The Memory of Running
By Ron McLarty
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143036685, 384pp.)
Publication Date: December 27, 2005
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Every decade seems to produce a novel that captures the public’s imagination with a story that sweeps readers up and takes them on a thrilling, unforgettable ride. Ron McLarty’s The Memory of Running is this decade’s novel. By all accounts, especially his own, Smithson "Smithy" Ide is a loser. An overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk, Smithy’s life becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week. Rolling down the driveway of his parents’ house in Rhode Island on his old Raleigh bicycle to escape his grief, the emotionally bereft Smithy embarks on an epic, hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary journey of discovery and redemption.
Ron McLarty is an award-winning actor and playwright best known for his appearances on television series, including Law & Order, Sex and the City, The Practice, and Judging Amy. He has appeared in films and on the stage, where he has directed many of his own plays.
"Smithy is an American original, worthy of a place on the shelf just below your Hucks, your Holdens, your Yossarians." —Stephen King
"Endearing . . . it’s a ride worth taking." —USA Today
"In The Memory of Running, professional actor and long aspiring novelist Ron McLarty has invented a character so fully and elegantly defined that the book soars with originality and life." —San Francisco Chronicle
"Captivating . . . McLarty unspools passage after passage of devastating grace and melancholy, and his taciturn hero hooks himself to your heart." —Entertainment Weekly
"Riders who hop onto the back of Smithy Ide's bike and ride America with him will cherish the journey. I loved this sad, funny, life-affirming novel." —Wally Lamb