Memory of Running, by Ron McLarty
That’s nothing compared to Smithy Ide’s odyssey across America. In Ron McLarty’s terrific Memory of Running, 43 year old Viet Nam vet Smithy is a gentle wreck of a human being. A star athlete in a Rhode Island high school, he ballooned to nearly 300 alcoholic pounds after he was discharged from the military to recover from 23 bullet wounds. When his parents die in a car accident, Ide attends their service in a drunken stupor and then climbs aboard his old high school bicycle and starts pedaling. His destination: California, to search for his sister, lost to the ravages of schizophrenia.
McLarty, a hugely popular narrative performer of audio books, recorded this title which, at first, was only available as a recording. Later, through the dogged efforts of a Virginia librarian, with a big push by Stephen King, Memory of Running was released last year to wild acclaim.