Uplifting, emotional, and just plain hilarious, Robert Earl Stewart’s The Running-Shaped Hole may even inspire you to put down your fork and pick up those running shoes. No offence to forks.
Jay Onrait, TSN host and broadcaster
Robert Earl Stewart’s The Running-Shaped Hole is a memoir that speaks to the spirit of persistence, commitment, wisdom, and great wit. Stewart conjures up his hometown in a vibrant way, so that Windsor comes alive in your mind’s eye. At the core of it all, Stewart writes about the empty spaces within ourselves that we so desperately try to fill in. You don’t need to be a runner to read this book; it’s a story that will resonate with anyone who has come face to face with themselves in their quest to grow as a person.
Kim Fahner, author of These Wings
Running is much more than an endurance sport in Robert Earl Stewart’s wildly kinetic memoir. It’s a tour through the pitches and squeezes of the human soul. Running is surrender and transcendence, a bright flight through the mad tumble of moments that comprise our lives. At turns harrowing, heart-rending, and gut-punch hilarious, The Running-Shaped Hole recounts how Stewart, through sheer bloody-mindedness, a rock-solid family, and chafed thighs, pulled himself from the pit of addiction onto a new path, one paved with grace, faith, and redemption. Sometimes, he reminds us, we need to fall down if we want to grow up.
David Whitton, author of Seven Down
This is a book about honesty, and family, and love, and health, and faith, and reading and writing and rock ’n’ roll, and Windsor. It’s also about running, kind of, and about gaining from our losses as we pound the pavement together. Robert Earl Stewart’s big heart beats on every page and the beautiful intimacy of his writing carries us across the border that so often separates us from ourselves and the people we live with. The Running Shaped Hole is a memoir that will move you, literally, and in all the more important ways, too.
Alexander MacLeod, Giller Prize-shortlisted author of Light Lifting
Robert Earl Stewart’s The Running-Shaped Hole is a deeply personal memoir that you’ll love whether you run or not, weaving mind, body, city, love, and faith together. A story about figuring it out and running toward something rather than away in Windsor, a post-industrial city that’s as much a character in the book as the people are.
Shawn Micallef, author of The Trouble with Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure
Robert Earl Stewart’s compelling and moving memoir is at once a deeply personal search for redemption — unnameable obsessions manifesting in booze, overeating, and finally an unexpected reckoning with the criminal courts — and a tale of running-as-obsession in which any runner will hear the echoes of their own footfalls. Ultimately, we run to run — but we never outrun ourselves.
A.J. Somerset, author of Arms: The Culture and Credo of the Gun
Stewart conveys his athletic journey in a compelling and animated way that won't leave sedentary readers behind.
Quill & Quire
Stewart takes readers on a very honest journey through his own life and the result is an excellent read.
Winnipeg Free Press