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Life at These Speeds: A Novel by Jeremy…

Life at These Speeds: A Novel (edition 2003)

by Jeremy Jackson

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906134,128 (3.96)2
Title:Life at These Speeds: A Novel
Authors:Jeremy Jackson
Info:Picador (2003), Paperback, 352 pages
Collections:Read before joining LibraryThing, Recommended Books

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Life at These Speeds: A Novel by Jeremy Jackson

  1. 00
    Colony Girl: A Novel by Thomas Rayfiel (achedglin)
    achedglin: Both are masterfully heart-breaking works about adolescence in the Midwest.

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I'm giving this four stars for now, but I have an idea my opinion of it will creep up over time. I can't point to any obvious elements that make it so wonderful, or anything that particularly detracts. At its heart, it's a coming-of-age story (but it's about a boy, so it's billed as Bildungsroman) of a high-school boy dealing with grief after his entire track team is killed in a car accident. He deals by not dealing, really, losing himself to physicality (running), allowing speed to block out everything else. Kevin is not a reliable narrator; he doesn't remember much before the accident, and flashes only come to him in fits and starts, but not enough to piece together. He won't let anyone into his life, though even he doesn't seem to understand why. He's confused, frustrated, and generally out of sorts, and the writing captures his voice very well.

I wouldn't recommend it to everybody; it is very sports-heavy (track/running), and I'd imagine that could turn people off. But it did make me sort of wish that my knees could still handle running, and if that's not a sign of a good sports novel, I don't know what is. ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
I'm not usually one for sports fiction, and this novel is by no means perfect. But it was one of those reading experiences where I wished I could stop time in the last few pages, it was just that good. ( )
  catalogthis | Apr 27, 2011 |
Main character just happens to not ride the school bus home from a track meet. Bus crashes and all perish. Story chronicles the years after the crash and its affect on the surviving team member. ( )
  mestahler | Mar 31, 2009 |
At last! a sports book for the intelligent boy. This was a great read about a young man who survives a tragic accident because he rode home with his parents and didn't ride the team van. His method of coping is to forget about the incident. The characters in his new school were somewhat stereotyped, but the story was good. ( )
  MrsHillReads | Jul 3, 2008 |
One of the best of the books I've read for PPYA--gut-wrenching characterization of a boy whose world turned upside down when a team bus crashed. Funny, surreal, ferociously sad...

Why isn't this book better known? ( )
  aperrigo | Oct 31, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312313667, Paperback)

In eighth grade Kevin Schuler is a popular kid with a decent, if not stellar, record on the track. Yet after fate takes him off a bus that crashes and kills his fellow students, including his girlfriend, Kevin inexplicably becomes a track phenomenon. Separated from his memory and distanced from his own life, he effortlessly smashes records and gains national attention, until he finds that he can no more remain apart from himself than he can from the ground beneath his feet.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:00 -0400)

"Kevin Schuler is popular, has a wonderful girlfriend, and is the fastest runner on his tiny school's track team. At a track meet, on a cool March night, he anchors a winning relay, trades insults with a rival, and lets another boy run in his stead in his best event: the 800-meter run. Everything works out for Kevin - perhaps it always has. But after the meet, as Kevin rides home with his parents, the van carrying his team crashes, and everyone on board is killed." "In an instant, Kevin's world collapses. The classmates he grew up with are gone, and the grief lodges deep within, numbing him. Even his memories of his friends are lost. He barely recognizes their names." "Something else changes, too. After the accident, Kevin emerges as a phenomenal runner. At his new school, he begins breaking records in track and cross-country. His speed is seemingly effortless. He can't be beaten. He's perfect. On the inside, though, he's still struggling." "New friends help Kevin. The beautiful and brilliant editor of the school newspaper takes a shine to him. His best friend is a popular and talented running back. And Kevin grows fond of an intuitive and sensitive girl name Henny. Slowly, Kevin begins to remember his lost teammates, but his mind remains unsettled. During his senior year, still tortured by nightmares, Kevin begins wrestling with unanswerable questions: Will running help him heal? Or is his fame too great a distraction? Does physical grace inform the heart? Or is the solitude of running another way to disconnect from the world? Just as he is beginning to feel like himself again, another terrible tragedy enters his life."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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