“If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With 60 seconds worth of distant run-
Your’s is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a man , my son -Rudyard Kipling
This book is a runner’s book and will make sense only to them. One of the best fictional works on running till date and since its publication in 1978 over 100,000 copies of the book have been sold. This book is mainly about long distance running. As most of the long distance runners will agree that such running has its own mysteries and the real motive of the book is to bring out the real runner in you.
The protagonist is Quenton Cassidy , an undergraduate miler at South Eastern university in Florida. But this guy is no ordinary miler , he can run a mile in just over 4 minutes. He trains with Bruce Denton an Olympic Gold medalist who lives nearby.Keeping all personal commitments aside he just practices and sticks to his schedule irrespective of cold and rain.The only motive in his life is to gather more and more mileage.
The book talks about the focused life of a miler. A life where thousands of miles of training prepares you for one last mile. The effort and commitment required for such runs is huge and sticking to the training schedule is the sole aim of such a runner’s life.The running life is predominantly running more and more miles and s not limited to just breaking one’s barrier but up to that last exhaustion point where one feels that life is coming to an end .Being a sports fiction book , this too has a final chapter with that last race but much of what happens in the final day is achieved much before the race. The runners life is mundane and for getting that extra mileage he has to fight against all the Demons.[There is chapter dedicated on Demons and the reader understands the concept more explicitly over the course of the book.]
One of the most exciting books I have read and if you are a runner this will simply be a treat .To quote one among many exciting lines of the book,“Running to him was real, the way he did it the realest thing he knew.It was all joy and woe, hard as diamond;it made him weary beyond comprehension.But it also made him free.”
Read this book and you will become a runner.
Rating : 4.5/5