Again to Carthage is the "breathtaking, pulse-quickening, stunning" sequel to Once a Runner that "will have you standing up and cheering, and pulling on your running shoes" (Chicago Sun-Times). Originally self-published in 1978, Once a Runner became a cult classic, emerging after three decades to become a New York Times bestseller. Now, in Again to Carthage, hero Quenton Cassidy returns.
The former Olympian has become a successful attorney in south Florida, where his life centers on work, friends, skin diving, and boating trips to the Bahamas. But when he loses his best friend to the Vietnam War and two relatives to life’s vicissitudes, Cassidy realizes that an important part of his life was left unfinished. After reconnecting with his friend and former coach Bruce Denton, Cassidy returns to the world of competitive running in a desperate, all-out attempt to make one last Olympic team. Perfectly capturing the intensity, relentlessness, and occasional lunacy of a serious runner’s life, Again to Carthage is a must-read for runners—and athletes—of all ages, and a novel that will thrill any lover of fiction.
The long-awaited sequel to Once a Runner picks up on silver medalist Quenton Cassidy's life as a thirty-something practicing law in a small Palm Beach firm. While he still runs recreationally, Cassidy seems content to have traded his years of self-denial for a comfortable Hemingway-esque lifestyle of drinking, boating, and skin diving. A series of personal events lead him to re-examine his life, however, forcing a realization that he will never be completely fulfilled unless he is aspiring toward personal improvement, in the way that only a runner committed to serious training can be. Just as Once a Runner nails the feelings of the competitive schoolboy runner, Again to Carthage captures the mindset of the middle-aged athlete who struggles to come to terms with the inevitability of physical decline. As one would expect, Parker's training and racing scenes are beautifully and convincingly rendered. What's equally impressive, are his descriptions of nature, fishing, and the mountain lifestyle of Cassidy's relatives. If he goes a bit heavy on the details at times, particularly in the middle chapters concerning Cassidy's family, these passages flesh out Cassidy as a person and ultimately reward the patient reader. My only other knocks on the book are the occasional awkwardness of Parker's prose, the inclusion of several plot contrivances, and the penchant for odd, anecdotal humor. Even these shortcomings, though, become kind of welcomely familiar for those of us who love Once a Runner and crave a similar reading experience.read more
"Again to Carthage", by John L. Parker Jr.,published in 2007, is the sequel to Once a Runner published in 2007. Quinton Cassidy the collegiate mile runner in Once a Runner is now 10 years older. He has gone to law school and is doing quite well. He hangs out with his buddies and has a cute girlfriend and all that but he isn't happy. He feels his youth slipping away from him and he wants to prove that he still "has it."He mulls it over and decides that he wants to make the Olympic Marathon Team so he excuses himself from his law practice and heads to a family cabin up in the hills and commences a brutal training regimen running over 120 miles a week (about two and half months worth of running for me.)The book is pretty good but the end of it is the best when Cassidy runs the Olympic trials to see if he made the team. Parker is a former competitive runner himself and his best writing is describing the races and how brutally hard they are for the top competitors. (Like I'll ever know.)Parker waited 29 years between the two books. The writing style of the second book is much more mature without sacrificing any of the passion. The first book is a runners cult classic, I've seen it on the counters of some of the running stores in town. (My brother, who started running long before it became cool and still runs about 40 miles a week gave it me, he gave me the second book also.)The book is well written and very interesting if you want to know about the life of a competitive runner.I give it three stars out of fiveread more
The sequel to Once a Runner, this book initially seems like a cheap attempt to sell two novels for the effort of one book. However, this book grew on me. Again, John Parker draws parallels with the real world, both in events of the Cold War, and in the power trips of the athletics governing bodies.This may not be the novel for someone into masterpieces of fiction, but it was an easy read and kept my interest.read more
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