The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner – Alan Sillitoe
Maybe a little more than a short story, this famous tale comes in an eponymous slim volume accompanied by a number of other Sillitoe stories.
“Cousin-by-association to perhaps the more famous ‘Kes’ by author Barry Hines, this story was written in the late fifties and helped paint a picture of gritty northern upbringing that has been replayed myriad times in the form of kitchen sink dramas. Hines and Sillitoe might single-handedly have made Coronation Street what it thinks it should be to this day. Loneliness… tells the story of a poor working class boy apparently bereft of prospect or hope. The long distance running of the title is the boy’s only escape and the story pulls you along with his every stride, sharing his frustration – you can feel the gorse at your ankles and the raw cold morning frost needle your thighs. Masterly.”
The SHORT TALE Review 2016