Peter's Reviews > The Memory of Running

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
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Jun 23, 10

bookshelves: literature, read-in-2010
Read from June 14 to 20, 2010

Story of a fat slob loser making good, reads as though the author of Jesus' Son, Denis Johnson, was forced to stay in the Norman Rockwell museum for a weekend.

What I did not like about this book just barely outweighs what I did. I did not like Smithy's obsession with all things boobie, and I also found it hard to believe that he could physically bike across the country at all, much less as quickly as he apparently does do it. Kind of found it hard to believe that so many of the people that he came across would launch into their life story as often as they do too. However, McLarty is very skillful at subtly, and very gradually making Smithy a more likable person by the end of the book. He is transformed from a depressed sad and lonely drunk, to someone who appears to have a good deal of hope for the future. His transformation is complete by the end with a sweet reunion with a 'lost love'. Yes, the end is kind of sentimental and sappy, but at least there is an ending! So many books like this just do not have an ending, as if we're supposed to contemplate the overall meaning of the 'quest'
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