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lorenzoberardi

The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner - Alan Sillitoe I tried. And I tried. I let it rest and had some walk around. I got my breath back and tried once again.
Well, it doesn't catch me. It's like trying to win a sprint running backwards. Wait! This one suits better with the mood of the book: it's like trying to win a marathon dragging a ball and chain.

After having abandoned the first short story half way (this choice making me a pedestrian half-distance runner, I guess) I'm reading the others randomly.
There's nothing to do: I can't get into this stuff. Nothing lights up.
I pant like an asthmatic dog. I stop.

Sure, Sillitoe had something to say and was pretty modern in his own way. Yet, I don't like the way he said it, or at least I'm sure he was a great guy to have a conversation with while drinking pints at the pub, but he better didn't turn spoken words into written ones.

I'm aware that by doing this he gained honours and celebrity, but I don't appreciate this writing style at all. Let's face it: these short stories are already and precociously outmoded. Perhaps for fifty something Britons Sillitoe works better today as they feel more connected with the issues and slang of a bygone age. (now I know what a Borstal was, at least).

To be fair and honest I remind a couple of decent short stories, though. By one of them Ian McEwan likely took some inspiration, years later.

Anyway Alan Sillitoe here reminds me a British J.D. Salinger. One may take this as a compliment, but the bitter truth of the whole thing is that I can't tolerate Salinger.
Where's that damned finish line for runner's sake?