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Runner

Narrated by: Patrick Zeller
Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Fiction, Gay & Lesbian
4.5 out of 5 stars (62 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Matt Bowers' life ended at 16, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear, and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For 10 years, he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence.

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos, and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

©2017 Parker Williams (P)2018 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 02-19-18

A touching story

Oh wow! There are not many books that move me so much I would read (listen to)over and over but this is one. I loved both Matt and Charlie and even Clay Matt's brother. And this cover? Oh yes!

Matt has had a bad experience in high school that wrecked his life. Now he lives way out in the country alone. He has a bad case of OCD and PTSD. He doesn't deal with people at all, lives off his land, growing his own food, canning, freezing, etc. I admire Matt a lot. and yet my heart goes out to him.

A Runner begins running on his road and disrupts his schedule. He calls his brother Clay, the local sheriff, to get him to get the runner to stop.

This story is very heart-wrenching. I was sucked in from the beginning and couldn't put it down! I loved all the characters; I loved Matt and my heart went out to him. I could relate to him and wanted to hug him. I admired Charley but there was a twist that shocked me and I cried for Matt. The storyline is beautiful, the story well written and I highly, highly recommend this book to anyone that loves M/M contemporary romance!

I thought this couldn't be beaten, but listening to it was even better than reading. Patrick Zeller did a great job of keeping you engrossed in the story. I listened in one afternoon.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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💕PERFECT!!!💕

I don't know why this book was in my wish list for so long. Man this book was fantastic the narrator was great, I loved every single person in this book, besides that rat bastard teacher of course, but man what a book 🤗

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good book

Good book, with at times a sad plot, but made in a good and spellbinding way.
Enjoyable narrator.

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Perfect Author/Narrator Combo.

After suffering an attack at 16, Matt suffers from extreme OCD and PTSD. He has locked himself away from the world in a cabin miles from town. He has turned his land into a self-sustaining oasis. He grows his own food, he fishes and hunts on his last and has almost no contact with the outside world. Then one day his world is turned upside down when someone starts jogging past his house everyday. The first sighting sent Matt into a panic attack to rival all panic attacks. Matt tried calling the sheriff to see if he could stop him, but the runner isn't breaking any laws. Slowly, Matt comes to expect the runner at the same time everyday. One day when he doesn't show up Matt's world tips again. Can he leave his carefully constructed world to find out what happened to his runner?

My heart broke for Matt so many times throughout this story. His reaction to the attack was extreme, but how could it not be? He was 16, with very little if any coping skills. His mom did him a great disservice, she wan't strong enough to get him the help he needed and so he retreated into himself where he knew he was safe and then eventually to his compound.

The runner, Charlie was an intriguing character. I love that he pushed Matt's boundaries without being pushy or mean. He knew when to push and when to back off. He was so caring and understanding.

I loved the amount of detail in Matt's compound. When Parker Williams described it I could actually visualize it and Patrick Zeller brought it to life with his perfect narration. From the greenhouse to the lake and all the gardens.

The thing that made me love this story was that Matt fell in love with Charlie and that made him want to get help to fix his issues, but Charlie made his see that he loved him issues and all and if he was getting help it was for himself. That he was loved either way, warts and all.

The story line was not at all predictable, as soon as I thought I knew what was going to happen something else would. I love that. The characters and the setting were well developed and rich with detail.

I fell in love with this story when I first read the book. I didn’t think I could love it any more than I already did, but Patrick Zeller has a great talent for narration. He took the story to the next level.

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Like the book

I started off not liking this book but as I kept listening I started to like this book I like the way the young brother loved his older brother and would not give up on him. And I also love the runner he was loving kind and patients I will kept the book in my library great book

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  • IIC
  • 02-17-18

A good read but stop the stigmatising.

Any additional comments?

Overall, an excellent read, especially the first 3/4. A small but critical point but I get very tired of authors writing gay fiction referring to "clean" sexually transmitted infection/ disease results (as in this book). The opposite of "clean" is "dirty" and many have spent decades tackling discrimination when it comes to HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. You are writers for goodness sake ... do your research ... find new combinations of words ... but do not use the word "clean" in this context. It is deeply stigmatising.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Debbie Attenborough
  • Debbie Attenborough
  • 07-15-19

4 solid stars!

After being assaulted when he was a teenager, Matt retreats into himself and uses habits and cleaning to get through. When a jogger starts running past his house every day, Matt calls his brother, the police chief, to talk to the jogger. But Clay is worried about Matt and says he will, if Matt asks the jogger his name. When Matt manages to do just that, he is surprised how easy he finds it to talk to Charlie. Then one day, Charlie doesn’t come, and Matt goes into a tail spin. Can he leave his house, to see what happened to Charlie?
Ordinarily, I would write a bit about the book, then about the audio but I might not be able to do that here. Since this book is written in the first person and ONLY from Matt’s point of view, the book and the narration kinda merge into one, and so I’m sorry if this review goes a little off tangent.
Right from the very beginning, we are made aware of what happened to Matt, and what happened after. We get his slow spiral into a smaller and smaller world, and what that does to Matt, and how he deals with things. He is a recluse and does not like people in his space. The jogger throws Matt off, even though said jogger is only going past his house, and not coming NEAR it, Matt struggles. Talking to Charlie, though, was surprisingly easy for Matt, once he got over that initial. . . hiccup. Getting used to Charlie helps Matt in ways he didn’t know Charlie could help him, in ways he didn’t know ANYONE could help him. Charlie not coming one day, well, that messes Matt right back up, and Matt is pushed way beyond his self-imposed limits.
Matt voice is clear throughout most of the book, but this is where my review bits merge. At points along the way, especially when Matt is *thinking* the narrator dips his voice, low, so very low. I usually have no problem with low voices and speech tones, but the narrator also lowers the volume of his voice, and I’m sure I missed some important musings from Matt because of this.
Patrick Zeller is a new to me narrator, not having listened to his work before. For the most part, it was very good, with Zeller getting all of Matt across at some difficult points, emotionally devastating points to be fair, and you do get all that. It’s just the DIPPING I struggled with. Therefore I gave the narration 4 stars.
His voices for all the characters are very different and clearly defined, and I had no trouble differentiating between who was speaking in multi person conversations.
I won’t write him off, not just yet though. I went and had a look at his other work, and while nothing jumps out at me there, should another book narrated by him become available, I would give him another go.
Parker Williams is also a new to me author, although I have listened to a couple of his collaborations before. Runner is the first book of Mr Williams I’ve read/listened to and I hope it’s not the last! I like the way he tells this tale.
It’s not overly explicit, but then again, Matt is suffering from a sexual assault. It is extremely well written, though, the blossoming relationship between Matt and Charlie, and there is a good deal of evidence of research by Williams in Matt’s . . . .what’s the best way to put it. . . .coming out of himself, and beginning to live again, I think best fits. Recovery isn’t quite the right word, but very nearly.
My only reason for giving the book 4 stars, was only MATT has a say. Because of COURSE I needed to hear from Charlie! Ya’ll know I need to hear from everyone, but especially here. I wanted to know what Charlie was thinking when he actually meets Matt, rather than just waving at him in the window, even if that first meeting is a little bit of a hiccup. What he was thinking when Matt finds him when he doesn’t come by the house, and when Matt discovers what Charlie and Clay did. I needed Charlie and I don’t get him, even if it would have been in the first person.
So, 4 solid stars for the book, and for the narration too.
**same worded review will appear elsewhere**

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  • Sorel
  • 03-15-18

5* across the board

I loved this book when I first read an excerpt Parker Williams posted on social media. I then waited many months for the full story to be released. I was overjoyed when not too long afterwards Parker announced an audio version was to be released.
It did not dissapoint. Patrick Zeller is a new performer to me and I think he did an amazing job portraying the characters and the angst and uncertainty Matt lives with on a daily basis.
I know I will be listening to this again and again.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-28-18

😭

O my, I have never cried so much whilst listening to a book before.
I loved it though. ❤️