BookBrowse Reviews Run by Ann Patchett

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Run by Ann Patchett
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2007, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2008, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lee Gooden

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


A novel about secrets, duty, responsibility, and the lengths we will go to protect our children; from the author of Bel Canto

"It is love, not reason that is stronger than death." - Thomas Mann.

Run seems uncomplicated at first glance, the structure deceptively simple. Through gravitational forces that exude from tragedy, Ms. Patchett gathers together within the same sphere the highly incongruent Doyle and Moser families. Socio-economic barriers between the two are thick, binding and one-sided. The space between their homes is within walking distance, but they may as well live on different planets.

Ms. Patchett knows that society has no qualms in accepting an Americanized caste system as a common norm when dealing with the upper echelons of the uber-rich and celebrities. Even the politically correct and socially conscious upper-middle class Doyle family who are filled with moral outrage over poverty tend to ignore or avoid everyday situations that put them in contact with the so-called underprivileged.

The political statements that float on the surface of Run are as obvious as a light-refracting oil slick attached to scummy tide water beating against the Boston shore line. It is clear that Patchett is aware of her political soapbox and the blatant philosophical and religious statements within her novel, and understands that these things alone would never stand up as an entertaining work of fiction. However, combined with a good story, great characters and ethical lessons, she can still say what she wants to say without bogging down the reader.

Run is masterfully written with prose that vibrates like a well-conducted orchestra. The seamless complexity of the novel can only be seen on completion. There is a magical quality to the writing - not a hocus-pocus abracadabra, pull a rabbit out of the hat magic, but a more primal magic that makes one shiver in realization that below the mundane every-day world is a shimmering substrata of unconditional love.

Ann Patchett was born in Los Angeles in 1963 and raised in Nashville. She attended Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 1990, she won a residential fellowship to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where she wrote her first novel, The Patron Saint of Liars. It was named a New York Times Notable Book for 1992. This was followed by Taft in 1994 and The Magician's Assistant in 1997.

Her next novel, Bel Canto, won both the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in 2002, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named the Book Sense Book of the Year and has sold over a million copies in the United States and has been translated into thirty languages.

In 2004, Patchett published Truth & Beauty, a memoir of her friendship with the writer Lucy Grealy. It was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly.

She lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband, Karl Van Devender. Her mother is the author Jeanne Ray, a former nurse who published her first book in her 60s, and is now the bestselling novelist of books such as Julie and Romeo, Step-Ball-Change and Eat Cake.

Reviewed by Lee Gooden

This review was originally published in September 2007, and has been updated for the July 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Goodbye Days
    Goodbye Days
    by Jeff Zentner
    Guilt can be a heavy burden for anyone to manage, but it's especially difficult for teenagers. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
    by Hannah Tinti
    Hannah Tinti follows her spectacular 2008 debut, The Good Thief, with a novel of uncommon ...
  • Book Jacket: Music of the Ghosts
    Music of the Ghosts
    by Vaddey Ratner
    Music of the Ghosts is about healing and forgiveness, but it is also about identity and the revival ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -