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The memory of running
Ron McLarty
Adult Fiction MCLARTY

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Smithy Ide is a really nice guy. But he's also an overweight, friendless, womanless, hard-drinking, 43-year-old self-professed loser with a breast fetish and a dead-end job, given to stammering "I just don't know" in life's confusing moments. When Smithy's entire family dies, he embarks on a transcontinental bicycle trip to recover his sister's body and rediscover what it means to live. Along the way, he flashes back to his past and the hardships of his beloved sister's schizophrenia, while his dejection encourages strangers to share their life stories. The road redeems the innocent Smithy: he loses weight; rescues a child from a blizzard; rebuffs the advances of a nubile, "apple-breasted" co-cyclist after seeing a vision of his dead sister; and nurtures a telephone romance with a paraplegic family friend as he processes his rocky past. McLarty, a playwright and television actor, propels the plot with glib mayhem-including three tragic car accidents in 31 pages and a death by lightning bolt-and a lot of bighearted and warm but faintly mournful humor. It's a funny, poignant, slightly gawky debut that aims, like its protagonist, to please-and usually does. Agent, Jeff Kleinman at Graybill & English. (Jan. 3) Forecast: Stephen King hailed this as "the best book you can't read" (it was an audiobook only) in a now-famous 2003 Entertainment Weekly column; a 15-city tour and McLarty's certain stage presence should make plenty of folks sit up and take notice. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Stuck without a publisher for this first novel, actor McLarty did an audio original with Recorded Books that Stephen King raved about in Entertainment Weekly. But how many people know that it was actually librarian Tia Maggio (Middleburg PL, VA) who brought the book to the attention of agent Jeff Kleinman? Maggio fell in love with the tape, used it in a book group (some listeners cried), and even got the author to come and read from the manuscript. "The characters are all so real," she explains of the book's appeal. Eventually, the book was sold to Viking for $2 million, with a Warner's deal and the sale of rights to 12 countries quickly following. Not bad for the gentle tale of washed-up Smithy Ide, who takes an impulsive bike ride across America to search for his sister. A 15-city author tour. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Smithson Ide
Male
Age: 43
Single
Couch potato; on a cross-country bike journey to reclaim the body of his recently deceased older sister.
Factory worker



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