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Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Seabiscuit, critically acclaimed author Neal Bascomb reaches back to the golden age of sport and crafts an utterly captivating narrative of what may be the most remarkable athletic feat of all time.

They said it could never be done. No human could ever run a mile in less than four minutes. In 1952, three amazing athletes begged to differ; English medical student Roger Bannister, Australian privileged son John Landy, and American farm boy Wes Santee. At a time when war raged in Korea and Edmund Hillary dared to scale Mount Everest, these three marvelous runners raced into the spotlight and stole the attention of a breathless world.

Dramatic, exciting, and gloriously reminiscent, The Perfect Mile is an endlessly fascinating tale of heroic achievement and a testament to the determination of the human spirit.

©2004 Neal Bascomb (P)2004 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Bascomb's excellent account captures all of the human drama and competitive excitement of this legendary racing event." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Perfect Mile

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • j & b
  • 05-09-04

Most inpirational!

The shear pleasure I derived from listening to this book is difficult to express. Hearing each of the runners' stories, as they dug and clawed their way into sports legend was inpirational and astounding. Each with their own journey and path but each with the same destination. I found myself sitting a few extra minutes in the parking lot, driveway or side of the road just to hear a few more lines from the book (I listen to books in my car for the most part).

I literally did not want this book to end! I hear rumours of this book being made into a movie. I hope they take their time and care when casting this masterpiece.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Todd
  • 10-08-04

nailbiting, on the edge of your seat

I have listened to an audiobook everyweek for the last 5 years and this book is on my top 5!! Yeah, I know that Roger Bannister was the first to run the mile in 3:59:4, but this book leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering about the outcome. It makes you want to get off the couch and start running. It is inspirational, a great listen.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tech shopper
  • 07-03-05

Incredible, if you can appreciate the context

Being a runner, and being a fan of Olympic/amateur athletics, to me this was an increble listen. Well written and read, it is one of my favorite Audible listens to date.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Scott
  • 05-12-08

Inspirational!

I really enjoyed this book, listened to it on many runs. Kept me going on a 20 mile training run in the snow and rain.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. Zaengle
  • 04-12-07

Loved it!

Even though I knew who broke the four minute barrier, I still was anxious to hear the outcome of each of these three runners.

As a coach, this book is so full of lessons to pass on to my athletes! Lessons like perseverance, no excuses, the importance of good sportsmanship, the ugliness of bad sportsmanship, self-sacrifice, and hard work.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has ever put on a pair of running shoes or watched any kind of race.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 18-09-06

really fun

A fun thriller that is the true story of Roger Bannister and his colleagues. It is a Rocky-type sports story. I really enjoyed listening to this while running. (However not only I did I not crack a 4 minute mile, I probably didn't even crack 8.)

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Andy
  • 12-01-05

run with the wind

This book is about how Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile. Although the story is only about 50 years old, the author does a great job of illustrating how different "running" was looked at back then. Of course, the story is really about the athletisism, politics, social conscious and global competitive environment in the post World War II era.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Harnish
  • 25-03-21

A worthy listen for running and non running fans

This is a compelling story about the men who pushed the limits of their time and bodies to achieve what was believed impossible. As a physiologists and coach, I enjoyed the historical training perspectives.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Shannon Clay
  • 13-12-20

The 4 min mile!

This book reminded me what sports is truly all about. It’s the journey as in life that leads you to greatness. It’s the struggle on and off the track. Pro sports particularly in 2020 have lost that. I long for the days when sport was a sport.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 31-08-20

The perfect audo book

My wife, my son and I have all listened to this multiple times, it is definitely the most listened to book in my library. We all run to some degree but it is simply a great story with superior narration. I usually don't like stories where I already know the outcome but I have personally listened to this many times on dozens of runs. The narrator captures the different characters and is easy to understand. The book is well researched and provides historical context as well as personal story lines and details. I don't know if non-runners would find the subject interesting but if you do, it is an excellent book.

1 person found this helpful