Smithson Ide is 43 years old and weighs 279 pounds when his parents die in an accident. Lost in memories of childhood, Smithson uncovers his old Raleigh bicycle in the garage and begins a cross-country journey to find his beautiful, but tragically psychotic sister. Keenly aware of how ridiculous he must appear, Smithson nonetheless perseveres through a journey that is hilarious and horrifying. It is a trip, he soon realizes, that might provide his last chance to become the person he has always wanted to be.
In late 2003, in his column in Entertainment Weekly, Stephen King called The Memory of Running "the best novel you won't read this year." This glowing endorsement of the audiobook resulted in Ron McLarty receiving a $2 million two-book deal from Viking Penguin. Also, Warner Brothers has shelled out big bucks for the movie rights to The Memory of Running, for which McLarty will write the script.
©2002 Ron McLarty; (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC
"Ron McLarty's The Memory of Running is the best novel you won't read this year. But you can experience it, and I'm all but positive that you'll thank me for the tip if you do....What I hope is that you'll order a copy and experience it for yourself....It's bighearted and as satisfying as one of your mom's home-cooked Sunday dinners." (Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly)
Everything about this book was wonderful. The characters were real, story fascinating, and the narrator perfect. I wanted the book to go on forever. I actually listened to it twice - and enjoyed the second listen as much, even more, than the first.
Artist living & working in the SF Bay Area
Its nice to see a story that is strongly tied to the Author's real life and has such depth. It creates sympathy and attachment to the characters and makes it that much more riviting.
I found this book to be funny, sad, and uplifting all at the same time. The main characters were very well drawn, and the people Smithy meets along the way on his bike trip to Los Angeles are all fascinatting.
The author is also the narrator and he does a great job. I highly recommend this book.
Based on the Stephen King Review I bought this book and I am glad I did! Smithy Ide is me ten years from now. It got me to thinking about the things in my life and how they parallel to the hero's own life.
It is not a tear jerker but it will make you cry at times. It is not a comedy but it will make you laugh a lot. It tells of a man finding himself at 47. It tells of predjudice, misconception and heartache over loving someone that you cannot help. I would call this a definite listen. I liked it so much I bought the hardback and made my wife read it.
I just drove around my block 20 times to finish this book. I loved it. The reading by the author was excellent! As a long-distance touring bicyclist, I was fascinated with the story of his riding across the country. However the book was not about the ride. Fascinating intertwining of lives and stories. I felt sad to hear "the end."
This isn't the type of book I'd usually listen to but the book was good. The main Character isn't the brightest person but has a unique view of the world. The story, somewhat sappy at times, is well developed and easy to follow. It's worth listening to.
I really enjoyed this quirky story & felt sad when it came to an end. I can imagine this story making a great movie, but I agree with the author. It really isn't possible to trump the human imagination, & I've never seen a movie that wasn't richer as a book. The narrator/author creates wonderful personalities with unique voices. At times, it was easy to forget that I was hearing the voice of one man, not many. I especially loved the character & voice of Phillip Woolsey, the insightful truck driver. I would highly recommend this audiobook!
I am loving this book! Rarely have I chosen to spend time in the car, and I'm well aware that it's to be with Mr. McLarty and Smitty Ide. Remarkable characterization, and a beautiful sense of place. I'm worried that seeing the movie may ruin the sense I've gotten for this wonderful story, but bet I'll be one of the first in line!
I didn't know what to expect when I downloaded this book, but I have really enjoyed it. I did get lost at first, when the setting changed, but remembered what someone else had said in their review. It's great for a long car ride or whatever. :-)
I have been listening to books on Audible for about two years now, and I have to say that this is the best ever -- compelling character development, subtle and crafty prose that is at the same time poetic, and convincing as everyday "plain folks" language -- the stories within the story were almost as compelling as the tale of the anti-hero Smithson Ide. I couldn't wait to go for a walk, go to the club, get in my car, lay down in bed, whatever, so that I could listen to the wonderful narration of writer, actor, storyteller Ron McLarty. The time listening to this work was time well spent. Mr. McLarty is an artist, a 21st Century Renaissance man who has spun a truly American tale. Fabulous!
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