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  • Once a Runner

  • By: John L. Parker Jr.
  • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
  • Length: 8 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 696
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 513
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 519

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.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Spellbinding!

  • By Rick J. Mitchell on 03-28-10

Get the Book, Not the Audiobook

4 out of 5 stars
2 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-13-14

Where does Once a Runner rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The story is one of the best, however, I would have much preferred a different narrator (I just felt like he wasn't a good fit for the age of the characters).

What did you like best about this story?

As a former college runner, I appreciate the author being so knowledgeable about the college running culture and telling Quentin's story in a fun and quirky way.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Patrick Lawlor?

A college runner, actually. He would know better how to act the parts, and he would sound of the same age of the characters. It sounded like the narrator may have been a good 30 years older than these college boys. If not a college runner for the part, then at least someone who sounds more of the same character as Quentin Cassidy.

If you could rename Once a Runner, what would you call it?

I like the title.

Any additional comments?

Such a runners cult classic. This book will be enjoyed for decades.

Also, there is a sequel to this book, which I started once but didn't finish, as at least the first several chapters aren't really running related. And I might say that although women could easily enjoy Once a Runner, the sequel seems to be more of a man's book (about fishing, war, etc).

2 of 2 people found this review helpful