Marathon Man Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Marathon Man

Several separate plot strands -- a fatal car crash in Manhattan, a history grad student's classes at Columbia and preparation to run the marathon, the activities of a secret operative who has secrets and double-crosses galore, and a former Nazi dentist's journey from hiding in South America to collect an invaluable booty in the heart of New York City -- take a while to come together in this terrific thriller, but come together they do. The justly famous dental torture scene occupies a fairly small portion of a rich but fast moving plot that also raises issues about McCarthyism and loyalty (family and patriotic). Although the fine movie with Dustin Hoffman, Olivier, and Scheider follows the same basic plot, many of the details are engagingly different.
Click here to see the rest of this review

The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Babe is a history graduate student and marathon runner - just an ordinary guy, until his brother dies in his arms. Suddenly, he's being hunted, and at the same time hunting for the killer. This book features the most cringe-inducing dental torture scene ever, and is not something you want to read right before you see your dentist.
The review of this Book prepared by Ivy

Chapter Analysis of Marathon Man

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

How difficult to spot villain?    -   Challenging Time/era of story:    -   1960's-1970's Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   main char. spying/sabotage Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Crime Thriller    -   Yes General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes Who's the criminal enemy here?    -   finding a known killer

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   20's-30's


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York    -   London    -   dangerous

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths    -   very gorey references to torture Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   military technology Unusual forms of death    -   perforation--swords/knives Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog    -   little dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Marathon Man

William Goldman Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian