Audie Award Finalist, History, 2014
Among the runners of C. C. Pyle's First Annual International Transcontinental Foot Race were an assortment of underdogs, including 20-year-old Oklahoman and part Cherokee Andy Payne, who wanted to win over the girl of his dreams and pay off the mortgage on his family's farm; Paul "Hardrock" Simpson, who was in over his head but couldn't let down his North Carolina hometown; Mike Kelly, a luckless boxer from Indiana; Seattle's Ed Gardner, one of four black runners who encountered bigotry; Charles Hart, a 63-year-old Englishman hoping his best days weren't behind him; and Frank Johnson, a middle-aged husband, father, and steelworker from St. Louis who broke away from his humdrum life and dared to do something different.
Newspaper and magazine journalist Geoff Williams details this historic event and the colorful cast of characters involved, based on firsthand accounts of those who were there and interviews from many living descendants. C. C. Pyle's Amazing Foot Race is a classic American story so astonishing and surreal that you have to hear it to believe it.
©2007, 2013 Geoff Williams (P)2013 Tantor
"A breezy, entertaining read that properly balances the runners' integrity with the comedy of errors that was Pyle's grand experiment and his life." (Publishers Weekly)
This is an interesting story and worthy of a relaxing day at the beach. I give it four stars.
The characters are quirky and different. The problem is the story becomes a bit tedious in that the same patterns evolve as the race goes on. Day by day the names change but the same things occur and this makes for predictable outcomes. This is light history and light reading but that is what you want for a summer read.
Close up look at the hilarity as well as the blood, sweat and tears of this 1928 foot race across America. You'll get to know the many personalities in the race, including the runners and the promoter. A fun listen!
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