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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 6, 2009
Back in junior high school, I used to read biographies of sports heroes, like Stan Musial. These books were written with 13 year olds in mind. They were very simple, and eliminated any real conflicts or complexity. The hero was great, larger than life. He worked hard, and perhaps overcame some form of adversity. That was the story. You could not tell one of these books from the other.

Once a Runner reminds me of those old books. The characters make cardboard look deep. The writing is so overwrought that it almost became a parody of itself. I cannot imagine why any adult, i.e., about 15 years old or older, would have any interest in this book.

Not that it makes much difference, but I do have a great deal of experience as a runner. While I never approached world class status, I did run under three hours in the marathon at 16 years old, and can still run that fast 30 years later. Still, this book did not speak to me at all. If you are looking for book about running, I suggest: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. He is not a great runner, but he is "one of us" -- one of those people to whom running is a natural part of life -- and he can write!
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