The Memory of Running

Book_MemoryOfRunningLately, I haven’t been getting through as many books as usual, but over the past week I’ve read three so hopefully I’ve kick-started my brain for reading again. 
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty is our book club selection for this month.  It is about Smithy Ide, an antihero who loses his parents to a tragic accident in the beginning of the book, and after a revelation about his sister, embarks on a cross-country cycling trip.  I am usually not a huge fan of “journey” books, which is why I didn’t enjoy Lord of the Rings or Cold Mountain, but I really loved this novel and finished it in two marathon reading sessions.  Smithy is a self-described overweight chain-smoking loser.  His tragic loss at the beginning of the book begins a journey of self-discovery.  The book switches between an account of his journey across the country and a story of his life, which was dominated by his sister Bethany’s “episodes.”  McLarty has a talent similar to Marian Keyes of injecting humor into a story that would otherwise be depressing.  My enjoyment of this novel is further proof that when Stephen King likes a book, you should definitely read it.  I think the only book I’ve read with a blurb by King on the cover that I didn’t like was The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.  That one is just the exception that proves the rule. 
I’ll post reviews of The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Shanghai Girls soon.

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