Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'


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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby FrankS » Tue Apr 20, 2004 1:12 am

For all its faults, I enjoyed "The Perfect Mile". I've read a lot about the event surrounding the race of the first 4-minutes mile, but I still gained some interesting insight into the subject - for example, Landy's relationship with Cerutty, and - as a Brit - Wes Santee had always been a shadowy figure until Neal brought him to life. Thanks Neal.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby hj197steve » Tue Apr 20, 2004 3:35 am

I rented a car a few years ago in France, and the rental guy wrote the liscense plate #'s on a piece of paper for me so I could go find the car on the lot. When I came back to him, exasperated because I could not find the right car, he advised me that his 1's, I had mistaken for 7's !
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby Realist » Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:44 am

So if we're to believe this latest theory, rather than using any printed reference material, Mr. Bascomb travelled to Sweden and had a couple of aging Swedish milers who weren't a real part of the dialogue hand-write the dates of their world record races?
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby kuha » Tue Apr 20, 2004 5:48 am

Exactly: we're making WAY too much of this foolish thing. A researcher collects data in two forms: in print (or xeroxes thereof) or in his/her OWN notes (NOT someone else's notes!).

There are 4 errors in a list of 6 dates. That's it. We can't be sure how they got there, but decent proof reading should have caught them. Exactly HOW they got there really isn't an issue.

Not only are we missing the forest for the trees here, we're missing the forest for a tiny patch of weeds.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby highjumpsteve » Tue Apr 20, 2004 6:21 am

my copy came in the mail yesterday... saving it for a rainy day.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby MJD » Thu Apr 22, 2004 9:48 am

>my copy came in the mail yesterday... saving it for a rainy day.

Finally shipped:

"The item(s) listed below has shipped from your chapters.indigo.ca order, OR10548946 and we are
now processing a charge to your credit card or online account (depending on your method of
payment). Please refer to your unique order number when checking your order's status either
online or with a customer service agent."
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby Class Clown » Thu Apr 22, 2004 10:31 am

You forgot to give us your credit card # there
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby MJD » Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:48 am

"...is, in fact, full of action and insight into a surprisingly large community of quirky people who were watching the
three competitors with as much suspense, interest and enthusiasm as the rest of us felt watching Mark McGwire
and Sammy Sosa run up record home run totals that very same year."


http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/Conten ... 0599119419
Last edited by MJD on Sun Apr 25, 2004 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby kuha » Wed May 05, 2004 5:09 pm

One last update:

Neal Bascomb has achieved the Holy Grail of writers: a GLOWING, full page review in Sunday's New York Times Book Review (5/2/04, p. 21). Has ANY comparable track book in the last 50 years been accorded such treatment? I sure can't think of any...

Neal, my hat's off to you...congrats!
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby MJD » Tue May 25, 2004 3:57 pm

Paul Christman(editor of Running Stats) writes a long very favourable review in the link below. He also reviews Joe Vitucci’s A Run By the River. If Paul noticed the errors, he didn't mention them. He was more focussed on the telling of the tale.

"Many may find themselves coursing steadily through it, yet not wanting it to end, while carried to those conclusions already known but again recreated through the magic electricity of superb writing."

http://www.runningstats.com/Pages/837/Players.html
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby kuha » Tue May 25, 2004 5:10 pm

I wasn't going to bring this thread back, but since it's here, I'll note two more reviews or mentions of the book:
-the TLS (Times Literary Supplement), May 14, 2004, p. 28
-New Yorker, May 10, 2004, p. 103 (small mention, but notable nonetheless)

Some may grouse that Bannister's run isn't really all that important, etc., etc.--but it's clear that this is the ONLY event from track history that is known (in any way) to a goodly percentage of the public.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby MJD » Sat Sep 24, 2005 6:49 am

Bump.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby The Kitchen Cynic » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:11 am

You want us to re-read the book?
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby MJD » Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:35 am

No-kuha referred to the thread in the Bannister thread so I thought I would dig it up.
Last edited by MJD on Sat Sep 24, 2005 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby DecFan » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:51 am

The Kindle version of this book was free on Sunday. Sorry, was conducting a wedding and wasn't able to get online to post about the offer. It's still cheap, 2.99, at this link.

An excellent read. Haven't checked to see if the errors noted above are corrected in the current edition . . .
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby kuha » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:46 am

Wow. This is an old one. When this was written, we were all riding dinosaurs.
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Re: Bascomb's 'Perfect Mile'

Postby kuha » Tue Jun 04, 2013 1:45 pm

And the latest addition to this literature:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/fe ... utt-review

:wink:
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