14 Minutes is the memoir of Alberto Salazar, the most accomplished, charismatic, and controversial marathoner in history. The narrative is framed in the 14 minutes in which Salazar was clinically dead after his shocking heart attack in 2007. The story describes his tempestuous relationship with his father, Jose Salazar, who was a close ally of Fidel Castro during the Cuban revolution. The narrative follows Alberto’s boyhood in New England, his rise to stardom at the University of Oregon, his dramatic victories in the New York City and Boston Marathons, his long malaise due to injuries, which resulted in a near-suicidal depression; his resurgence due to intense spiritual experiences and discipline; his close alliance with Phil Knight and the Nike corporation; and describes his numerous near-death experiences.
In this book those 14 minutes will be considered from every possible angle. Salazar will share some of the surprising things he’s learned about cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular health. He will also share how modern medical science and technology are fundamentally changing the way we think about death. Salazar will acquaint listeners with the latest research studying the near-death experience, which has burgeoned into a field of its own, blending science and the spirit in an especially fascinating combination.
But don’t worry sports fans: Mostly this book will tell the story of how a skinny, shy, insecure Cuban-American kid from small-town Massachusetts developed by sheer will—and God’s grace—into the greatest distance runner of his time. But throughout Salazar’s narrative he will keep returning to those 14 black, shattering, miraculous minutes. Surviving virtual death taught him how to live and now it is time for him to share what he’s learned.
©2012 Alberto Salazzar and John Brant (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
Alberto Salazar, though born in Cuba, was raised in the Northeast in America and has the accent of an average American from that area. This story is told from Mr. Salazar's perspective. Does his inner voice have this much trouble with his native language?
Danny Pardo (the narrator) has, at best, a weak grasp of the English language. His reading sounds more like the hopeless fumbling of words spoken without any understanding of their meaning. Like someone in a high school language class reciting a dialog for the first time, complete with incorrect emphasis on most words and often totally ignoring punctuation. This so monumentally distracting, it is impossible to judge this book on any other merits.
Maybe it's a well written book with a great story about an interesting guy, who knows.
Purchase at your own risk.
Alberto Salazar's story is unique and compelling, even if he won't go down as one of the greatest writers in history. But the narrator of this book really ruined it for me. He was clearly a non-native speaker of English, and his reading was robotic. Also, his emphasis of the wrong parts of sentences and mispronunciation of words interfered with my enjoying of the story. I could understand a narrator with an accent if Salazar spoke with an accent, but he grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts, not Cuba. If you're a fan of elite running, I would recommend the book, but not this reading of it.
We are in a running book boom, and this may be the best them so far. Completely transformed my opinion of this man who is arguably the most significant figure in American running. Incredibly inspiring -- it will change you radically (and probably
Y help your running) if you are open to the message!
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