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Meet Smithson "Smithy" Ide, an overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk who works as a quality control inspector at a toy-action-figure factory in Rhode Island. By all accounts, especially Smithy's own, he's a loser. Then, within one week, Smithy's beloved parents are killed in a car crash, and Smithy learns that his emotionally troubled, long-lost sister, Bethany, has turned up in a morgue in Los Angeles. Unmoored by the loss of his entire family-Smithy had always hoped Bethany might return-he rolls down the driveway of his parents' house on his old Raleigh bicycle into an epic journey that will take him clear across the country.

As Smithy pedals across America-to New York City, St. Louis, Denver, and Phoenix, to name a few-he encounters humanity at its best and worst and begins to remember an early life that too many beers have blotted out. The baseball games, the home-cooked meals, the soothing presence of his salt-of-the-earth parents: none of it could transform the dark truth of his sister's madness.

The Memory of Running, McLarty's stunning debut as a novelist, heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction. And Smithy Ide-sad, sweet, and funny in spite of himself-is a character who will linger in your mind long after his hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary adventures have come to an end.

Map of Smithy Ide's journey across the U.S.




Real Simple Magazine
In answer to the question, What is the funniest book you've ever read? for the no-obligation Book Club in July's edition of Real Simple magazine.

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty, about a self-professed loser who takes a transcontinental bicycle trip to claim his dead sister's body. McLarty manages to pull off a hilariously absurdist plot. It's a work of comic genius.”

Real Life "Smithy"
62 year Frenchman old reads The Memory of Running, bikes 3000 miles across the US and finished at the Oregon coast. Read his story



The Memory of Running has been chosen as the book pick for this year's Reading Across Rhode Island...read more.






Australia, Penguin Group, 2005

Finland, Otava, 2005

France, Albin Michel, 2005
J'AI REVE DE COURIR LONGTEMPS

Great Britain, Time Warner, 2005

Holland, Vassallucci 2005
DE GEHEUGENLOPER

Ireland, Time Warner (UK), 2005

Italy, Sperling & Kupfer, 2005
SOGNAVE DI CORRERE LONTANO

New Zealand, Penguin Group (Australia), 2005

Norway, Glydendal, 2005
JEG HUSKER AT JET LOP

Spain, Alfaguara, 2005
UNA HISTORIA EN BICICLETA

Sweden, Wahlstom & Widstrand, 2005
JAG MINNS ATT JAG SPRANG

UK, 2005
Little Brown Book Group

Maine, USA, Thorndike Press, 2005
LARGE PRINT VERSION

German





Japanese

 
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