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 Book Review: The Runner's Literary Companion
Submitted by Rickshaw :: Sat Jan 08, 2005 1:18 pm
The world of running-related fiction is a small one, with a few titles like Once a Runner commanding most of the mindshare. The Runner's Literary Companion is a nice introduction to some worthy pieces of lesser-known running fiction, some of which are out of print or otherwise difficult to find on their own. This collection of classic and modern writings covers the field from short stories and novel excerpts to poetry. Readers will be treated to a love story, two war tales, a horror story, several murder mysteries, and even a surreal comedy. Athletes who like to read as well as run are sure to enjoy this book.

The Runner's Literary Companion contains about 50 individual entries, grouped into categories such as marathoners, young runners, and "murder, malice, and madness." Favorites such as Once a Runner and The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner are excerpted, and more than a dozen short stories are presented in full. Some are on the strange side, such as the tale of a runner intentionally forced into a ditch by a car who takes his revenge by hunting down and killing the occupants. But most are of the inspirational variety, tales of courage, fear, hope, and elation that will keep you gripped to the page. Runner's World lauded the collection too, saying it "animates the spirit of running better than any other book."

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