He’s a rather thin man, hates it when they call him skinny. But he’s a runner and likes how he is – he finds himself gracile, his own word for his graceful, slender appearance. We don’t know much about him, really. His story may be this book but he keeps himself at a comfortable distance, which for him is a little further than most. We can see him interact with his partner (Wife? Girlfriend?), even hear them speak but it is as if we’re peering through their apartment windows, following him as he runs, spying on him in his office. I doubt he realizes he’s so distant. And it appears that, perhaps due to his distance, he is shrinking still.
Long Slow Distance by Thomas Phillips is what one might call a minimalist story. A mere 115 pages and a character whose name we don’t even know, it’s a very talented Thomas Phillips who pulls off writing in such a manner while still connecting to his audience. ”Distance” seems to be the key word to this story, as the main character certainly keeps his. Yet even though we don’t get to know him that well, our desire to do so keeps us reading, piecing together what we can. Perhaps it’s because we’ve all known such people, and as any reader knows, it’s the mysteries of human nature and a bit of a voyeuristic spirit that keeps most of us up to our eyeballs in books. Long Slow Distance gives the voyeur-by-book a good fix, and gives it brilliantly. As our runner all but disappears, leaving little more than fleeting shadows as the book progresses, Phillips’ ability to hold his readers’ rapt attention is nothing short of extraordinary. A fascinating main character and an even more riveting writing style makes Long Slow Distance a worthy piece of literature.
Published by Object Press.