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Again to Carthage

  • Author: John L. Parker, Jr.
  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Breakaway Books (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891369776
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891369773

There has only been one novel that truly captures the essence of the lives of highly competitive runners: Once a Runner by John L. Parker Jr.. This is the long awaited sequel to this cult running novel.

“Once a Runner” is the story of collegiate miler Quenton Cassidy details both the loony joy and the fierce dedication of serious endurance athletes. First published in 1978, the book was originally sold out of the trunk of the author's car at road races and track meets. The author would often offer free copies to anyone who beat him in the race. Over the years, word of mouth spread among runners, and dog-eared copies of the book were passed around until they literally fell apart in readers' hands. Often, in the days before the ubiquity of online booksellers, one copy would be read by an entire college track team. Some Ivy League schools' cross country teams made reading it a rite of passage for incoming freshmen. Over the years the book kept selling, reaching over 100,000 copies in print—with many times that number of readers.

Now, finally, there is a sequel to “Once a Runner”, picking up where the first book left off: Cassidy has returned from the Olympics with a silver medal and is more than ready to leave competitive running behind. The Vietnam War is still raging and he has to find a ploy to avoid the draft so he can begin law school. He must also deal with the nearly inevitable letdown and possible depression that many athletes suffer after the emotional buildup of an Olympiad. A few years later he finds himself leading a comfortable life as a young lawyer in south Florida, spending his spare time fishing and skin diving in the Bahamas. As pleasant as his life is, he finds himself — almost without realizing it — being drawn back to the uncompromising intensity of serious training and an all-out attempt to make one last Olympic team.

Fans of “Once a Runner” will rejoice at being reunited with Quenton Cassidy, and those who haven't read the first book will be mesmerized by Cassidy and his final quest.

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books/again_to_carthage.txt · Last modified: 2007/12/01 18:26 by worldwidwiki