A story of families and friendships, of mental illness and addiction, of growing up and growing older, of first loves and second chances and of one man's journey across America toward personal redemption.
Once in a great while, a story comes along that has everything: plot,
setting, and, most important of all, the kind of characters that sweep readers
up and take them on a thrilling, unforgettable ride. Well, get ready for Ron
McLarty's The Memory of Running because, as Stephen King wrote in
Entertainment Weekly, "Smithy is an American original, worthy of a place on
the shelf just below your Hucks, your Holdens, your Yossarians."
Meet Smithson "Smithy" Ide, an overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk who works as a quality control inspector at a toy action-figure factory in Rhode Island. By all accounts, including Smithy's own, he's a loser. But when Smithy's life of quiet desperation is brutally interrupted by tragedy, he stumbles across his old Raleigh bicycle and impulsively sets off on an epic journey that might give him one last chance to become the person he always wanted to be. As he pedals across Americawith stops in New York City, St. Louis, Denver, and Phoenix, to name a fewhe encounters humanity at its best and worst and adventures that are by turns hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary. Along the way, Smithy falls in love and back into life.
McLarty's novel has already received significant attention for its unusual genesis as an audiobook. Now, in a major publishing event, we herald the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction with his stunning debut, The Memory of Running.
This book was first published as an audio book exclusive by Recorded Books (August 2002).
My parents' Ford wagon hit a concrete divider on U.S. 95 outside
Biddeford, Maine, in August 1990. They'd driven that stretch of highway for
maybe thirty years, on the way to Long Lake. Some guy who used to play
baseball with Pop had these cabins by the lake and had named them for his
children. Jenny. Al. Tyler. Craig. Bugs. Alice and Sam. We always got Alice
for two weeks in August, because it had the best waterfront, with a shallow,
sandy beach, and Mom and Pop could watch us while they sat in the green
We came up even after Bethany had gone, and after I had become a man with a job. I'd go up and be a son, and then we'd all go back to our places and be regular people.
Long Lake has bass and pickerel and really beautiful yellow perch. You can't convince some people about yellow perch, because perch have a thick, hard lip and are coarse to touch, but they are pretty fishI think the ...
Ron McLarty is an award-winning actor and
playwright. He came to New York thirty years ago to become a
writer. He was a regular on the series Spenser: For Hire and has appeared
more recently on The Practice, Law & Order, and Sex and the City. He has also appeared
in many films and on the stage, where he has directed many of
his own plays. He is currently working on a movie of The
Memory of Running. He lives in New York City with his actress
wife, Kate Skinner.
In answer to the question, 'How much did your own life experience influence the creation of your characters ...
If you liked The Memory of Running, try these:
Richard Russo, at the very top of his game, now returns to North Bath, in upstate New York, and the characters who made Nobody's Fool (1993) a "confident, assured novel [that] sweeps the reader up," according to the San Francisco Chronicle back then. "Simple as family love, yet nearly as complicated." Or, as The Boston Globe put it, "a big, ...
The Remedy for Love is a harrowing story about the truths we reveal when there is no time or space for artifice.
The Kopp Sisters Return!
One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.
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