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The Ghost Runner

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Reviews (7)
I can't really believe I'm the first one to review this book. It deserves a big audience, not because it is a well written account of an amazing life, but because the story of this man, John Tarrant, deserves to be read and remembered. What he did was extraordinary.

The author does a very good job of making John Tarrant become alive for the reader, having Tarrants own authobiography and numerous first hand sources for his story - among them Tarrant's wife, son and brother, who undoubtably were the most important persons in his life. The love and the loyal support they show Tarrant is extremly moving, especially since Tarrant largely sacrified his familiy his whole career, and also moved to South Africa for periods of months and once a whole year, to do what he loved most: run. The feelings he reveal for his familiy (and they for him), especially when he is soon to die, is also what made this book a great read.

Another moving sub story, is the way Tarrant was embraced by the non-whites in South Africa in ca. 1970, and how he gave a s*** about apartheid regime when he attended the first multi cultural marathon race in South Africa. He was the only white man to attend the first year. He ran among them as their equal. Maybe natural for us today, but certainly not 40 years ago. That is what a true hero is to me.
Having been interested in distance running for quite some time, I was surprised that I had never heard of the Ghost Runner or the heartbreaking story of John Tarrant. When looking over new reading to add to my Kindle, the first thing that struck me was the haunting title of this nonfiction book. I'm thankful that Bill Jones was introduced to Tarrant's original memoir and preserved his story in this well researched book. Jones' added detail gives perspective to Tarrant's struggles with close minded English sports authorities and the definition of amateurism.
The book meticulously covers John Tarrant's life and career and describes the history surrounding him. Though it's a good read, the races he ran seem to meld together, none seeming more important than the next. Perhaps that's okay since the fact he ran at all and the circumstances surrounding his runs are most important- but the book missed out on creating the excitement that I had hoped for.
One of the most remarkable stories I have read recently. I don't know whether to be awed or dismayed at the life of the hero. I thought for a moment that this would make for a great movie but then thought that it might not since it is hard to pinpoint what the moral of the story is-man's ability to do almost anything if the spirit is willing or accomplishing what this marathon man did in his lifetime at the cost of his family life and what most of us would consider "normal". A great read and hard to put down.
What a strong and driven man. And, the other story only briefly touched is that of The Ghost's family. His wife was devoted and son was basically ignored, it seems. Both were always below running in his list of priorities yet they remained committed to him and his purpose.
I found the story totally captivating. The persistence to endure despite the overwhelming odds I found inspiring. He didn't focus on his faults but didn't hide them either. Gave the story without it being a recitation of results and showed him and his relationships. I found it to be a quick and good read. Definitely worthwhile.
This book is good for anyone who wants a glimpse into to the psyche of a devoted/obsessed runner with the single minded focus of NEVER giving up, no matter the sacrifice. It is also a bit of a history lesson on the amateur athletic/running governing bodies of the 20th century.
Great book. Starts a little slowly but once I got into the discussion of his running career I was hooked!

ISBN: 1445844141

Rating: 4.8/5

Votes: 608

Other Formats: lit azw mobi txt

ISBN13: 978-1445844145

Publisher: Windsor; Large type edition edition

Language: English

The Ghost Runner
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Title: The Ghost Runner