Once a Runner
Once a Runner captures the essence of what it means to be a competitive runner; to devote your entire existence to a single-minded pursuit of excellence. It has become one of the most beloved sports novels ever written. Originally self-published in 1978 and sold at road races out of the trunk of the author’s car, reading the book became a rite of passage for many runners,...more
The beginning nearly killed me with the author’s seemingly needful sense to try to impress us with his constant use of obscure words. It nearly handicapped the book as each sentence read as though he used a book of synonyms to replace simpler everyday language to build up his writing? I very nearly gave up and just walked away.
However, if you can plow through his obscure writing structure (and thoug ...more
Bullhonkey. This book read like a high school writing assignment. Belabored dialogue, cardboard characters, clunky prose. The two chapters on racing at the end were exciting and contained the true heart of the book, bu ...more
I have never read anything that captures the experience of a competitive runner more accurately ...more
This book was one of Amazon's recommendations because I bought Born To Run (excellent!). It is fiction, the story of Quenton Cassidy, a college athlete whose dream is to run a fou ...more
But this is not just a runner's book. in fact it is now one of my all time favorite books period.
Set in an university during the 70's the book is about a nonconformist runner who loves to think for himself and loves to run. A sample early passage:
...the runners kept up ...more
I think this is relatable to ...more
Apparently this book has been a cult classic for years ...more
This is a fictional account of a runner (loosely based upon the author's college experience), and his quest to break the magical 4-minute mile. Its full of wisdom, ...more
The former Dallas Baptist University cross country runner who loaned it to me said it was a "cult running book". I was eager to see what type of book runners would form a hidden fan base around.
Unfortunately, and quite predictably, the running enthusiast's choice of fiction is a book that enthuses about running. A book that describes running accurately and compares most everything in life to running, and features characters who run o ...more
"His daily toil was arduous; satisfying on the whole, but not the bounding, joyous nature romp descri ...more
I'm not a runner and never have been a runner, but I couldn't put the book down. I love to be immersed in a world about which I know nothing, and this book was a revelation. Reading it was probably the closest I'll ever get to knowing what it must be like to be an athlete in top condition. To have demons that "make you want to run through the jungle . . . cover countryside at a clip, slide by in the night like a scuttling cloud . . . ...more
I do think this is one of those books that would be difficult to appreciate and connect with if you haven't raced competitively - just because there are so many small moments that bring back a rush of nostalgia (or pre-race terror :) ). But if you've run competitively, this is definitely one I'd highly recommend. ...more
One film and one book to compare it to: "Everybodywantssome!!" that was funny too, but the baseball never became about anything real. And Krabbe's The Rider which also ends in a great race description yet ultimately refuses to tell us what riding hard is about.
RUNNING A FOUR-MINUTE MILE IS ABOUT BECOMING A NEW AND BETTER BEING
Haha, it's completely ridiculous. But those of us who have ...more
Maybe this book was a little too on-the-nose for me to be reading at night because the final chapters literally made my legs go numb. It gave me that kind of adrenaline jolt I only get from actual running races. The way this book makes me feel is absolutely indescribable. It is perfect in every way. It captures every feeling so well. I sat there with my watch on while reading the last chapter and liter ...more
Still, at least this second time through, I felt a ...more
Was really sentimental after this book because it brought up some running nostalgia and it was one of my high school coaches favorite books and I really wanted to share how much I liked it with him.
The two main parts that stuck out to me were: ...more
It is not often that the emotions of the distance runner are described. These emotions remain hidden, out of sight for the average person. To dedicate themselves to something so hard, so burdening, would be a waste of their time. Few understand the unique breed that is the distance runner. I, a cross-country man myself, didn’t understand for nearly sixteen years. I once thought of running as a waste of time. I thought of it as cruel. I thought of it as unrewarding and unprod ...more