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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best seller Once a Runner - "the best novel ever written about running" (Runner's World) - comes that novel's prequel, the story of a world-class athlete coming of age in the 1950s and '60s on Florida's Gold Coast.

Quenton Cassidy's first foot races are with nature itself: the summer storms that sweep through his subtropical neighborhood. Shirtless, barefoot, and brown as a berry, Cassidy is a skinny, mouthy kid with aspirations to be a great athlete. As he explores his primal surroundings along the Loxahatchee River and the nearby Atlantic Ocean, he is befriended by Trapper Nelson, "the Tarzan of the Loxahatchee", a well-known eccentric who lives off the land.

In junior high school, quite by chance, Cassidy discovers an ability to run long distances, but his real dream is to be a basketball star. Still, Cassidy absorbs Nelson's view of running as a way of relating to and interacting with the natural world. Though he is warned of Nelson's checkered past, Cassidy dismisses the stories as superstitious gossip - until his small town is stunned by the disappearance of a prominent judge and his wife. Cassidy's loyalty to his friend is severely tested just as his opportunity to make his mark as a gifted runner comes to fruition.

John Parker's prequel to the New York Times best seller Once a Runner vividly captures how a runner is formed and the physical endurance, determination, and mind-set he develops on the way to becoming a champion. Racing the Rain is an epic coming-of-age classic about the environments and friendships that shape us all.

©2015 John L. Parker (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Jonathan
  • Franklin, PA, United States
  • 01-11-16

I just finished reading it again!

I just finished listening to all 3 books in this series by John L Parker for a second time. I listen while I run, and I love all three stories. Having grown up running in the pine scrub forests of central Florida BD (Before Disney), I can see Parker's vivid characters and scenes in my mind's eye. It's a riveting story about what it means to want something very badly, and then doing what it takes to try and win it. It's not all sunshine and roses. The hardships and the challenges are what make the story compelling. Patrick Lawlor does an excellent job narrating all three books. An awesome series. Now I want to start all over again!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great performance by Narrator

After having read several autobiographies, this novel was a fun change of pace.
I'm a sucker for any sports story, but what made this audiobook so entertaining was the performance of Jim Meskimen.
Anyone looking for a little something fun , with a bit of competitive edge would probably enjoy this audiobook.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great Narrator, Good Book

I enjoyed listening to this book but be aware that it is a coming of age story of a teenager growing up in 1960's Florida and running is only a part of that story and not THE story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Waltham, MA, United States
  • 08-02-16

Good 1960's athlete-coming-of-age story

This is a nostalgic coming-of-age story with a lot of sports in it. The book follows Quenton Cassidy through junior high and high school in Florida in the '60's. He is a runner and a basketball player. The story captures his athletic pursuits the best. The novel does a very good job of capturing the time and place, with believable characters. It could have been great with a little more character depth. That said, I very much enjoyed this novel, as I found myself really rooting for Quenton to succeed. I think it helps to have some interest in sports to fully appreciate this novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best narrator I've heard

Unbelievably talented narrator. Obviously a very smart author. Great ending. Great read for anyone wanting to reminisce about their younger days as an athlete.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good if you are already a fan...

Which I am. But it does not reach the sublime level of once a runner, not even close.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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on the level of Once a Runner!

once a runner, and again to Carthage are two of my favorite books. This one fits right in with the first two.

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  • TAJ
  • Alameda, CA United States
  • 01-18-17

Terrific Growing Experience

What made the experience of listening to Racing the Rain the most enjoyable?

Quentin Cassidy becomes a young man and a star runner. It is fun to follow his development as a man finding his way in track. The narrator brought the story to life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Trapper was Quentin's favorite and mine, too.

What about Jim Meskimen’s performance did you like?

I enjoyed the way he kept changing his voice to fit the different charcters. It seemed like there was a cast performing the story.

Who was the most memorable character of Racing the Rain and why?

I admired Quentin because he was so true to himself.

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Very enjoyable

Love the characters and loved the determination of these young men. They all worked hard and overcame obstacles during their young life's.

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  • Brian
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 10-23-16

A slice of Americana in running shoes.

I will recommend this to a friend that I run with that did not grow up in this country. He will get a sense of living the American dream from a young man's perspective.