From the United States

Mary Gruber ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

 Great Dialog, Facinating Story!!!

I found this book while searching Amazon and I am glad that I did. The story is about a family in crisis and how the main character, Daniel Robinson, is able to survive the hardships of his youth, the path that brought him through it and how he finally found redemption and love. I identified with the story, as it greatly applies to my own life, and I think it do the same for many others. I am especially impressed with the author’s dialog, which is often difficult for a writer to accomplish. I would highly recommend this book.

Ed A ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Just finished your book.  I am so blessed to have read this story.  I am blessed to see how life changed for Daniel and his family. And I am saddened that my journey along with him has ended. Saddened, but blessed so much more.  Thank you for taking me on this journey.

Jodi Wiesneski ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was engrossed in this book from the beginning. I worried about Daniel Robinson as he went through all his life stages. I got angry at him when he did dumb stuff. I cheered for him when he succeeded. As he went from Clairton PA to Wilsonville to Chicago to San Francisco to Cleveland to Detroit to Salem Hill OH and all the other places in between I felt so connected go his mission. I rejoiced when he married Kate and celebrated the births of Jonathon and Emma. I even cried after he lost Kate and struggled go go on. I enjoyed the ending and learning the lives of his now grown children. Thank you for your great story and one I won’t forget for some time!

M. Knapp ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This book was excellent. I read the entire book thinking it was a true story. It wasn’t until the next to last page that I realized it was fiction. There was nothing unbelievable. So much of what happens in this scary world was there. I grew to respect this great man and his ability to manage his life, or not, to speak so eloquently about his love for Kate, and so honestly about his faith. Such a great story.

Kindle Customer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
What a struggling long life the main character, Daniel had throughout this book. But each struggle turned to something good and the story was sad, yet a joy to read.

John Dobbs ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I became acquainted with John David Graham via his Substack posts. When I decided to give his book a try, I did not know what an enchanting and emotional read this was going to be. To be honest, it was disturbing as I read about the main character’s experience with poverty, family substance abuse, and mental health issues, as well as sexual abuse. The church or faith is a kind of peg around which this entire tale is written but with great honesty and integrity. This is not a ‘just believe and everything will be ok’ story – and it shouldn’t be. That’s not the reality most of us face. There was something about the way this book was written that impacted me on an emotional level. When I got to about the 70% mark on my Kindle, I took a good part of a day and had to finish it. I think it is a great epic tale and encourage you to read it.

Felicia C. Lockamy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Hold on to your seat and enjoy an emotional roller coaster

Dorothy L. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is a book that every person must read if they enjoy great,expressive characters, lots of surprises, and a book that can’t be put down. If I could rate it more then 5 Stars I would. It is a book that you will want to tell your friends about. This is a book that should be in every library. Although it is fiction, there are so many truths in it that will be helpful and healthy for anyone who reads it. I pray that John Graham is already working on his second book!

Katie ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I thought it was a masterpiece. It was so well written, and so raw and emotional, and it touched me on several real topics. It was beautiful. One of my favorites by far.

C. Dewitt ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was invited to be an ARC reader for John Graham’s book, and I must say am very glad that I was. This is a novel that will stay with you between reading sessions, as it is quite an emotional experience, delving into the very inner thoughts and dreams of a person who is earnestly seeking the meaning of it all, love and, in some cases, redemption. All while earnestly seeking to improve the world in his own way. It is a world of joy and sorrow, highs and lows that most of us deal with. Some more than others, to be sure, but the story resonates as it only could if gleaned from a life having been lived.

It begins with the main character, Daniel Robinson, as a boy, living under the harsh and unloving rule of a father who is downright mean to the core. Personally, I benefitted from an upbringing by the very opposite of that sort of parent. But I grew up with several kids who came from broken homes, or who had distant parents who did not seem to love or care for them. It was a very alien concept for me at the time (and still is). A different world that I could never understand. Hence, that part of the novel struck me particularly hard, and my heart went out to Daniel.

Later in his life, Daniel travels to Kent State with a friend. The instant I read those words on the page, and knowing the era in which it took place, I was filled with an immediate dread. I was only a kid when the events that took place there occurred, but I remember it all too well.

This novel is clearly a work straight from the heart. For myself it was a rather humbling experience, for Daniel is someone who impacts many lives, most in a good way, and it had me examining my own life in that light.

For that alone I would say this is an important book, and I am truly honored for having been among the first to read it. Well done, John Graham.

Kindle Customer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I would recommend this book to anyone who realizes, or doesn’t yet realize, they are broken. Graham delves deep into the mental processes of “another chance.” Forrest Gump meets The Shawshank Redemption meets Patch Adams. I actually lost sleep, needing to find out what the next twist and turn was going to be.

Anthony Monnier ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Usually I don’t read because of poor eyesight but when I found this book online I was intrigued by the title so I bought a copy this is the first book I’ve read since high school it’s a combination of the movie Forrest gump and stand by me which I hope one day this book becomes a movie it’s the best written book I’ve ever read its gripping story that will leave you on edge of your seat with each page

Terry Pellman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
“… is written in pencil…..”

This story runs a breathtaking and intriguing gamut of emotions. The author chronicles a man’s journey of faith and perseverance in the face of abuse, loss and his occasional surrender to his own moral lapses. But the trials are countered by the triumph of love and the healing power of helping and sacrificing for others.

No other novel so starkly illustrates how love and regret compete to be the most powerful of human emotions. At the same time, it makes clear the need for us to go on one painful step at a time through times of crisis to reach that point when it is realized how much one has leaned through it all.

“… we get a lot of second chances.”

Another major factor in this story is the true evil of pervasive bigotry, especially when costumed as noble intentions. It may be in the form of racial discrimination, or refusal to give someone the same forgiveness we ask for ourselves for having broken the rules of society. In the case of this novel, both factors are in play.

All in all, this is the most meaningful and gripping novel I have ever read.

Jan3Dg ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
In this energetic, fictional memoir of Daniel Robinson as he struggles with a terrible childhood and then his years in the heart of the consuming counterculture movement of the bay area.
In prose, both graphic and unsentimental, John David Graham reveals the corrosive side of love that he experienced with two types of women. Robinson’s struggle to be someone and be a better father than his abusive, drunk father. It is a great book that reads like it is a real memoir and really takes you back to the 60s when hitchhiking was okay and a Coke was 5 cents. I loved the book.

Amazon Customer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I had the pleasure of being an ARC reader for John Graham ‘s new book, “Running as Fast as I Can.” I really enjoyed reading it. He creates vivid settings that draw you in and make you feel like you are experiencing the story alongside the characters. At times I felt like I was reading a memoir because Daniel’s character was so realistic. Despite his flaws, I found myself rooting for him throughout his incredible journey.

What I appreciate most about the novel was the emotional bonds Daniel developed with men in his life. It was wonderful to see men being emotionally vulnerable with each other and supporting one another. It was a breath of fresh air from the toxic masculinity we often see portrayed in the media. I also liked the way Graham tied in significant historical events of that era to Daniel’s emotional journey. My only complaint about the book is that there were some problematic words (N word, R word) that I think could have been avoided. I do understand it’s historical fiction, and that sometimes these words are used to show how they caused pain to others. But in a couple of places I felt they were unnecessary as was a joke about “being afraid of Indians.” Despite this, the book has a lot of heart and emotional depth and gives hope to folx who have experienced trauma. I highly recommend it to people who enjoy character driven books and historical fiction. Or to anyone who has ever questioned their faith. If hope was a book, it would be this one.

D. S. Lerew ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This wasn’t a book; this was an experience. At times early in the book it was reminiscent of Tara Westover’s memoir “Educated,” a book that I likewise devoured.
As Daniel’s story progressed, I connected with him in a number of ways–his losses, his inability to move on from abuse, his hopes that build up only to be dashed again by the unfairness of life, his doubts and struggles with God…
I found myself getting angry with Daniel again and again, wondering why he couldn’t seem to get himself together and keep himself together, all the while realizing that I struggle with the same thing.
The other characters in his story were as varied as his life experiences, and each and every one added something to the story, whether pastors who were ill representatives of the God they supposedly served, hippies who showed him a new facet of the world, or lost and hurting people who in some way lit his path and eased his pain.
This was not an easy read, but it was rich and satisfying.

Ed ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Just finished your book.  I am so blessed to have read this story.  I am blessed to see how life changed for Daniel and his family. And I am saddened that my journey along with him has ended. Saddened, but Blessed so much more.  Thank you John for taking me on this journey.  😊

Shiela ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Graham’s book is a master class on how a riveting ,descriptive novel should be written . Simply put, it was beautifully told, well thought out, character driven, and cinematic. Yes , I found myself emersed in the story, could vividly experience the settings, and smell the different aromas of the cities.
Graham also makes you feel these huge emotional experiences that Daniel is going through. I connected with the story on so many levels. His pain, the inability to move on after trauma, and trust again.
I laughed and cried and was angry as I followed his journey to find love and acceptance despite his flaws and mistakes.
I loved this story, this journey of hope and discovery, and the people I met along the way. I would highly recommend it to everyone who needs a little hope in their lives.
I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of John Graham’s book.
Thank you to him and Netgally. My review is voluntary

Keith ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I picked this book on a whim, because the cover looked good and the title sounded interesting with the cover, now everyone has heard the cliche ‘never judge a book by its cover’, and there’s ample proof of why it’s a bad idea to do so but fortunately this isn’t one of those times, this book is deep and it brought up issues and situations I genuinely didn’t expect it would touch upon.. I’ve been trying to find the words that best describe what the book is about and I cannot seem to string anything coherent together that encapsulates the book.
So with that said I do recommend reading the book, just don’t spoil it for yourself by looking into it before you do.

John Dobbs

I just finished reading John Graham’s book RUNNING AS FAST AS I CAN… it was emotional and impactful. He writes in such a way that you care very much about the characters, flawed but persevering. The redemptive theme of never giving up is strong, but not ‘pie in the sky’… you should read it.

Cork Hutson

I just finished this book myself John (based on one of your earlier recommendations). You’re right – impactful and a cause for deep introspection of how we live out our faith.