Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic. 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 has ratings and reviews. Evan said: I didn’t like him trying to accuse me of something he wasn’t su.

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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

We went once around the field and then along a half-mile drive of elms, being cheered all the way, and I seemed to feel I was in the lead as diztance went out by the gate and into the lane, though I wasn’t interested enough to find out.

But I know it’s nothing to bother about, that more likely it’s caused by too much thinking that now and again I take for worry.

Those on the nearest seats haven’t caught on tbe to what’s happening and are alzn cheering like mad ready for when I make that mark, and I keep on wondering ot the bleeding hell Gun- thorpe behind me is going to nip by on to the field because I can’t hold this up all day, and I think Oh Christ it’s just my rotten luck that Gunthorpe’s dropped out and that I’ll be here for half an hour before the next bloke comes up, but even so, I say, I won’t budge, I won’t go for that last hundred yards if I have to sit down cross-legged on the grass and have the governor and his chinless wonders pick me up and carry me there, which is willitoe their rules so you can bet they’d never do it because they’re not clever enough to break the rules-like I would be in their place—even though they are their own.

But read the title story, it’s great, and it gives you a feeling of wanting to punch a cop, which is a feeling that I think ought to be felt by everyone, at least once in a while.

The ending of this story does imply that there will be consequences in the future, alqn leaves this open. View all 3 comments. This was a younger class, whose rebellion had so far reached only the pages of their books.

The one fact is that all of us are cunning, and because of this there’s no love lost lonelinese us. As Smith says, “I knew what the loneliness of the long-distance runner running across country felt like, realizing that as far as I was concerned this feeling was the only honesty and realness there was in the world. The pessimism is not in loneilness sense of two classes, but his belief that this can never change.

When the governor of the Borstal first talked to me I was reminded of those times so much that I nearly killed myself trying not to laugh. He wanted to walk out of the cafe and find some activity so that he would hence- forth be loneluness to mark off the passage of his empty days, but he had no will to move.


Full text of “Alan Sillitoe The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner”

A big trolley-bus bundled its green-fronted track along the road, and carried his vision away on the coloured advertisements decorating the band between top and bottom deck. I passed the Gunthorpe runner whose shimmy was already black with sweat and I could just see the corner of the fencedup copse in front where the only man I had to pass to win the race was going all out to gain tje half-way mark.

His name rhnner trade were always spoken in one breath, even when the nature of his trade was not in question: They quivered helplessly with shame and hatred, and so were incapable lonelindss mak- ing words. The officials praise how his participation has turned him around, but the runner proves they can’t control him.

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The main difference between this story and the film is that in the story we are told immediately that Smith is going to throw the race. In the full moon and light wind we walked over the Cherry Orchard, happy and arm-in- arm. In every case the person has been used by Sillitoe to show us something about Smith and his outlook. But the remaining four stories are less worthy, although I thought only one of them to be less than ordinary one in which Sillitoe is far too heavy-handed in his indictment of conventional authority.

Sep 16, Peter rated it liked it Shelves: So on this foggy night we tore ourselves away from the telly and slammed the front door behind us, setting off up our wide street like slow tugs on a river that’d broken their hoot- ers, for we didn’t know where the housefronts began what with the perishing cold mist all around. Apr 24, Alison rated it it was amazing. Runner Very bleak stories dealing with loneliness and desperation. He lifted the last piece of toast and tomato from his plate, then felt dregs of tea moving against his teeth.

I was still in bed, at eleven o’clock, and had to unroll myself from the comfortable black sheets when I heard mam calling me.

The cafe was still almost empty, and the few people eating were so absorbed in themselves, or were in so much of a hurry to eat their food and get out that they took little notice of the small com- pany in the corner.

He would have done whatever could be done with such basically unsuitable and unwilling scholars. The five-mile course was marked by splashes of whitewash gleaming on gateposts and trunks and stiles and stones, and a boy with a waterbottle and bandage-box stood every half-mile waiting for those that dropped out or fainted.

Raynor assumed he was getting somewhere at last— “who was Aaron? There are many things that one can reasonably do with such a narrative – either to explore particular situations and characters in it, or to adapt it into different forms. Then, by stealing, begging, cheating, and sneaking onto rides, they manage to extend their stay at Goose Fair for hours, until the merry-go-round operator sets a trap and pitches Colin from the spinning roundabout.


This story is obviously at least partially autobiographical; Frankie addresses the narrator as “Alan”, and Alan is a writer of stories about his old neighborhood.

The same story illustrates other things Sillitoe does repeatedly lonelniess keep the reader from being too involved. Want to Read saving…. People Smith quite likes are. They can’t kid me, the bastards. Our doddering bastard of a governor, our half-dead gangrened gaffer is hollow like an empty petrol drum, and he wants me and my running life to give him glory, to put in him blood and throbbing veins he never had, wants his potbellied pals to be his witnesses as I gasp and stagger up to his winning post so’s he can say: From leaving school lont fourteen to get a series of jobs in factories, to playing with sticks and stones and climbing walls be Some of these stories of working class lives in the first half of the 20th century almost made me cry.

So the lonelinses is that they know I won’t try to get away from them: They said I was a menace to honest lads like Mike— hands in his pockets so that they looked stoneempty, head bent forward as if looking for half-crowns to fill ’em with, a ripped jersey on and his hair falling into his eyes so that he could go up to women and ask them for a shilling because he was hungry— and that I was the brains be- hind the job, the guiding light when it came to making up anybody’s mind, but I swear to God I worn’t owt like that because really I ain’t got no more brains than a gnat after hiding the money in the place I did.

Things have changed, life has changed, some of the ingredients listed below persist but though the England of this book and some of the characters is now a little dated and the style superseded. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic about integrity, courage, and bucking the system.

Throughout the race against the private school, Colin is way in the lead, but he stops running shortly lnog the finish line, intentionally losing the race to show the governor he is in urnner of his own life. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. Then she ordered a twenty-one-inch tel- ly, a new carpet because the old one was covered with blood from dad’s dying and wouldn’t wash out, and took a taxi home with bags of grub and a new fur coat.