The Runner's Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running

The Runner's Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running

by Garth Battista

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Extremely popular collection of running literature.


Extremely popular collection of running literature.

Editorial Reviews

...[A] pleasinginspiring collection of 48 short stories and poems on running...
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Among the 24 stories and 25 poems in this fictional overview of a popular sport are surprises from such illustrious names as Evelyn Waugh, Joyce Carol Oates and Walt Whitman-though the more turgid, macho prose of such genre giants as Alan Sillitoe and John L. Parker sets the book's overall emotional tone. The better stories break away from the repetitious variations on the theme of competition: Sara Maitland's ``The Loveliness of the Long-Distance Runner,'' for instance, explores the oppositional thoughts of a woman runner about to enter a marathon and her female, non-athletic lover, who is both attracted and repelled by the nature of her partner's hobby. Oates's ``Running'' is an unusual, stream-of-consciousness narrative about a nameless woman who, while running in the woods with her lover, perceives a physical threat from a group of men. On the darker side, the title character in James Tabor's ``The Runner'' is attacked by rednecks in a remote area and decides to fight back, with startling results. This collection should prove indispensable for hard-core road warriors and of significant interest to sports fiction fans in general-and may even contain enough surprises to gratify readers in the mainstream. (Sept.)
Sue-Ellen Beauregard
Recreational runners have no trouble finding articles and books on how to increase their speed, carbo-load before a marathon, or handle interval training. But try to find a nice short story or poem about running. To answer this running void, so to speak, in sports literature, editor Battista presents more than 20 fictional stories and novel excerpts (of course, there's an extract from Alan Sillitoe's "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner") about running as well as 24 verse selections on the subject. The writers range from the nearly unknown to the well-known and include such moderns as Joyce Carol Oates and Toni Cade Bambara and such classicists as Homer, represented by a selection from "The Iliad", and A. E. Housman, with his elegiac "To an Athlete Dying Young." Whether runners will sit still long enough to muse over Rudyard Kipling's or Walt Whitman's verse remains to be seen, but to requests for running stories, this book provides suitable if not always riveting responses.

Product Details

Breakaway Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.55(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Garth Battista is the editor of The Runner's Literary Companion and How Running Changed My Life.

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