Listen free for 30 days

Flanagan’s Run

By: Tom McNab
Narrated by: Rupert Degas
Length: 16 hrs and 6 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

During the Depression, the ebullient American entrepreneur Charles Flanagan assembles 2,000 runners from all corners of the earth to run from Los Angeles to New York for prize-money of $150,000. Flanagan’s Trans-America runners face 3,000 miles, across the Mojave desert and the frozen Rockies, running a daily average of 50 miles for three months. The American sports establishment, however, is desperate to crush what it sees as a professional challenge to the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Every day is therefore a struggle for survival, for Flanagan himself as well as the runners. Flanagan’s Run is an epic tale, and a testimony to the strength of the human spirit.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2010 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2010 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    23
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Engaging story, brilliantly narrated

This engaging story is superbly narrated by Rupert Degas who, yet again, brings characters to life by endowing each with a unique identity reflecting their background, age and gender.

Flanagan’s Run, which is set in the great depression, is a fairly light-hearted yarn charting the progress of a handful of runners who attempt the heroic task of completing the gruelling trans-America foot race in search of fortune and fame. Perfect holiday reading.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous book, brilliantly read - ahh Rupert Degas

Suggested this book to my book group, was so pleased that most loved it and were delighted at recommendation. it's always such a thing to present one book a year to a select reading group and this was my choice.

it might take a while to get into the characters and what is happening then suddenly you find yourself sucked into an epic tale of running through all sorts of scenarios, landscapes, characters, shenanigans with Flanagan. :)

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly read, cheaply written

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Real characters, subtlety, insight into the depression, such as in "They shoot horses don't they?".

Any additional comments?

It was almost worth listening to for the wonderful performance of Rupert Degas. Unfortunately it is the literary equivalent of a cartoon - no genuine characterisation, no subtlety, just cheap drama.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good story

Would you listen to Flanagan's Run again? Why?

I don't normally listen to books more than once

What was one of the most memorable moments of Flanagan's Run?

The ending

Have you listened to any of Rupert Degas’s other performances? How does this one compare?

no,but will look for other books read by him

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

made me hold my breath a few times

Any additional comments?

not my usual book,but it was recommended and I am very glad,it was a very good listen

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • hennarra
  • Solihull, United Kingdom
  • 27-03-14

Flanagan's Run

Would you listen to Flanagan's Run again? Why?

I would definitely listen to this again, I became quite addicted to the characters and wanting to know how the story would pan out. It's essentially about a running race across america, but there's alot more to the story and the relationships between the characters.

What did you like best about this story?

The ending! It really surprised me, but I think that was because the journey of the story had me hooked.

Which character – as performed by Rupert Degas – was your favourite?

Not sure, but it was narrated really well. It took me a while to get used to his accent, as I've listened to the Name of the Wind which he also narrated but he sounds completely different in this.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were quite a few funny parts to the story which had me laughing and also one very sad part (but I didn't cry).

Any additional comments?

I was really surprised with how much I enjoyed this book and how I didn't want it to end.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • Bicester, United Kingdom
  • 24-02-14

Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant...

Any additional comments?

This was not a book I would usually read but having listened to Rupert Dregus before I wanted to listen to another book narrated by him. It did take me a few weeks to get into this story but once the story unfolds and the characters come to life then I loved it. Richard Dregus was again brilliant and I would highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if you love running.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tracy
  • Tracy
  • 20-04-12

Loved it

I am not a runner, but I loved this book. The characters are so real, the story an interesting one, narrator did a great job. Definately a 5 star listen. I hope to see more from this author.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chip Atkinson
  • Chip Atkinson
  • 01-10-13

Inspiring, whimsical novel of the human spirit.

I started this book hoping to be inspired by the running. What I discovered was far more than a simple novel on running. (I have run 2 marathons, once beating Oprah Winfrey in the 1994 Marine Corps Marathon. Normally you just want to finish, but who wants to get beat by Oprah!)

In Forest Gump fashion, the 3000 mile race takes in most of the historical American figures of the 1930s. There's Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks, Will Rogers, Charles Lindbergh, Al Capone and Frank Nitty, J Edgar Hoover just to name a few.

Author Tom McNab creates some of the most colorful characters I've experienced since McMurtry's Lonesome Dove. Each person is motivated by their own circumstances, well written by a master story teller. He does a wonderful job creating a competition between runners that kept me riveted to the end.

If a similar event was held today there would be little fanfare. Pulling off such an event in 1931, with the world in a depression and corruption rampant throughout America, would require more than a few miracles. Once again McNab delivers in Lonesome Dove style with a group of people who must overcome disaster after disaster to reach their final goal.

Rupert Degas handles a myriad of diverse voices together with a great deal of suspense as well as any one I've heard.

This one gets 5 stars on great characters and just plain fun!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jeanette Finan
  • Jeanette Finan
  • 06-12-10

Absolutely riviting

I don't know how one can call an audiobook a page turner with a straight face but this recording was absolutely riviting. I stayed up late to finish it because I couldn't bear to stop. The reader did an excellent job and it was very exciting. It's been a while since a book pulled me into it this deep.

I woke up thinking about the characters and what became of them this morning. It told you about the main characters but there were almost a thousand runners who finished. I had to keep reminding myself that this is a work of fiction because I really cared what happened to these people after they completed such a huge event. I do have a problem separating fictional people from non fictional people sometimes. What a silly person I can be. But anyway, a delightful, exciting read that's for sure.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mononono
  • Mononono
  • 07-05-10

Rupert Degas is extraordinary!

I purchased this book just to hear Rubert Degas reading to me again; his character voices and accents are exceptional. What I found in this book was the best of all worlds - an extraordinary narrator reading an excellent novel. The characters and story pulled me in from the start and I listed to the last 30 minutes twice just to relish the ending. I hope Tom McNab and Rubert Degas team up again VERY soon!
- John's wife

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for K. Wing
  • K. Wing
  • 31-08-11

Wow - this was one great story

I rooted for the wonderful characters who ran in the race from the beginning to the end. There wasn't a boring section in this book. One of the best audiobooks I've listened to in a while.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Em
  • Em
  • 24-08-11

Amazing narrator and fun book for runners

Flanagan's Run is a great book to listen to while running. You can't help but be motivated by the story of these runners making their way across the country in all kinds of weather and conditions. The story is well paced and exciting.

However the thing that pushed this book into a five star rating is the amazing job of the narrator Rupert Degas. I have listened to so many wonderful audiobooks but he's in a class by himself. At one point, I even came back to the website to see if there were more than one narrator because the voices of the characters were so distinct and believable. This is a fun story, with likable characters who triumph over long odds.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. H. Babb
  • C. H. Babb
  • 20-11-13

A runner and writer's favorite book

If you are training and logging lots of miles, buy this and listen to it while you run. Over and over, if you are like me. I feel like old Doc Cole is running with me, advising me. Sometimes the storyline is too good to be true. There are moments of cheesiness. As a professional (magazine) writer myself, I have a generally low tolerance for cheese. But this is so enjoyable that I cannot fault the author. I would have it no other way. I have read and listened to hundreds of novels and have always had a tough time naming a favorite. Wally Lamb, Jonathan Franzen, Jennifer Egan—these are among my favorite authors. But Flanagan's Run is a personal favorite all-time book. Probably because I also am obsessed with running, but even for a non runner, this is a wonderful, fun, somewhat-historial piece of fiction.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for william
  • william
  • 26-12-12

Don't need to run to enjoy, great story !!

Any additional comments?

Chose this book because I thought it would be great to run and listen to since its based on a long distance run. Turns out shortly after downloading I broke my foot running.

Thought about holding off and waiting until my foot healed but I started listening and was instantly hooked. While being interested in running wouldn't hurt, its definitely not needed. What really sucked me into this book was the amazing stories along the run across America (The Transamerica). Most were completely unrelated to running rather the struggles to keep the run going in depression era America and focusing in on a subset of key runners through the race. The narrator (Rupert Degas) is by far the best I have experienced taking on male and female characters from all over the world (Scottish, Mexican, French etc ...)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Lee
  • Chris Lee
  • 26-09-12

Wonderful Listen!

Where does Flanagan’s Run rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well, the performance was hands down the very best with nothing close. The narrator, Rubert Degas, is amazing. I will even be going on a search for books narrated by him because the accents he did for the different characters were so amazing!

What did you like best about this story?

Again, I might have to say the narration but I also loved the stories and the characters. I really felt like I knew them and related to them. This was a great book to pass the time away while running and biking. Just super enjoyable and amusing. I'd always look forward to my next run, spin bike session, commute to hear how the next part of the story played out.

What does Rupert Degas bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His brilliant use of accents made everything come so much more to life than if I'd just read it.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Definitely had me laughing at times. Really enjoyed it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Episteme
  • Episteme
  • 18-11-19

Not my usual cup of tea . . .

But I enjoyed this immensely. I am no athlete, and do not share the all-out admiration for athletes of McNab—indeed, the glorification of “running through the pain” I think has been proven to be destructive for many young athletes—nor do I admire hucksterism in general. Still, I was totally pulled into the narrative. The stories of the individual characters and the stories of the crises and contests along the way kept me going. I’m a sucker for happy endings, and he gives us plenty of those, told well enough that even though we could pretty much predict many of the outcomes, the drama was not lost. I took off one star for “story” because it almost became repetitive, but he did have to get us through 3000 miles at the pace of 50 miles/day, so it’s a minor criticism. His weaving of 1930s Americana and the history of running throughout the book is very skillfully done (though it leaves me wondering how much of the history of running is true and how much is fiction. An appendix clarifying that, and where relevant who inspired his characters, would have been welcome.)
If I could give Rupert Degas ten stars for the narration, I would. He’s amazing. Very few people can do both British and American accents well, and he pulls off a variety of both, to say nothing of German, French, and Spanish. To say nothing of others with which I am unfamiliar and so can’t judge their accuracy. His pacing, the number of distinct voices he produces, his use of his voice to clarify meaning and add to the story—all are phenomenal. I did hear a handful of words (maybe six altogether) he gave the British pronunciation instead of the American, but in 16 hours his American accent for the narrative portions otherwise never slipped. Plus, his voice is very pleasant to listen to. I would not have enjoyed the book as much in print or with a different reader. The man is a miracle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful