The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

By (author) Alan Sillitoe

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From the author of 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' come stories of hardship and hope in post-war Britain. The title story in this classic collection tells of Smith, a defiant young rebel, inhabiting the no-man's land of institutionalised Borstal. As his steady jog-trot rhythm transports him over an unrelenting, frost-bitten earth, he wonders why, for whom and for what he is running. A groundbreaking work, 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner' captured the grim isolation of the working class in the English Midlands when it was first published in 1960s. But Sillitoe's depiction of petty crime and deep-seated anger in industrial and desperate cities remains as potent today as it was almost half a century ago.

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  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 14mm | 240.4g
  • 16 Jul 2007
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • HarperPerennial
  • London
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 0007255608
  • 9780007255603
  • 52,856

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Author Information

Alan Sillitoe left school at 14 to work in various factories until becoming an air traffic control assistant with the Ministry of Aircraft Production in 1945. He began writing after four years in the RAF, and lived for six years in France and Spain. In 1958, 'Saturday Night and Sunday Morning' was published, and 'The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner', which won the Hawthornden Prize for literature, came out the following year. Both these books were made into films.

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Review quote

'I have read nothing to compare with it.' Penelope Mortimer 'Sillitoe writes with tremendous energy, and his stories simply tear along.' Daily Telegraph 'All the imaginative sympathy in the world can't fake this kind of thing. It must have been lived in, seen, touched, smelled: and we are lucky to have a writer who has come out of it knowing the truth, and having the skill to turn that truth into art.' New Statesman 'Graphic, tough, outspoken, informal.' The Times 'A beautiful piece of work, confirming Sillitoe as a writer of unusual spirit and great promise.' Guardian 'A major writer.' Malcolm Bradbury

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