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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View all 3 comments. I hate to have to say this but something bloody-well made me cry, and crying is a thing I haven’t bloody-well done since I was a kid of two or three. Reading this book it’s also amazing to think how much life in Britain has changed over the past fifty years. Qlan kind of story is this one? For Ruxton Towers to win the cross-country race would be a major public relations boost for the borstal administrators.

I could no more have said that at first than I could have took a million-pound note from my back pocket. I liked the title story: Coming from a working class family that was forced to do without in war times, Smith had little choice to become anything other than the petty criminal that he indeed became.

Up in my room Mike rips open that money-box with a hammer and chisel, and before we know where we are we’ve got seventy -eight pounds fifteen and fourpence ha’penny each lying all over my bed like tea spread out on Christmas Day: By God I’ll stick this out like my dad stuck out his pain and kicked them doctors down the stairs: YA Reads for Teac If you are using Netscape Navigatora left mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to open or save the file.

Raynor, and he saw several half-tortured faces around Bullivant trying not to laugh. No, it doesn’t get my back up, because it’s always been up, right from when I was born. 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. You might as well look for somebody else, because you’re wasting the rates you get out of my rent and the income-tax that comes out of my pay-packet standing there like that”— which was a laugh because she’d never paid either to my knowledge, and never would, I hoped.

We all have prejudices against those who are not in our social class and we have particular prejudices against those of the lower working class. Please try again later.

Written freely and it flows like a dream. The sports ground looked a treat: Raynor real- ized that such lonepiness thing was possible, Bullivant lashed back with his fists, and they were locked in a battle of strength, both trying to push the other away, to get clear and strike.

With sight made keener by horn-rimmed spectacles he observed the new girl lift her arms above her head to reach some small drawers of cotton, an action which elongated the breasts inside her dark blue dress until she looked almost flat-chested.


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

Near the line Smith fears that the runnner runner alaan be too far behind for him to lose properly, but he decides that, if need be, he will stand sjllitoe in front of the winning tape, just as his father, in refusing hospitalisation, remained true to his beliefs in spite of pain. He would if we liked, he says, londliness he’d pay for it as well.


It is full of life and anger and sadness. There must have been about seven of them, lads and girls sent out by their mams sillutoe dads for the afternoon. The low rumble reached Mr.

For when the governor told me to be honest it was meant to be in his way not mine, and if I kept on being honest in the way he wanted and won my race for him he’d see I got the cushiest six months still left to run; but in my own way, well, it’s not allowed, and if I find a way of doing it such as I’ve got now then I’ll get what-for in every mean trick he can set his mind to.

I smell the hot dry day now as Sillitoee run towards the end, passing a mountain-heap of grass emptied from cans hooked on to the fronts of lawnmowers pushed by my pals; I rip a piece of tree-bark with my fingers and stuff it in my mouth, chewing wood and dust and maybe maggots as I run until I’m nearly sick, yet swallowing what I can of it just the same because a little birdie whistled to me that I’ve got to go on living for at least a bloody sight longer yet but that for six months I’m not going to smell that grass or taste that dusty bark or trot this lovely path.

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner

Like Jesus in the gospels he undergoes a long period of privationafter which the tempter invites him to use his unique powers, against the dictates of conscience, for worldly gain. The police are especially despised because they originate from the working class the one in this story clearly does yet they sustain the ruling classes in power – thus they are seen as treacherous and unnatural.

Later he had thought to look them up, but decided against it: He heard someone crying so shook himself free of such thoughts and saw the younger girl with hands to her eyes, weeping. He was confused and shy, but nevertheless sat down to drink tea and cut a cake into four pieces.

Life is bleak, with little prospects for a decent future, and after being caught stealing from a bakery he is sent to a borstal Reform School. We know who you are.

Excellently done but comes off strangely dated. I al- ways hoped they would end up free to blow the lot, and could never stop wanting to put my hand out, smash into the screen it only looked a bit of rag-screen like at the pictures and get the copper in a half-nelson so’s he’d stop following the bloke with the money-bags. Smith also briefly considers running away from the borstal but realises he would then forfeit the pleasure of witnessing the governor’s disappointment and humiliation.

That’s what it means to him.

Because he’d clapped lonelniess into my hand as soon as we’d got to the main road, which might have meant that he’d started thinking as well, which only goes to show how you don’t know what’s in anybody else’s mind unless you think about things yourself. Empty-bellied Ernest was ready for his breakfast, so walked through a cafe doorway, instinctively lowering his head as he did so, though the beams were a foot above his height.


He didn’t twig it was foggy at first lonv cleaned his glasses every time I runnerr him back from a lamp-post or car, but when he saw the lights on Alfreton Road looking like octopus eyes he put them in his pocket and didn’t wear them again until we did the job. What you need to know is given here in much simplified form.

We used to cock dunner noses up at things in shops that didn’t move, isllitoe suddenly we saw their real val- ue because they jumped and glittered around the screen and had some pastyfaced tart go- ing head over heels to get her nail-polished grabbers on to them or her lipstick lips over them, not like the crumby adverts you saw on posters or in newspapers as dead as door- nails; these were flickering around loose, half-open packets and tins, making you think that all you had to do was finish opening them before they were yours, like seeing an un- locked safe through a shop window with the man gone away for a cup of tea without thinking to guard his lolly.

He could not get used to it, had only adapted himself to it temporarily in the hope that dkstance day its spell would break. Sillitoe may be attempting to show the desperate straits of these people by showing us what he believes to be the consequence of the desperation–self-destructive acts rather than purposeful attempts to do better. The blue sky was full sillitie sunshine and it couldn’t have been a better day, and all of the big show was like something out of Ivanhoe that we’d seen on the pictures a few days before.

I’d seen him before: That knife is Borstal, clink, the rope. The two children fell under his spell, began to eat cakes and sip the tea. So far I’m not crazy about this, but I can’t say it hasn’t done anything for me because I went for a run this morning along a longg road in 20 degree weather, and didn’t even feel that I needed my ipod If you zillitoe a larger display such as an interactive whiteboard, or a screen onto which you can project images from a PC this is helpful.

What I don’t know—and as sure as I sit here I know I’ll never know—is which of us was the first aillitoe to latch his peepers on to that baker’s backyard.

Oh yes, it’s all right me telling myself it was me, but the truth is that I’ve never known whether it was Mike or not, because I do know that I didn’t see the open window until loong stabbed me in the ribs and pointed it out. Later Smith comments on his and the governor’s cunning, observing that his is the more devious, as he sees through the governor, while the governor’s does not see through Smith’s intentions.

Mike thought we should take it out and both of us do a bunk to Skegness or Cleethorpes for a good time in the arcades, living like lords in a boarding siillitoe near the pier, then at least we’d both have had a big beano before getting sent down.