The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner has ratings and reviews. Evan said: I didn’t like him trying to accuse me of something he wasn’t su. A guide to The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner. This guide It may also be helpful to the general reader who is interested in the stories of Alan Sillitoe. “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner,” by Alan Sillitoe, was first published in It is a first-person monologue spoken by a year-old inmate of an.

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For since leaving Borstal they tried to get me in the army, but I didn’t pass the medical and I’ll tell you why. I suppose it took me a long time thhe get going on all this because I’ve had no time and peace in all my bandit life, and now my thoughts are coming pat and the only trouble is I often can’t stop, even when my brain feels as if it’s got cramp, frostbite and creeping paralysis all rolled into one lonleiness I have to give it a rest by slap-dashing down through the brambles of the sunken lane.

The officials praise how his participation has turned him around, but the runner proves they can’t control him. They sleep so well I think that every scruffy head’s kicked the bucket in the night and I’m tue only one left, and when I look out long-distanec the bushes and frozen ponds I have the feeling that it’s going to get colder and colder until everything I can see, meaning my red arms as well, is going to be covered with a thousand miles of ice, all the earth, right up to the sky and over every bit of land and sea.

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – running blog book club | Life and style | The Guardian

There must have been about seven of them, lads and girls sent out by their mams and dads for the afternoon. It makes me feel fifty times better than when I’m cooped up in that dormitory with three hundred others. Empty-bellied Sillittoe was ready for his breakfast, so walked through a cafe doorway, instinctively lowering his head as he did so, though the beams were a foot above his height.

Her thin red fingers curled around the cup as she stared into lpneliness leaves, and gradually the talk between them died down and they were si- lent, leaving the field londliness for traffic that could be heard moving along the street outside, and for inside noises made by the brunette who washed cups and dishes ready for the rush that was expected at midday dinner-time.

Off like the wind along the cobbled footpath and rutted lane, smoother than the flat grass track on the field and better lonelienss thinking because it’s not too smooth, and I was in my element that afternoon knowing that nobody could beat me at running but intending to beat myself before the day was over.

But he also is plagued by guilt, because if he instead used the fourpence to buy ten Woodbine cigarettes and gave them to hhe father, then his father would not brood and abuse his mother that night. The elder girl, about twelve years old, was dressed in a brown coat that was too big for thw, and though she was talking and laughing most of the time he noticed the paleness of her face and her large round eyes that he would have thought beautiful had he not de- tected the familiar type of vivacity that expressed neglect and want.


Running is a solitary action and therefore allows Smith to begin to understand and become aware of the class divisions in Britain funner the time. Mike said he thought the same about him- self, tye that he’d also get some brand-new glasses with gold rims, to wear instead of the wire frames they’d given him at the school clinic years ago. But the biggest influence in his life is his dad. The title story in this collection of short stories tells of Smith, a defiant young rebel, inhabiting a no-man’s land of institutionalized Borstal.

The sound of their voic- es told him how lonely he was, each word feeding him with so much more loneliness that he felt utterly unhappy and empty. Open Preview See a Problem?

What I don’t know—and as sure as I sit here I know I’ll never know—is which of us was the first bastard to latch his peepers on to that baker’s backyard.

If truth and honesty can exist anywhere, Sillitoe asserts, they survive in the ability to look squarely at oneself in the face of all the odds. Alan Sillitoe was born inthe son of a tannery worker. I’m loving reading post-war English books at the moment, and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie. He had become a connoisseur of young suburban womanhood, and thus the fluctuating labour and marriage market made Mr. Taken there in handcuffs and detained in bleak and highly restrictive circumstances, he seeks solace in long-distance running, attracting the notice of the school’s authorities for his physical prowess.

Aug 22, Nicholas During rated it really liked it.

Smith’s one great talent – his ability in running – is both a symbol for this struggle as it persists throughout his life, and also the means by which he hopes to disappoint and deceive the governor. Neither of us said as much as this to each other, but I know for a fact that that was what we was thinking. He had watched her work and talk or on wet afternoons stand at the counter as if in a trance. The sea of noise surrounding the prophet-like monotonous voice of the reading boy in- creased to a higher magnitude than discipline would permit, until a wave carried his so- norous words away and another sound dominated the scene.

He’s stupid, and I’m not, because I can see further into the likes of him than he can see into the likes of me. For sometimes I’m the greatest worrier in the world I think as you twigged I’ll bet from me having got this story out which is funny anyway because my main don’t know the meaning of the word so I don’t take after her; though dad Had a Hard time of worry all his life up to when he filled his bedroom with hot blood and kicked the bucket that morning when nobody was in the house.

While in Borstal, Smith discovers a talent for long-distance running, and this brings him to the notice of the Governor, who takes a keen interest in sport as a means of rehabilitating young offenders, and he is entered in a cross-country race against other Borstals.


His wife left him— due to his too vile temper, it was said— and his brothers went to other towns.

Now you’d think, and I’d think, and long-disatnce with a bit of imagination would think, that we’d done as clean a job as could ever be done, that, with the baker’s shop being at least a mile from where we lived, and with not a soul having seen us, and what with the fog and the fact that we weren’t more than five minutes in the place, that the coppers should never have been able to trace zlan.

He observed the leaves of many books cov- ered with ink-scrawls, and obscene words written across the illustrations and decorating the ‘answer’ margins like tattooing on the arms of veteran sailors, pages that silpitoe be un- recognizable in a month, but would have to last for another twelve.

We find out about him quite late in the story. As he was being served two small girls came in.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

Its title story recounts the story of a reform school cross-country runner who seizes the perfect opportunity to defy the authority that governs his life. Smith constantly refers in this section to the way the governor thinks of him as like a race-horse. Sometimes, when he had little money, he filled his empty stomach with a cup of tea while Alma and Joan satis- fied themselves on five shillings’ -worth of more solid food.

Modern Language Association http: His only friend is Mike, another delinquent youth who helps him carry out the robbery; they can think of nothing to do with their loot except to travel to the nearest seaside resort and spend it on gambling machines and cheap tarts.

It was just that he did not care anymore: One sat at a table, but the second and elder stood at the counter. We crept up on them and peeped through the brambles, and saw they were eat- ing a picnic, a real posh spread out of baskets and flasks and towels.

At the most basic, you can do this as if you are a studio audience listening to a broadcast discussion. In declaring himself a robber and an outlaw, Smith is at least acknowledging the state of warfare that exists between people like him and the people in power, landowners and the politicians who look like fish gasping for breath when the sound is suddenly turned down in the middle of their speeches on television. I’ve seen the barracks near where I live, and if there weren’t swaddies on guard outside with rifles you wouldn’t know the difference between their high walls and the place I’m in now.