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Ron McLarty (1947–2020)

Author of The Memory of Running

6+ Works 2,465 Members 89 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the names: Ron McLarty, Ron MacLarty

Works by Ron McLarty

The Memory of Running (2004) 2,089 copies
Traveler (2007) 238 copies
Art in America: A Novel (2006) 91 copies
The Dropper (2010) 42 copies
Viajero (2008) 3 copies

Associated Works

American Gods {original} (2001) — Narrator, some editions — 33,420 copies
‘Salem's Lot (1975) — Narrator, some editions — 16,077 copies
Notes from a Small Island (1995) — Narrator, some editions — 9,763 copies
Just After Sunset (2008) — Narrator, some editions — 5,328 copies
Split Second (2003) — Narrator, some editions — 4,426 copies
Blaze (2007) — Reader, some editions — 4,329 copies
Hour Game (2004) — Narrator, some editions — 4,212 copies
Stone Cold (2007) — Narrator, some editions — 3,895 copies
Last Man Standing (2001) — Reader, some editions — 3,341 copies
The Longest Ride (2013) — Narrator, some editions — 3,117 copies
The Innocent (2012) — Reader, some editions — 2,900 copies
Zero Day (2011) — Narrator, some editions — 2,808 copies
Hell's Corner (2010) — Narrator, some editions — 2,519 copies
True Blue (2009) — Reader, some editions — 2,494 copies
The Hit (2013) — Narrator, some editions — 2,383 copies
The Forgotten (2012) — Reader, some editions — 2,346 copies
Polar Shift (2005) — Narrator, some editions — 1,979 copies
The Target (2014) — Narrator, some editions — 1,928 copies
L. A. Requiem (1999) — Narrator, some editions — 1,825 copies
The Wolf Gift (2012) — Reader, some editions — 1,423 copies
Be Cool (1999) — Narrator, some editions — 1,394 copies
102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers (2005) — Narrator, some editions — 1,352 copies
A Season of Gifts (2009) — Narrator, some editions — 767 copies
Hark! (2004) — Reader, some editions — 391 copies
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996) — Narrator, some editions — 357 copies
Bullseye - An Original Short Story (2014) — Narrator, some editions — 287 copies
Stationary Bike (2006) — Narrator, some editions — 238 copies
The Man Who Flew the Memphis Belle: Memoir of a WWII Bomber Pilot (2001) — Narrator, some editions — 227 copies
The Naked Detective (2000) — Narrator, some editions — 137 copies
The Camel Club Audio Box Set [Abridged Audiobook] (2007) — Reader — 26 copies
Spenser For Hire: The Complete Second Season (2015) — Actor — 7 copies
Spenser For Hire: The Complete Third Season (2015) — Actor — 6 copies


2005 (9) 2007 (14) adventure (7) America (6) American (10) audible (13) audio (14) audiobook (18) bicycle (8) book club (11) contemporary (12) contemporary fiction (12) cycling (26) death (14) ebook (15) family (35) fiction (286) first edition (9) friendship (13) goodreads (7) grief (16) hardcover (10) humor (8) journey (14) loss (11) love (7) mental illness (40) mystery (13) novel (34) own (7) read (28) read in 2008 (7) Rhode Island (19) road trip (10) self-discovery (12) signed (17) to-read (74) travel (14) unread (10) USA (16)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
McLarty, Ron
Legal name
McLarty, Ronald William
Date of death



(2004)Pretty good chronicle of one man trying to cope with the loss of his parents and sister all within weeks of each other. He finds himself on a cross country bicycle ride on a 3-speed Raleigh and starts out at over 280 pounds, heavy smoker & drinker. Transforms himself by the time he gets to Los Angeles.
derailer | 73 other reviews | Jan 25, 2024 |
I was surprised to like this book. When the person who lent it to me gave me a brief synopsis of the story -- a guy who just starts biking one day after his family died and keeps going -- I immediately said "That sounds like [b:The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry|13227454|The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry|Rachel Joyce|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1335816092s/13227454.jpg|18156927]." It is very similar, but different enough that I would not say they are the same stories on either side of the pond. Both involve someone unlikely to start a pilgrimage who do just that, both have contact with a woman "back home", both have to figure out themselves and get perspective on life, both meet interesting people along the way, and both are interpersed with a story from the past. This book is humbler than Harold Fry, both in how it tells the story and the protagonist himself. It is always first person POV. And of course, this one is about cycling, not walking. I like the back story in this book better, Smithy's sister Bethany who suffers from schizophrenia or maybe multiple personality disorder (whatever it currently is called) and how the family has to continually search for her.

The weird part of this book is Norma, the girl next door who has loved Smithy since she was a child. She still harbours a deep love for him, but it is so weird. He's barely talked to her in 30 years; she (and the author) insist that she is a strong, independent person, yet her love is obsessive and founded on a childhood dream. Yes, their relationship develops through Smithy's journey, but it's premise is not realistic, to me.
Still, worth a read.
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LDVoorberg | 73 other reviews | Dec 24, 2023 |
The therapist character on HBO's "In Treatment" gave this novel a new life. Paul seemed ready to dump his girlfriend because she blew off his recommendation of this book. Maybe a scriptwriter's conceit, plugging a book by an actor with a recurring role on "Law & Order." Or maybe an ironic joke, name-checking a book populated by clueless characters, in a series filled with unreliable narrators.

Well, I stumble through life stumbling on books about men stumbling through life. Must be part of the zeitgeist. The police procedural fits an awkward man comfortably in border-town life. Here an alcoholic assembly-line inspector flees his troubles, or sorts through them in flashback. He's haunted by her crazy sister's ghost, the most believable part of a picaresque trip in which Smithy cheerfully endures all manner of abuse.

After cycling cross-country Smithy hasn't traveled very far, or at least it's no spoiler alert that he ends up clean and sober with the girl next door. He's still kind of clueless, but maybe it's comforting to Middle Age Man that he's working on it.
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rynk | 73 other reviews | Jul 11, 2021 |
No idea why it was on my wishlist, as I didn't track that way back when.

Good book - Smithson "Smithy" Ides is an overweight middle aged guy whose whole family is gone within a week - Mom and Dad died of injuries from a car accident, and emotionally troubled sister Bethany turns up in a homeless morgue in LA. Smithy finds his old bike in the garage, and sets off on a quest to get to Bethany from Rhode Island to LA, along the way turning into the man that he wants to be.
nancynova | 73 other reviews | Mar 12, 2021 |



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