Perhaps one of the most revered works of fiction in the twentieth-century, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner is a modern classic. Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner [Alan Sillitoe] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The title story in this collection of short stories tells. THE LONELINESS OF THE LONG-DISTANCE RUNNER Alan Sillitoe Published in AS soon as I got to Borstal they made me a long-distance cross-country.

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Two sentences had dominated his lips during the years that followed: The response of the borstal authorities to Smith’s distwnce is heavy-handed: Of course, I knew there slilitoe thousands of them, but as far as I knew only one was in dishance room. Print this article Print all entries for this topic Cite this article.

Maybe as soon as you get the whip-hand over somebody you do go dead. For I’m seventeen now, and when they let me out of this—if I don’t make a break and see that things turn out otherwise— they’ll try to get me in the army, and what’s the differ- ence between the army and this place I’m in now?

Don’t just retell story; answer the question set. To begin with, the adverts on the telly had xillitoe us how much more there was in the world to buy than we’d ever dreamed of when we’d looked into shop windows but hadn’t seen all there was to see be- cause we didn’t have the money to buy it with anyway.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

But now that they’ve shown me the knife, whether I ever pinch another thing in my life again or not, I know who my enemies are and what war is. I’m out now and the heat’s switched on again, but the rats haven’t got me for the last big thing I pulled. They generally engage in casual violence against women or children and often in casual theft as well as the not-so-casual kind. Not that I don’t like being spiteful be- cause of any barmy principle I’ve got, but this bit of spite, as it turned out, did me no good at all.

There would be no work until two o’clock, so he intended sitting where he was until then. He lived from hand to mouth, working cleverly at settees and sofas and chairs, caring about no one. It was the best of all though when we did it to some To- ry telling us about how good his government was going to be if we kept on voting for them—their slack chops rolling, opening and bumbling, hands lifting to twitch moustaches and touching their buttonholes to make sure the flower hadn’t wilted, so that you could see they didn’t mean a word they said, especially with not a murmur coming out because we’d cut off the sound.


It had me cracking up, though I wonder how funny the author intended it to be. His eyes were already up there: Off like the wind along the cobbled footpath and rutted lane, smoother than the flat grass track on the field and better for thinking because it’s not too smooth, and I was in my element that afternoon knowing that nobody could beat me at running but intending to beat myself before the day was over.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – running blog book club | Life and style | The Guardian

The elder girl replied for her, saying sternly: He would have done whatever could be done with such basically unsuitable and unwilling scholars.

Running is a solitary action and therefore allows Smith to begin to understand and become aware of the class divisions in Britain at the time. His name and trade were always spoken in one breath, even when the nature of his trade was not in question: Why are you asking questions like this? Want to Read saving…. Dec 08, Nick Pageant rated it liked it.

The language was evocative and I could picture everything perfectly.

He was happy now because he had his ‘lit- ooneliness girls’ to look after, as he rknner to call them. Raynor was not a strict disci- plinarian, but he had taught for twenty-five years, and so acquired a voice of authority that was listened to. It could easily be adapted for television or radio, and could even make a fair stage play, with some slight changes.

It is set out in sections for users to dip into and pick and choose. It don’t mean a bloody thing to me, only to him, and it means as much to him as it would mean to me if I picked up the racing paper and put my bet on a hoss I didn’t know, had never seen, and didn’t care a disatnce if I ever did see.

I could no more have said that at first than I could have took a million-pound note from my back pocket. T This is one of the best collections of short stories, by an artist I’d never heard of, that I have ever read.

Course, I know you could dry ’em out near the fire, but it don’t taste the same you know, all said and done. The sea of noise surrounding the prophet-like monotonous voice of the reading alam in- creased to a higher magnitude than discipline would permit, until a wave carried his so- norous words away and another sound dominated the scene.


They turned the house upside down and inside out like an old sock, went from top to bottom and front to back but naturally didn’t find a thing. Every night before returning lont his lodgings he left the bag of tools for loneilness with a man who looked after the public lavatory near the town centre, for he felt there was a risk of them being lost or stolen should he take them back to his room, and if such a thing were to happen his living would be gone.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner – running blog book club

He continues to meet the girls at the diner, and the older of the two begins taking advantage of his innocence, getting him to buy them other things. Some were married, others, he had noticed, be- came pregnant and disappeared; a few had quarrelled with the manager and appeared to have been sacked.

When I’m wondering what’s the best way to get a window open or how to force a door, how can I be thinking or have any- thing on my mind? What do you think? It became clouded as he admitted: II I don’t say to myself: The warden of the reformatory has his heart set on the winning of the Borstal Blue Ribbon Prize Cup for Long-Distance Cross-Country Running All Englandand Smith, the fastest runner in the institution, needs to do nothing but train for the race.

Now the words are like coming from a crys- tal-set that’s broken down, and something’s happening inside the shell-case of my guts that bothers me and I don’t know why or what to blame it on, a grinding near my ticker as though a bag of rusty screws is loose inside me and I shake them up every time I trot for- ward.

Each ‘good’ one was credit-starred upon his mind, left behind a trail of memories when it went, until a new ‘good’ one came like a solid fiscal stamp of spiritual currency that drove the other one out.

Raynor roared with such fury that there was instant silence, his ageing pink face thrust over his desk towards lonellness. In this case, you can use the save as and browse options to specify where to save. But in another way Borstal does something to me.

The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner by Alan Sillitoe | : Books

Chimes to the value of half past ten boomed from the Council-house clock. I should be dead with the rest of them in France. Written freely and it flows like a dream.