The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner
By Alan Sillitoe
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307389640, 192pp.)
Publication Date: March 2, 2010
Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic about integrity, courage, and bucking the system. Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. It is a pure masterpiece. From there the collection expands even further from the touching “On Saturday Afternoon” to the rollicking “The Decline and Fall and Frankie Buller.” Beloved for its lean prose, unforgettable protagonists, and real-life wisdom, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner captured the voice of a generation, and its poignant and empowering life lessons will continue to captivate and entertain readers for generations to come.
Alan Sillitoe was born in 1928, the son of a tannery worker. He left school at age fourteen to work in a factory. He was one of the working-class novelists who revitalized British fiction in the 1950s. His first novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was followed with the bestselling collection The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner. He adapted both works for the screen in the early 1960s. He is the author of more than 40 works of prose, poetry, and drama.
“One of the best English writers of the day.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Sillitoe offers an authentic and vivacious portrait. . . . A sheer delight.”—Saturday Review
“A beautiful piece of work.”—The Guardian
“Brilliant.”—The New Yorker
“Mr. Sillitoe is a born writer, who knows his milieu and describes it with vivid, loving precision.” —Daily Telegraph
“There are few writers around who can rival Sillitoe when it comes to the complicated business of noticing things.” —Literary Review
“A master storyteller.” —The Observer
“Miles nearer the real thing than D.H. Lawrence's mystic, brooding working-men ever came.” —Sunday Express