The Slummer

Quarters Till Death

Fiction - Sports
364 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Geoffrey Simpson was born and raised in Avon Lake, Ohio, just outside Cleveland. He attended Avon Lake High School and competed in the state cross country and track & field championships on multiple occasions.

At Kent State he graduated from the School of Technology and was a member of the Track & Field and Cross Country programs. His primary events were the 5,000 meters (14:57) and 10,000 meters (31:14).

After graduating from Kent State University, he built a career in program management throughout various technology companies and is now a global PMO manager.

His family of two boys, Jonathan and Henry, and his beloved wife Lili, impassion his craving for adventure. An adventurous spirit which is passed down to his sons. Now living with his family in Minden, Germany, in the pre-dawn hours, he is an author.
Geoffrey is the author of the middle-school aged adventure-mystery series, THE THREE HARES, and the near-future, speculative fiction novel, THE SLUMMER.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Slummer: Quarters Till Death by Geoffrey Simpson is a compelling, futuristic novel that features a sport scarcely written about: running. Set in 2083, Benjamin Brandt is among those who live on the fringes of society. He belongs to the class of poor people commonly referred to as slummers. The social and economic gap between those of his world and the enhanced elite is enormous. They have nothing in common. Yet Ben is fascinated whenever he watches athletes who are genetically enhanced compete on the television. Instead of being intimidated, he feels inspired by the national track championship. He sets himself to work, determined to make a difference. He feels alive when he sucks in the damp air, running through the dark, uneven streets of Cleveland’s east side. In fact, running is the easiest part of his life, easier than tying laces. But what are his chances of winning against enhanced runners?

The Slummer is a gripping tale of courage, resilience, and grit; the story of one man’s desire to change the rules of the game and the status quo. The setting is a future world where those who are genetically enhanced live in affluence while millions suffer in poverty, laboring in the Industrial Valley. The story starts with vivid descriptions of the world of the protagonist, his emotions, and his worldview. The story is set in the future and in a world like ours. Geoffrey Simpson’s protagonist is a character of grit, someone who inspires readers to believe in their dreams and to stop at nothing. I found myself rooting for him from the very moment he was introduced into the story. The author describes his sporting activities with such clarity that the reader can see him in their mind’s eye. The elements of the setting, from the uninviting locales inhabited by the slummers to the social atmosphere, are brilliantly written. The prose is stellar, filled with terrific descriptions and strong imagery, and the plot so skillfully crafted that it transforms the tale into a page-turner.


Not ashamed to say I cried through the last 3 chapters. Incredible!

Woody Woodburn

After reading "The Slummer" in two late-night sittings (a true "page-turner" that I "couldn't put down") I have now placed it on my bookshelf right next to "Once A Runner" which is the highest praise for a running book that is about far more than running. Geoffrey Simpson deserves to stand on a writer's podium indeed...


I'm almost entirely a reader of non-fiction, but began running and became passionate about it a couple years ago. In that time I've consumed many books about running and decided to give this one a try. I connected with Benjamin Brandt from the beginning and enjoyed this story of not just running but a journey through the human condition. Hold on tight as it is quite the rollercoaster at the end.


Rich well developed characters. Beautiful story if you are a non runner. Adrenaline pumping, fire burning in your gut, ready to clock in some serious miles if you are a runner.

Jeff Craft

Definitely a book that runners can relate to - and non-runners as well! It’s sports story, a love story, a human interest story, and a tragedy all rolled into one. Strongly recommend this read!

Amazon Customer

An amazingly profound story,I just want to lace up my shoes and go for a run. One of my favorite books to date.

Don Task

The book combines the current struggles of racism and classism with the futuristic look at athletic performances improved by designer genetics. A thoughtful presentation of the struggles and triumphs of one runner as he tries to overcome the societal barriers in his way to athletic accomplishments. The Slummer is well written and able to be enjoyed by runners and non-runners alike.

Joanne Gailius

A fellow runner loaned me this book and I was spell bound. I'd become an audiobook listener so I could enjoy a book while working on our farm......multitasking + not resting. This book brought me back to sitting and reading. The characters are rich, compelling. I was in tears twice as the plot takes us through loss and grief, poverty and injustice. Grateful for a good read, feet up, blanket on and a cuppa.