Beth's Reviews > Once a Runner

Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.
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's review
Aug 25, 2010

liked it
Read from August 25 to 27, 2010

I have had this book on the periphery for a few years now. Running seems to be in the spotlight for exercise and this book has been rediscovered by running enthusiasts all over.
Reading this book reminded me of stepping into my grandparents house and going to their limited bookshelf and finding the one book that was not written by some 1960s 1970s christian minister. The style of writing in this novel is very dated and it is amazing to see how literature and fiction can be identified with certain time periods. I know realize that what can separate a good book from a great book is the ability to indistinguish the actual time period in which the author wrote it. The timeless quality of a great piece of writing sets it up the norm.

Once a Runner is an enjoyable read. If you are able to decipher the technical language Parker uses in reference to long distance track running then you have an advantage over others, I had to do a little bit of research into track and field 'lingo' because I am a little ignorant/uneducated. It is bvious that Parker is heavily engrossed in the long distance track world and the plight of his protagonist seems to be based on very personal experiences. I do think that readers outside of the 'track and field world' will enjoy this novel. At the heart of the story is the passion and drive to attain a goal. The push of one's mental, physical and emotional limits is a concept that can be grasped by all. Parker poetically captures human nature when it is stripped done to its rawest core which is why this book has seen a recent insurgence.

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy Thanks for the explanation in the second paragraph, about what separates good from great. I completely agree!

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