Running by Jean Echenoz. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review 's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. The complete review 's Review :. He's been out of school for several years, but hasn't latched onto anything yet.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Running by Jean Echenoz. Running by Jean Echenoz ,. Linda Coverdale translator. Following his brilliant portrait of Maurice Ravel, Jean Echenoz turns to the life of one of the greatest runners of the twentieth century, and once again demonstrates his astonishing abilities as a prose stylist.
Set against the backdrop of the Soviet liberation and post—World War II communist rule of Czechoslovakia, Running —a bestseller in France—follows the famed career Following his brilliant portrait of Maurice Ravel, Jean Echenoz turns to the life of one of the greatest runners of the twentieth century, and once again demonstrates his astonishing abilities as a prose stylist.
But just as his fame brings him upon the world stage, he must face the realities of an increasingly controlling regime. Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. More Details Original Title.
Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Running , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of Running. Echenoz wrote ironics biographie. He choose an historic person and he applied a method : no empathy for him, a certain distance and benevolence. He accentuates their greatnesses and meanness.
There was Ravel, Telsa. Here it is Zatopeck. Easy to read, funny, fast forgotten. View 1 comment. Mar 16, Adam rated it really liked it Shelves: minimalism , great-short-reads.
An excellent, brief portrait of the life of a top athlete in communist Czechoslovakia. Echenoz chronicles Emil Zatopek's rise from a non-athletic teen working in a shoe factory to an enthusiastic runner and a true sensation of international competition. For many years Zatopek was one of the best known celebrity's in his country, though his life took a sad turn after his vocal support of Alexander Dubcek's liberalizing but short-lived reforms in the late s. Echenoz adopts a conversational and An excellent, brief portrait of the life of a top athlete in communist Czechoslovakia.
Echenoz adopts a conversational and often casual tone. Reading this book, it's easy to imagine that Echenoz constructed a couple of particular narrative vantage points and then worked at creating a style allowing him to slip fluidly between them. Trying to pin these vantage points down, I began picturing the narrator as, perhaps, sometimes a close personal friend and sometimes an anonymous countryman who has followed Zatopek's career closely and with great relish.
And though Zatopek's famous competitions accumulate quickly in this small book, there is never any monotony to the races, since Echenoz has a great talent for pulling the unique spectacle out of every scene. Finally, I should note that the narrative in this book is more relaxed, "breathes" a bit more, than in some of Echenoz's novels. And though it is not quite as challenging as, say, Chopin's Move , the novel is nonetheless a very engaging read.
Aug 10, Tyler Jones rated it really liked it Shelves: french-literature , 20th-c-european-history. While it does not have nearly as many wonderfully magical touches that Lightning does, one must expect the tone of a book to match it's subject. Although Emil Zatopec was a colourful character, the world he lived in was pretty grey and this oppressive atmosphere seeps its way into the story.
This dark element is balanced against Echenoz's light touch and charming conversational style, and I find this blend of dark and light fascinating. Beneath the main narrative of Emil's athletic feats there i While it does not have nearly as many wonderfully magical touches that Lightning does, one must expect the tone of a book to match it's subject.
Beneath the main narrative of Emil's athletic feats there is the story of Czechoslovakia's political history from the Nazi invasion all the way through to the Soviet's crushing of the Prague Spring, and Echenoz deftly ties these two strands together at the end. Feb 09, Kelly rated it liked it. Had a hard time deciding what to rate this book - I am a runner and so therefore, find most running stories interesting to some extent.
I enjoyed reading about Emil's training methods, race victories and even, inevitable race failures later in his career. However, the writing was poor. It was choppy, in by that I mean there were times that many details were missing between chapters and even sometimes between paragraphs - so much so that on many occasions I found myself double checking that I had Had a hard time deciding what to rate this book - I am a runner and so therefore, find most running stories interesting to some extent.
It was choppy, in by that I mean there were times that many details were missing between chapters and even sometimes between paragraphs - so much so that on many occasions I found myself double checking that I hadn't missed a few chapters or pages somehow.
Just one of many examples is when it went from how he agreed with his father that running was a waste of time and in no way enjoyable There were also times that it read as a biography, sometimes when it read as a fiction story and then other times where I felt like I was simply reading Wikipedia. May 27, Peter rated it it was amazing Shelves: , sports , history , foreign. I am not sure what to make of the style. At times it reads like a transcript from a documentary on Emil Zatopek.
Yet, it was engaging. At times, it read as if a favorite uncle or storyteller was bringing us back to the time of a running hero, the story being told in present tense.
It's hard to say how much I miss through the translation, but I always trust that the translator has tried to maintain the voice of the author. I am curious and will ponder the style for a while. It is definitely a gre I am not sure what to make of the style. It is definitely a great read for runners and former runners and tells of time before the sport was stolen from true athletes by corporate-sponsored performance enhancing drugs.
Jun 03, Pablo Hernandez rated it really liked it Shelves: books-read-in Narrated with gusto and charisma, it almost reads like a fable of sorts. Very enjoyable. Jul 10, Matthew Martens rated it liked it. To and through empty with Emil. Nov 27, Mark rated it liked it. Wish I could have read this in its original French. But interesting enough.
Mar 23, Bill Berger rated it really liked it. Interesting novel about a Czech long distance runner during the Communist era and the physical and political challenges he faced. Echenoz is a wonderful writer.
May 08, Jen rated it liked it. Apr 01, Darryl rated it really liked it. Ignoring every time-honored rule and any thought of elegance, Emil advances laboriously, in a jerky, tortured manner, all in fits and starts. He doesn't hide the violence of his efforts, which shows in his wincing, grimacing, tetanized face, constantly contorted by a rictus quite painful to see.
His features are twisted, as if torn by appalling suffering; sometimes his tongue sticks out. It's as if he had a scorpion in each shoe, catapulting him on. He seems far away when he runs, terribly far away, concentrating so hard he's not even there—except that he's more than than anyone else; and hunkered down between his shoulders, on that neck always leaning in the same direction, his head bobs along endlessly, lolling and wobbling from side to side.
He is restricted from traveling abroad during the Gottwald regime, and his comments to the press are censored and rewritten by the party. His life in communist Czechoslovakia is covered in lesser detail, especially his exile after I would have liked more detail into his personal life outside of running, but I suspect that these details were not available to Echenoz or were sanitized by communist censors.
However, "Running" was a fabulous and quick read, and is highly recommended. A Frenchman's novel about the life of Czechoslovakian sports star, Emil Zatopek. Why a novel, not a biography? I'm not sure.
Jean Echenoz: Courir