December 05, 1977 12:00 PM

by James F. Fixx

Most books that have “complete” in the title aren’t; this one is. Fixx begins, “The purposes of this book are, first, to introduce you to the extraordinary world of running, and second, to change your life.” Books about running are like books about being born again: the authors are convinced that they have discovered the secret of the universe. Fixx persuades the reader that maybe he has. Some people consider running boring and painful; it does not have to be. In any case the outcome, especially if, like Fixx, you have gone to pot, is worth the effort. His writing is zippy, the enthusiasm infectious. For the friend or relative who runs or ought to, put this book and a gift certificate for New Balance shoes under the Christmas tree. (Random House, $10)

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