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