Oliver Balch

Going the Extra Mile

Footnotes: How Running Makes Us Human

By

Ebury Press 331pp £16.99 order from our bookshop

The 1980s children’s television show Why Don’t You? had one of the most stunningly honest slogans in television history. Turn off your TV sets, viewers were told, and ‘do something less boring instead’. The same injunction could apply to books about running. Running is something you should be out there doing, not something you sit in a chair reading about.

Vybarr Cregan-Reid is far too smart a writer to let this pass him by. He’s far too honest as well. From the off, we learn that he’s not an especially good runner, that he struggles with his weight and that he occasionally bunks off work. He’s much like the majority of us, in other words. At one stage, he even concedes that analysing running is to miss the real point of it. To write about it is to turn an opportunity to escape into an object of work: it is to transform the beatific ‘nothinks’ emptiness of running into something that demands thinking. 

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,