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Once a Runner | [John L. Parker Jr.]

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, and tattered copies were handed down like sacred texts from generation to generation.
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Publisher's Summary

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, and tattered copies were handed down like sacred texts from generation to generation.

Once a Runner is the story of Quenton Cassidy, a collegiate runner at fictional Southeastern University whose lifelong dream is to run a four-minute mile. He is less than a second away when the political and cultural turmoil of the Vietnam War era intrudes into the staid recesses of his school's athletic department. After he becomes involved in an athletes' protest, Cassidy is suspended from his track team.

Under the tutelage of his friend and mentor, Bruce Denton, a graduate student and former Olympic gold medalist, Cassidy gives up his scholarship, his girlfriend, and possibly his future to withdraw to a monastic retreat in the countryside and begin training for the race of his life: a head-to-head match with the greatest miler in history.

This audiobook is a rare insider's account of the incredibly intense lives of elite distance runners; an inspiring, funny, and spot-on tale of one man's quest to become a champion.

©2009 John L Parker; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The best novel ever written about running." (Runner's World)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (257 )
5 star
 (99)
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3.9 (134 )
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Story
3.8 (131 )
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 (45)
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Performance
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  •  
    Randy KASSON, MN, United States 12-07-11
    Randy KASSON, MN, United States 12-07-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Elite runners will like it better than average"
    Would you try another book from John L. Parker Jr. and/or Patrick Lawlor?

    While I appreciate the story and the subject and the performance - I've listened to so many others that I enjoyed even more. I would try another.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Nothing special. Somewhat predictable.


    What about Patrick Lawlor’s performance did you like?

    Well performed.


    Was Once a Runner worth the listening time?

    I've listened to over a hundred audiobooks. This one was not in my top 50%. But I wouldn't know that unless I completed it. So I would say yes.


    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Kate CT 12-26-10
    Sarah Kate CT 12-26-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A book for the boys"

    I listened to this while running as I thought it was meant to be a classic running novel. It is, but mostly assuming that all runners are men. Where are the female athletes? I know it's of it's time, but the sexism is pretty blatant, and the female characters are thin and have no get up and go.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Cape Town, South Africa 02-22-14
    John Cape Town, South Africa 02-22-14
    ratings
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    6
    3
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    "Snoozefest"
    Has Once a Runner turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Other books in this genre speaks more generally to the amateur runner or connects the elite runner to the everyday runner.


    Any additional comments?

    Okay i listened to the first 2 chapters and i nearly fell asleep while driving.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Tempe, AZ, United States 12-31-13
    Steven Tempe, AZ, United States 12-31-13
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    17
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    "This book is awful."
    Any additional comments?

    I love running and have read a lot of books on running, and this is one of the very worst ever.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gift For You 02-28-10 Listener Since 2007

    SC

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    "Didn't care for authors voice"

    The voice on this recording was a bit annoying. Difficulty with download onto CDs which skippped a lot--a waste of $.

    0 of 4 people found this review helpful
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