Once a Runner

3 books in series
4 out of 5 stars 1,120 ratings

Racing the Rain 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.
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  • Book 0

    • Racing the Rain

    • A Novel
    • By: John L. Parker Jr.
    • Narrated by: Jim Meskimen
    • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 344
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 315
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 314

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • I just finished reading it again!

    • By Jonathan on 01-11-16

    Regular price: $24.47

  • Book 1

    • Once a Runner

    • By: John L. Parker Jr.
    • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
    • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 617
    • Performance
      4 out of 5 stars 444
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 449

    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

    Regular price: $20.99

  • Book 2

    • Again to Carthage

    • By: John L. Parker Jr. Jr.
    • Narrated by: Patrick Lawlor
    • Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 159
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 119
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 116

    Quenton Cassidy thought he had left his athletic career far behind as he built a successful professional career in south Florida. But as several personal tragedies and the wear and tear of life began to weigh upon him, he wonders if perhaps he hasn't given up a special part of his life too soon. His return to the world of competitive running is dramatic and revelatory to both the protagonist and the listener, as is his desperate, all-out attempt to make on last Olympic team.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Again to Carthage

    • By Gerard on 08-12-10

    Regular price: $18.86