THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER BOOK
"The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner" is a short story by Alan Sillitoe, published in . Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Inc., mentions in his book iWoz about how much he thinks like Smith and was influenced by Sillitoe's story. The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Smith, a defiant young rebel, inhabits. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Harper Perennial Modern Classics ) Story time just got better with Prime Book Box, a subscription that delivers.
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Full text of "Alan Sillitoe The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner" That's what the four-eyed white-smocked bloke with the note-book couldn't. Praise. “One of the best English writers of the day.”—The New York Times Book Review “Sillitoe offers an authentic and vivacious portrait. "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner," by Alan Sillitoe, was first published in It is a first-person monologue spoken by a year-old inmate of an.
It is a first-person monologue spoken by a year-old inmate of an English Borstal, or reform school. Smith, the only name this character receives, has received a two-year prison sentence for breaking into a local bakery, but he has discovered a way to improve the conditions of his stay in jail. The warden of the reformatory has his heart set on the winning of the Borstal Blue Ribbon Prize Cup for Long-Distance Cross-Country Running All England , and Smith, the fastest runner in the institution, needs to do nothing but train for the race.
He can trade his daily chores for the mitigated freedom of early morning runs in the countryside around the reformatory. Yet things are not quite as simple as they seem, and the nature of the monologue, crude and colloquial in language and tone, underlines the tremendous class distinction between what the narrator Smith terms the "in-laws" and the "out-laws. It might seem that Smith would have little choice or desire not to play along with the powers that be, but during his stay in prison he has developed his own personal and idiosyncratic sense of morality.
For him, to win the race would be tacitly to accept the premises of a self-serving establishment, and his own sense of defiance and self-worth can only be maintained by his individual conception of honesty.
As he says, "It's a good life, I'm saying to myself, if you don't give in to coppers and Borstal-bosses and the rest of them bastard faced in-laws. In Smith's world of the underclass there is no such thing as solidarity and brotherhood.
In a series of flashbacks that illuminate his early life and the robbery that got him into his immediate trouble, we find that he has always been alone. I have a rather dark sense of humor. A boy in his mid to late teens tells a story about when he was 10 and tried to help a man commit suicide. The boy can be quite blunt due to his innocence, yet is also quite world wise, or world weary, due to the harsh nature of his home life, the harshest of which is the congenitally depressive and temperamental personality of his family.
The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner
On a deeper level, the story also asks whether the state grants a poor person the liberty to do with his life as he wishes. Rather obvious portrait of two marriages in different phases of their life cycles. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Another terrific story told from the point of view of a young lad with a wry sense of humor, this time coming for the close quarters of his street and lack of privacy, making his viewpoint more observational than editorial.
It's kind of hard not to laugh at one's neighbors when one is always aware of them. I don't know why this hasn't been made into a film. A great story about an oversize 20 to 25 year old kid who leads battle against the housing development meant to relocate slum families out of the city, right as WWII is about to start.
The beautiful ending to this story also acts as a sad farewell to this collection. I was going to give this book 4 stars because not every story was 5 stars, but after reviewing each story, I have to give it 5.
This is in my top 5 short story collections, for sure. In this story, Smith, an adolescent in the grain of Holden Caulfield, finds himself reflecting on his life and world-view while running for his reform school cross-country team. Coming from a working class family that was forced to do without in war times, Smith had little choice to become anything other than the petty criminal that he indeed became. When the authorities accuse him of malfeasance, Ernest, instead of rebelling against their ignorance, decides rather to nurse his defeat at the nearest pub.
Reading The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner with no preexisting knowledge of the author I was pleasantly surprised to discover a perspective I have never heard from before.
Though some of the slang and dialect was tough to get through, I was keenly interested to read about the poor, young habitants of Nottingham as they negotiated their lives on the eve of World War II.
In the final pages the writer protagonist Alan says a final goodbye to Frankie, his adolescence and the time period as a whole.
I have a very good feeling that I will refer back to Smith and the first story on many a future training run. I bought this book because I was attracted to the title, but only realized after the fact that it's an anthology. The first story for which it's titled sets the tone for the whole series of stories; all of which have to do with antagonism between working class characters and Authority The remainder of the stories are vignettes of working class life.
Most of them are tragedies. That's not to say they're all tear-jerkers wit I bought this book because I was attracted to the title, but only realized after the fact that it's an anthology. That's not to say they're all tear-jerkers with dramatic endings. I think the type of tragedy that Silltoe like to paint are portraits of thwarted potential and the negative space that comes after failure.
Most of the characters are dysfunctional, and while you can empathize and even laugh at them, the endings make you dwell more about the dysfunction of the systems they live in. The stories can be as poignant as Uncle Ernest, a recovering alcoholic who befriends and financially supports two poor girls until he returns to his addiction after he's suspected of being a pervert by police.
They can be as dark and funny as On Saturday Afternoon when a man attempting and failing to commit suicide with the aid of a 10 year old, is shocked to find himself being arrested and can't convince the police why his life is his own to rightfully take.
They were all pretty good reads. My favorite sentence in the book was "I wasn't born yesterday Milena Tasheva. View 2 comments. Apr 26, Michael P. One of the great novellas to come from post-war Britain, a brilliant exercise in sustained narrative and characterization, an utterly compelling voice. It is admirable that he is so true to himself, but his is a self best changed.
The short stories that accompany the novella are merely very good. Read it now. I kind of feel like I may have missed something with these tales maybe I need to go back and read them again but while I did really enjoy them and really feel for the main characters and their sense of melancholy and despair, I wasn't as enamoured as I thought I might be given the reviews this has gotten and the reputation it has.
Maybe I read it too fast to really get pulled into the nitty gritty of each story or I'm lacking a certain level of empathy but I did find that on one hand each stor I kind of feel like I may have missed something with these tales maybe I need to go back and read them again but while I did really enjoy them and really feel for the main characters and their sense of melancholy and despair, I wasn't as enamoured as I thought I might be given the reviews this has gotten and the reputation it has.
Maybe I read it too fast to really get pulled into the nitty gritty of each story or I'm lacking a certain level of empathy but I did find that on one hand each story captured the desperation of the times on the other I was kind of thinking 'for goodness sake sort yourself out and stop waiting for everyone else to do it'. Don't get me wrong, the writing is amazing, is really gritty and feels very real and each story captures you and pulls you along. I was rather fond of some of the later ones that have a bit of wit and humour about them.
But I found that by the time I finished the collection I just wanted to grab them all and give them a good kick up the backsides, where was the grit and determine that the first guy has in Loneliness? I may need to read this again in the coming years. Eventually, he is sent to the hospital and given electric shock treatment, much like the forced treatment the narrator of Clockwork Orange receives in an attempt to reform him into a passive member of society, a danger-less and subservient cog in the system.
There is a part of the jungle that the scalpel can never reach. The characters do all come from the lower class and often have financial challenges or consider petty crime a natural part of eeking out an existence.
Sure enough, the bloke hangs for only a moment before the fixture rips from the ceiling. I only wanted to hang myself. This is a persistent theme in Sillitoe's collection of stories.
In my opinion, this story strikes just the right balance between creating a situation that is frowned upon and creating a sympathetic character who violates this understood rule. The result is to leave readers pondering if perhaps we rely on our preconceived ideas and stereotypes a bit too quickly at times.
La voz narrativa por momentos resulta arrogante, pero siempre directa y certera.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – running blog book club
En general una lectura amena, que ofrece esa voz rotunda y que zarandea al lector. Nov 27, Mr. Being a former cross-country runner, I suppose the title and unique format of eight short stories intrigued me enough to check it out. I liked the title story: However, more than half of these stories are dated back to the 40s and 50s. I re-read these stories every few years — at least the title one and a couple other ones.
They capture time, place, and character so well. Strange, too. I read these stories and then read something quite contemporary like the sketches in Treats and I can see the line connecting the two quite clearly. Sep 16, Peter rated it liked it Shelves: An authentic salty English working class voice. Had anybody really captured the essence and mindset of working class British life before Alan Silitoe? Lawrence had attempted it, George Orwell had examined it but this is the real thing.
I guess that the impact and acclaim that this book received upon it's initial release was as a result of that achievement. Things have changed, life has changed, some of the ingredients listed below persist but though the England of this book and some of the An authentic salty English working class voice. Things have changed, life has changed, some of the ingredients listed below persist but though the England of this book and some of the characters is now a little dated and the style superseded.
Nick Hornby and Irvine Walsh spring immediately to mind the life experiences ascribed herein remain relevant and contemporary. This collection of short stories, at it's best, captures the atmosphere of English working class life in the 's, 60's and 70's; the inherent distrust of, and resentment towards authority and class privilege, the sense of quiet desperation, the simmering frustration of living within limited horizons, with limited aspirations and the directness, honesty and lack of pretense that a resignation to these 'facts of Life' cultivates.
This was the post war world of my parents; Beer, fags, the'orses, manual labour, tea, Footy on Sat'dees, petty crime, domestic violence, fish 'n' chips, repressed, frustrated sexuality, wagging school, dreams of getting away Of the nine stories in this anthology, about half really hit the mark; the title story- a biographical, inner soliloquy on class war, resentment and revenge, 'The Fishing Boat Picture'- echoes of an Orwellian character or an unheroic Mr Polly; an everyman living in quiet desperation and the aspirations for something better that never come to pass and finally 'The Disgrace of Jim Scarfedale' - a very funny portrayal of the domineering working class mother caricature and her brow beaten son, narrated in northern colloquial English a tale salty and amusing until the final twist.
Aug 22, Nicholas During rated it really liked it. Here are real stories of 'class conflict'.
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The protagonist of the title story has to be one of the great rebels of literature, and an interesting opposite to the Marxist concept of an individual's political class consciousness. In fact, he completely rejects the Marxist tradition by emphasizing his individuality--even though the characters in this book are all strongly, proudly, and defiantly English working class, they reject a too-strong group identity, and even perhaps have a certain spirit Here are real stories of 'class conflict'.
In fact, he completely rejects the Marxist tradition by emphasizing his individuality--even though the characters in this book are all strongly, proudly, and defiantly English working class, they reject a too-strong group identity, and even perhaps have a certain spirituality the runner feeling freedom as "the first man" when he goes out for his training in the morning that helps them accept their role in a cruel world.
These stories are depressing. Mostly we are meant to learn from the mistakes of these people, to help ourselves overcome the crushing misery of conventional industrial England life.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – running blog book club
The young married couple believing that they won't fall into the hatred of the elder married neighbor couple. But there is also a strong and angry rejection of system of class division. The 'posh wife' who marries a lower class man because she thinks working class men are 'good and honest' but then rejects him for being a 'noble savage'.
There is an interesting mix in the telling of the stories as well. At some points the protagonists are very honest and up-front with the readers, telling them all the intimate details. At others, we hardly know what they are thinking.
In particular as there is often a storyteller talking about their own protagonist.
They are commenting on their a third person, while the reader judges the merits of evaluations, the teller on his protagonist, and ours on the teller. I'm loving reading post-war English books at the moment, and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.
I'm not sure if I buy the 'Angry Young Men' moniker, but there is definitely passion in this book. And a purpose to the audience, which I admire. Nov 18, Jessica rated it it was ok Recommends it for: I am reading this based on Rachel's recommendation, and also because of the Iron Maiden song, and maybe a little bit because of the running thing. So far I'm not crazy about this, but I can't say it hasn't done anything for me because I went for a run this morning along a rural road in 20 degree weather, and didn't even feel that I needed my ipod I was just happy to be wearing long pants!
So literary merits aside I'll get back to you; left the book in the city halfway through the first story I am reading this based on Rachel's recommendation, and also because of the Iron Maiden song, and maybe a little bit because of the running thing.
So literary merits aside I'll get back to you; left the book in the city halfway through the first story and came up here to Woodstock , the juvenile delinquent class warrior of the title has been a pretty good role model for me so far, athletically speaking.
I have also learned that "Borstal" is not just the name of a specific place, but is actually a generic term for youth detention facilities in the UK, a fact that was never made clear enough to me by Sham This book kind of goes with another book I'm reading, which I found in the library at social work school, called Social Control of Mental Defectives.
I'm actually finding the other book a little more interesting, only it's not on Bookface because it was published in and is not currently in print, at least not under that title Mar 03, Larissa Rowan rated it really liked it Shelves: I will be doing a video review of this as well. So I went into this book with absolutely no expectations. It being a book I had to read on my course I guess I was expecting a quite dull and boring book, but full of literary genius.
What I got was all of the literary genius and none of the bore! From the very first story this was an incredible and captivating read. Usually with short story collections I find it hard to distinguish between what happens in each story. This is not the case with this I will be doing a video review of this as well.
This is not the case with this book. Each story had a life of it's own, but what I found truly remarkable was Sillitoe's ability to speak with a united voice and a united opinion whilst still giving each story a uniqueness. I think this book raises great questions not only about the older society featured in this book but also in our contemporary society. Write a series of entries for diaries kept by the governor. These should be for dates before and after the Blue Ribbon Prize Cup.
In doing this, you can adapt your style to the way you think the governor would write - you can do this quite seriously, or in a comical way, as if to criticize the governotr through ridicule or satire. Back to top Smith's borstal file Write a series of reports that might be kept in Smith's record file. These may be written by various officials at various times but should include all of the following: A report to the borstal governor at time of Smith's admission about his home background; his offence, and his conviction; personal details.
Progress reports by the governor on Smith during his training, before the race and shortly or immediately after the race. A report supplied by the borstal to Smith's probation officer at the time of his release. Remember to give the officials' opinion of Smith at each point. You may add any other reports you think useful. Back to top Ideas for speaking It is possible to combine writing and speaking by creating scripts and reading these aloud. But this section contains ideas for speaking without a script.
For some tasks, you may want to have notes as many real speakers do in situations where they need to recall a structure , cue cards or even an autocue.
How do you do this? Put the cues into a text file on a PC.
Change the font to a size you can read at a distance say 72 point and look at the screen while you speak. If you are being recorded onto videotape, then you can record with your camera beside the PC monitor, so you are looking into the camera, more or less.
If you have a larger display such as an interactive whiteboard, or a screen onto which you can project images from a PC this is helpful. But you can also ask a friend to hold up cards on which you have written with marker pens! Ideas for speaking work lend themselves to the use of computer technology and other audio-visual aids.
So here, you could add police officers, social workers, prison officers, Smith's family and friends - include people, as your task requires them.
Other students are an audience who have a reason to listen to the first group. At the most basic, you can do this as if you are a studio audience listening to a broadcast discussion. But you could be a jury, a committee with some powers to vote, or members of a parliament.
Perhaps the most likely group usually there are three would be the bench of magistrates, deciding Smith's fate after some future crime.
Back to top Reading tasks The guidance on this page should help you to read this text with understanding. For some exam courses you may wish to do assessed work in which you compare The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner with some other text, including prose texts written before The ending of this story does imply that there will be consequences in the future, but leaves this open.
The Governor sees the invitation as an important way to demonstrate the success of his rehabilitation program. He lets the other runners pass him and cross the finishing line, thereby losing the race in a defiant gesture aimed against his Ruxton Towers administrators. Go over what happens We learn first that Smith is in borstal.
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