“On Sundays We Go Long”, A Novel by, Ty Strange, BeachLife Books, Santa Rosa, CA, 2017, pp 485
This is the second novel of the Empire’s very own Ty Strange. His first novel a few years ago (2014), “Hunt for Wolf_Eyes”, was a good first book and as previously reviewed was not a running book. As I stated during that review it was and still is a very worthwhile read. But what I (we) are always looking for is a great fiction running book (probably should be written by a runner). Some previous positively reviewed fiction running books have included: The John L Parker, Jr trilogy (“Again to Carthage” et al) and “100 Miles to Destiny” by Willis B McCarthy. Even before reading his first novel I asked Ty if a fiction running book was in his future and he assured me there was. Well three plus years later here it is.
With great excitement I began reading, “On Sundays We Go Long”. Unlike any other book I have read in recent history I had an inkling of what the book would be like or at least I thought I did. I knew it was a book about running (an activity we readily do), about a group of age group racers (kind of like us), who run regularly in the hills and trails of Santa Rosa (again like us) and whose lives are intermeshed outside of running (sound familiar?). And unlike many of those other books my first readings of “On Sundays We Go Long” were difficult, slow and frankly not what I expected.
In fact it took me about 100 pages before I had fleshed out the characters and got my mind wrapped around the storyline. I say this because in no other book have I been so insistent on trying to figure out exactly who each character IS in relation to one of the many characters who reside currently in the Empire Runner Empire. I also say this because this is a fiction book and my insistence hindered my getting involved in the story line. If you read the book allow yourself to read it for what it is and immerse yourself in the storyline. After fleshing out the characters I thoroughly enjoyed the ride; a season of Cross Country (XC) racing in the PAUSATF NorCal circuit, specific workouts (felt like I was running in the races, trails, etc) and the relationships of this “fictional” band of brothers.
I think this is a very worthy read. The author has a lifetime of running history to draw on and it shows yet it is not just a story of 5 guys running around in shorts. It is much more than that with some twists and turns to keep the reader interested. By the end it was a very good running story, written by a runner for runners. Though I think it shouldn’t be relegated to just runners or local readers. I think the story line is more global than that. Yet I did definitely lose myself in what was familiar and so I think this is a story for runners everywhere but a must read for those who live and race locally or on the circuit. I think it is a great addition to any runners library and although I am not sure who else will be reading this review, enjoying “On Sundays We Go Long” shouldn’t be limited to just us runners.
You can pickup a copy at Amazon(Kindle/Book)