Neal Bascomb

REVIEWS FOR THE PERFECT MILE


“In masterly fashion, Bascomb recreates the battle of the milers, embellishing his account with fascinating forays into runner’s lore. It’s a mark of his skill that, although the race's outcome is well known, he keeps us in suspense, rendering in graphic detail the runners’ agony down the final stretch.”
The New Yorker

“Compelling human drama. A resplendent story of an epic event in sports history.”
Christian Science Monitor

"Enthralling. The Perfect Mile returns the reader to a time when a sporting ideal was not an oxymoron.”
NYT Book Review

“Brilliant…The must read sports book of the year.”
Boston Globe

“A 50-year-old racing story of shimmering hope and impossible odds…Quaint in the way great myths are quaint: simply structured, resonant with implication, ageless, universal.”
San Francisco Chronicle

“Stylistic flair, psychological penetration and narrative drama.”
Guardian (London)

“Bascomb’s work has a novelistic sweep and intensity, lingering over its atmosphere, and is elegantly put together. The effect is like that of a film as he swoops in on the emotions of the three men, then cuts away for panoramic views, and it is hard to think there could be any better evocation.”
The Independent (London)


“Superb.” —
Newsweek

“Stylish and absorbing.” —
Los Angeles Times

“A rare literary win. In finding the right balance of humanity and a sense of immediacy, Bascomb has penned a sports tribute book that transcends the genre.”
Oregonian

“Captivating … Each attempt at the sub-four is more emotional than the last … Every 4:02—or, worse, 4:00.6—wounds … Much joy and inspiration to be found here.”
Entertainment Weekly

“Well-paced and diligently researched.”
The Economist (London)

“Absorbing … Bascomb invests the events and the characters involved with just the right measure of restraint and poetry.”
The Age (Australia)

“Written at a pace sure to break the four-minute mile … Delightful in its detail, inspirational in its message.”
Seattle Times

“A vivid human-interest story … Engrossing, excruciating and exhilarating.”
Boston Herald

“A fine, gripping book.” —
Chicago Sun Times

“A great story, breathlessly told, at once homely and ambitious.”
The Times (London)