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9780751537369

The Memory of Running

McLarty, Ron Author

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9780751537369: The Memory of Running

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.

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Review:

Ron McLarty has joined the ranks of writers of the quirky hero with The Memory of Running. His hero, Smithy Ide, is in the grand tradition of Ignatius J. Reilly of A Confederacy of Dunces and Quoyle of The Shipping News. What these gentlemen have in common is their lumpen-loser looks, their outsider status and their general befuddlement about the way the world works and their place in it. Smithy rises above them because of his self-effacing nature, his great capacity for love, his inability to show it and his endless willingness to forgive.

Smithy is a 279-pound, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, 43-year-old misfit who works in a G.I. Joe factory putting arms and legs on the action heroes. (How did McLarty come up with that?) He is also the most beguiling anti-hero to come into view in a long, long time. McLarty, an award-winning actor and playwright best known for his many appearances on TV in Law & Order, Sex and the City, The Practice, and Judging Amy, has added another star to his creative crown with this novel.

The first sentence of the book is: "My parents' Ford station wagon hit a concrete divider on U.S. 95 outside Biddeford, Maine, in August 1990." This tragic accident eventually claims both their lives. It is on the day of their funeral that Smithy finds a letter to his father about Bethany, his beloved and deeply troubled sister, stating that, "Bethany Ide, 51, died from complications of exposure... and she has since that time been in the Los Angeles Morgue West." Beautiful Bethany, given to taking off her clothes in public places, holding impossible poses for long periods of time, responding to voices that only she can hear, and disappearing for no known reason. This time, she has been gone for many years and now Smithy knows that she died destitute and alone. When he reads the letter, he is drunk, grief-stricken and, despite a house full of people, he is alone. He goes out to the garage to smoke and have another drink and spies his old Raleigh bicycle. He sits on it, flat tires and all, wheels it to the end of the driveway--and--Smithy doesn’t know it yet, but he is going to ride a bicycle from Maine to Los Angeles to claim his sister's remains.

On the road he meets the good, the bad, and the really bad. He frequently calls Norma, the Ides' across-the-street neighbor, confined to a wheelchair for years, and always in love with him. He has never acknowledged nor returned her ardor, but he starts to count on her friendship during his travels. Their conversations are sweet and revelatory. McLarty has done a superb job of showing us who Smithy is and who he is becoming. It's a wonderful story told with great poignancy and humor. --Valerie Ryan

From the Back Cover:

"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

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McLarty, Ron Author
Published by 2006-07-27. (2006)
ISBN 10: 0751537365 ISBN 13: 9780751537369
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Smithson Ide s life so far has led him nowhere. He s 43 years old, weighs 279 pounds, and keeps himself numb with food and alcohol. His only emotional ties are to his parents and to the memory of his older sister, Bethany, who has been missing for 20 years. Then his parents die in a car crash and he learns of Bethany s death in LA County. Suddenly there isn t enough beer in the world to keep Smithy from his feelings. Drunk and bereft, he takes his old Raleigh bicycle and starts cycling. Once he starts, he can t stop and then he s riding across America to recover his sister. Along the way he meets all sorts of people who help or hinder him. He hears the confession of a priest, he rescues a boy from a snow storm, he has a gun pointed in his face, he s hit by a truck and helps a man dying of AIDS. Smithy s ride is an extraordinary quest, to rediscover the past and memories of Bethany, but it s also his journey back to life. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780751537369

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McLarty, Ron Author
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ISBN 10: 0751537365 ISBN 13: 9780751537369
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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, United Kingdom, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 126 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Smithson Ide s life so far has led him nowhere. He s 43 years old, weighs 279 pounds, and keeps himself numb with food and alcohol. His only emotional ties are to his parents and to the memory of his older sister, Bethany, who has been missing for 20 years. Then his parents die in a car crash and he learns of Bethany s death in LA County. Suddenly there isn t enough beer in the world to keep Smithy from his feelings. Drunk and bereft, he takes his old Raleigh bicycle and starts cycling. Once he starts, he can t stop and then he s riding across America to recover his sister. Along the way he meets all sorts of people who help or hinder him. He hears the confession of a priest, he rescues a boy from a snow storm, he has a gun pointed in his face, he s hit by a truck and helps a man dying of AIDS. Smithy s ride is an extraordinary quest, to rediscover the past and memories of Bethany, but it s also his journey back to life. Bookseller Inventory # AA29780751537369

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Book Description 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 128mm x 196mm x 27mm. Paperback. Smithson Ide's life so far has led him nowhere. He's 43 years old, weighs 279 pounds, and keeps himself numb with food and alcohol. His only emotional ties are to his parents and to the me.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 416 pages. 0.282. Bookseller Inventory # 9780751537369

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Book Description Little, Brown Book Group, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New Book. Shipping: Once your order has been confirmed and payment received, your order will then be processed. The book will be located by our staff, packaged and despatched to you as quickly as possible. From time to time, items get mislaid en route. If your item fails to arrive, please contact us first. We will endeavour to trace the item for you and where necessary, replace or refund the item. Please do not leave negative feedback without contacting us first. All orders will be dispatched within two working days. If you have any quesions please contact us. Bookseller Inventory # V9780751537369

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