IMSA XC
The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/10/2007 10:46PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have recently decided to read all the fiction running books that I can get my hands on. As of tonight (4-10-07), I have read "Once A Runner" (probably 30 times) by John L. Parker, "Pain" (finished tonight) by Dan Middleman, "The Olympian" (about 10 times) by Brian Glanville, and "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" (3 times) by Alan Sillitoe. So I want to know what other people think:

What is the best running fiction book ever written?

I must admit, I am posing this question for two reasons:
1) I love O.A.R. (I actually race for the Once A Runner Runner's Club...something some college buddies and I put together), but after reading "Pain," I think that might be my favorite now. However, I can still pick up and read O.A.R. at any time, and "Pain" I might have to wait awhile to read it again. (Though the parts about Susan...damn)

2) I'm hoping that I will learn of more running books that I can get my hands on to read.

So, posters, post away. I look forward to hearing what everyone has to say.
oldsouthbay
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/10/2007 11:45PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
imho
1)once a runner
2)the purple runner(by p. christman(sp?), tough one to find)
3)the olympian
4)life at these speeds
rippy cripple
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/10/2007 11:47PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You are wasting your time living in a fantasy world. Introduce yourself to the non-fiction sections at the bookstore and library.
IMSA XC
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 12:30PM - in reply to rippy cripple Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
As a high school cross country and track coach, I have read many non-fiction books as well. On my bookcase, 3 shelves are dedicated to running books. Nearly all of them are non-fiction. I have Running with the Buffalos, The Perfect Mile, The Greatest, Run with the Champions, and many, many more. I'm simply looking for more fiction books to round out my collection.

I have been coming to Letsrun.com for 6 years now, and I am still amazed at how people can get off topic on these message boards.
PocketPal
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 12:45PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
There are more than 20 books tagged on Amazon as running fiction. Not sure how many of these are any good.
Frizzle Fry
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 12:46PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Have any of you read "Distant Runner"? I read the first 3 pages on Amazon and it seemed pretty good.
soler
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 1:27PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I read a book when I was in HS (about ten years ago). I think it was called "The Miler". I don't remember the author, but the main character's name was Rob Hagen (sp?) or something similar to that. It was an okay book as I recall. It was written in the 1960s (I think) and it basically had the opposite message of OAR (ie don't make running your obsession). I would not nominate this for best fiction... not even close actually. But, I am curious if anyone else remembers this book and can give the author's name.

I haven't read a lot of running fiction. OAR is my favorite for sure and I've heard great things about The Olympian. Did any of you read the exerpt on the frontpage called "Irish Night"? Thoughts? Seemed to me to be okay, but not terribly inspired... kind of a Cassidy for the 21st century. My favorite running non fiction running book is probably Duel in the Sun. Anyone who hasn't read it should definitely check it out.
flipper flappin daddy
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 1:38PM - in reply to soler Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
"No Need for Speed" by John Bingham.
Wolfgang Grajonca
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 4/11/2007 1:50PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

IMSA XC wrote:
What is the best running fiction book ever written?



The Purple Runner, Paul Christman.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/091529706X/ref=dp_olp_2/104-6609595-2236704

Cheap at twice the price.
Daedremr
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 2:16PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
My favorite is a short story, Runner of Pern by Anne Mccaffery. In a short story collection called A Gift of Dragons.
Purple Runner
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 2:33PM - in reply to Wolfgang Grajonca Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The Purple Runner has been republished as a paperback and Kindle edition (free to read fro prime members)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/098473998X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=recyoustr-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=098473998X
joho
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 3:44PM - in reply to Purple Runner Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Purple Runner wrote:

The Purple Runner has been republished as a paperback and Kindle edition (free to read fro prime members)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/098473998X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=recyoustr-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=098473998X





Just bought it. Thanks for the link.

Not fiction, but I just recently finished Unbroken and highly recommend it. Not so much a book about running than a book about a runner.
SYM1971
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 3:50PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
As a kid, I liked The Runner by Cynthia Voigt.
Szell
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 3:50PM - in reply to IMSA XC Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Not strictly about running but what about Marathon Man? You'll never feel the same about dentists again.
Novel tale
RE: The Greatest Fiction Running Book of All Time 12/27/2012 4:04PM - in reply to Szell Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
The new book:
Cross Country 101 by Dan Martinez.
You can get it at www.runningentertainment.com and Amazon.
Just check out the reviews on Amazon.