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Step by Step: A Pedestrian Memoir
By Lawrence Block

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Step by Step
A Pedestrian Memoir
By Lawrence Block
HarperLuxe Large Print: 2009
Distributed by Thorndike Press
ISBN 13: 978-0-061-77471-3
Genre: Memoir

Reviewed by Herbert White - September 4, 2009

Step by Step: A Pedestrian Memoir is an unusual book. It was written by Lawrence Block, the Grand Master of the mystery genre, whose characters, such as the PI Matthew Scudder, the man who never sleeps, Evan Tanner, and the lovable burglar Bernie Rhodenbarr will forever hold a favored place in American fiction. Technically, Step by Step is a memoir, but not the type you are use to. In this book, Block shares his love of walking and racewalking with not only fans of his books, but also fans of ambulating in all its many forms. Along the way, Block shares intimate details about his life, his work, his successes and failures, and illustrates how walking has helped him to celebrate the good times and deal with the bad. Along the way, Block chronicles his numerous walking adventures and races that he has participated in, including walking 100 Kilometers (64.25 miles) within 24 Hours, for which he achieved a Ulli Kamm award, as well as other marathons and an ultrawalking races - and even some he did not, including the 3,100 mile Queen's Race! (The 2009 winner, Asprihanal Aalto, a postal worker from Finland, completed the race in 43 days, 16 hours, 28 minutes, and 6 seconds.) He also goes into details about a life altering journey that he took through Spain.

Step by Step is a fun book to read. Block writes with his trademark acumen and style, and his stories are both heartwarming and memorable. While Block's fan will find that this book provides them with keen insights into the life and thoughts of this prolific writer, it is racewalkers, and habitual walkers who will gain the most from this book. Within the pages of Step by Step, Block examines his training routine, how he increased his stamina and pushed himself to complete more difficult and longer challenges, his eating habits, and motivational practices that have helped to make him such a proficient and fleet-footed walker. Witty, insightful, and unique, I highly recommend this book to all readers and walkers of every ilk.

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