The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner


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Nine classic short stories portraying the isolation, criminality, morality, and rebellion of the working class from award-winning, bestselling author Alan Sillitoe

The titular story follows the internal decisions and external oppressions of a seventeen-year-old inmate in a juvenile detention center who is known only by his surname, Smith. The wardens have given the boy a light workload because he shows talent as a runner. But if he wins the national long-distance running competition as everyone is counting on him to do, Smith will only vindicate the very system and society that has locked him up.The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner” has long been considered a masterpiece on both the page and the silver screen. Adapted for film by Sillitoe himself in 1962, it became an instant classic of British New Wave cinema.
 In “Uncle Ernest,” a middle-aged furniture upholsterer traumatized in World War II, now leads a lonely life. His wife has left him, his brothers have moved away, and the townsfolk treat him as if he were a ghost. When the old man finally finds companionship with two young girls whom he enjoys buying pastries for at a café, the local authorities find his behavior morally suspect. “Mr. Raynor the School Teacher” delves into a different kind of isolation—that of a voyeuristic teacher who fantasizes constantly about the women who work in a draper’s shop across the street. When his students distract him from his lustful daydreams, Mr. Raynor becomes violent.
The six stories that follow in this iconic collection continue to cement Alan Sillitoe’s reputation as one of Britain’s foremost storytellers, and a champion of the condemned, the oppressed, and the overlooked.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alan Sillitoe including rare images from the author’s estate.


Title:The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner Reviews

  • Evan

    "I didn't like him trying to accuse me of something he wasn't sure I'd done.""They can spy on us all day to see if we're pulling our puddings and if we're doing our 'athletics', but they can't make an...

  • Steven Godin

    Alan Sillitoe burst onto the British literary scene in the late 50s & early 60s writing tough and gritty stories predominantly set in the Midlands amongst the working class poor, and dole recipients o...

  • Annelies

    Superb collection of short stories. Their power lies in the manner in wich they give you the satisfaction of reading, of constructing a story and give you the impression they have all the qualities a ...

  • Dan

    I'd say three stars for the title story, but two for most of the rest. The title story, a long narrative by an angry, alienated young British man who’s been sent to a Borstal--a juvenile detention c...

  • Kris

    This is one of the best collections of short stories, by an artist I'd never heard of, that I have ever read. Sillitoe was born and raised in Nottingham, England, in a working-class family. At the age...

  • Sam

    I want to qualify this rating by saying that the title story in this collection is fantastic, and a few of the others were lovely in their own way. But there's a feeling of smallness in these stories,...

  • Alison

    Some of these stories of working class lives in the first half of the 20th century almost made me cry. This is one of the saddest books I have ever read; not because it contains so much misery but rat...

  • Nick Pageant

    I found this to be a rough go. Excellently done but comes off strangely dated. ...

  • Dan

    The Loneliness of the Long-distance Runner We were marching to war and I was part of his army, with an elderberry stick at the slope and my pockets heavy with smooth, flat, well-chosen stones that wou...

  • Otchen Makai

    This book surprised me, quite honestly. I came into it not really expecting it to be much of anything, perhaps even a bit of a snore. Admittedly, I wasn’t giving it much of a chance right out the ga...