  • Losing Charlotte
  • No Comfort Zone: Notes on Living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Saints and Villains
  • A Blessed Event
  • The Rug Merchant
A native of East Providence, RI—Ron McLarty is a veteran actor, accomplished playwright, prolific audiobook narrator and acclaimed novelist.

McLarty is also noted for his body of work as one of the country’s leading audiobook narrators having done over 100 titles including the narration of books authored by Stephen King, Danielle Steel, Richard Russo, Elmore Leonard, Ed McBain, David Baldacci and S
More about Ron McLarty...

Share This Book

“Good people protect people they love even if that means that pretending that everything is okay.” 28 likes
“Good books that often I would hate to finish because they took me into their lives and let me out of mine, for a while anyway.” 16 likes
More quotes…