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Running After Antelope

Scott Carrier

402 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1582431116 / ISBN 13: 9781582431116
Published by Counterpoint Press, 2001
Used Condition: Good
From Better World Books: West (Reno, NV, U.S.A.)

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Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP88243629

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Running After Antelope

Publisher: Counterpoint Press

Publication Date: 2001

Book Condition:Good

About this title


In a thoroughly original collection of nonfiction stories, "This American Life" contributor Scott Carrier chronicles the West, his coming-of-age, and an unabashed passion for discovery Scott Carrier has been traveling the West in search of stories for the better part of his life. Since 1983, some of what he's found has been broadcast on National Public Radio's, "All Things Considered" and most recently on Public Radio International's "This American Life." Running After Antelope collects the best of these radio pieces, as well as longer stories written for Harper's and Esquire. Like In Our Time, which unifies its disparate contents through between-the-acts episodes drawn from Hemingway's war experiences, Running After Antelope strings its many-colored beads on a single narrative thread-Carrier's ongoing, passionate attempt to run down a pronghorn antelope. Scenes from this picaresque quest-odd, inspired, and most times futile-are juxtaposed with stories about little league, sibling rivalry, falling in love, and working in the journalist's trade. Together they form a most unique record of a most unique life, a life that embraces discovery and celebrates pursuit for the sake of the chase. "What do you think we should do?" I ask. "I think we should try it again. Let's find some more. "And so we do. We chase antelope off and on for two days, but, basically they just ditch us every time.


The signs that Scott Carrier was a writer and not an athlete showed up early. At the age of 12, Carrier was the free safety and captain of the defense on his football team. During one game he got his teammates into a huddle and told them he was going to do something different:

We're going to line up in a six-three, but as they get set I'm going to say a haiku, and I want you guys to start moving around, dance around, stand on your head, do whatever you want. We'll kill them. Ready, break!

When the quarterback started his count, Carrier shouted, "The wind brings dry leaves enough to start a fire!" and his teammates froze. When asked by his coach what on earth he'd been doing, Carrier calmly replied, "We're running a haiku." When pressed for a rationale, he said simply, "It was just an idea. It didn't really work out like I thought it would. I'm ready to move on, if you are."

And move on he did, crisscrossing the country as a contributor for NPR for nearly two decades. Some of his radio pieces (as well as longer essays written for Esquire and Harper's) have been collected in Running After Antelope. Sometimes sad, sometimes haunting, often funny, Carrier writes about travels to war-torn areas, personal relationship crises, and, of course, his quest to chase down an antelope--thus perhaps validating his vertebrate-morphologist brother's so-called running hypothesis: that humans became upright in order to breathe better.

In the book's final essay, Carrier is chasing after an antelope he calls the Lone Male. His friends have kept the animal running for almost an hour when it crosses Carrier's path. Relatively fresh, he takes off after it, "And I laugh. I laugh and I run and it is, for sure, the best thing I've ever done. I have everything I need, the wilderness is unfolding in front of me."

In the end, little is resolved--the wars and relationships continue, the thesis remains unproven. But Carrier would be the first to remind us that the pursuit--be it for peace, love, or science--has a purpose unto itself. Running After Antelope celebrates that pursuit in engaging fashion. --Sunny Delaney

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