Robert Newton

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Charlie Feehan

Charlie Feehan is the teenage protagonist of Runner. After the death of his father, Charlie becomes responsible for supporting his mother and his baby brother Jack. He struggles to balance this responsibility… read analysis of Charlie Feehan

Mrs. Feehan

Mrs. Feehan is Charlie’s mother. She is kind and supportive, and she and Charlie share a loving relationship. Their relationship is challenged, though, by Mrs. Feehan’s issues with mental health. She mourns deeply the… read analysis of Mrs. Feehan

Nostrils Heath

Norman “Nostrils” Heath is Charlie’s best friend, whose nickname comes from his large nose. He meets Charlie at the race Squizzy Taylor holds to determine who will become his runner. Though Charlie beats him… read analysis of Nostrils Heath

Cecil Redmond

Mr. Redmond is Charlie’s neighbor. After the death of Mr. Feehan, Mr. Redmond and his wife begin helping the Feehans in small ways, giving them food and assisting Mrs. Feehan with baby Jack. When Charlie… read analysis of Cecil Redmond

Squizzy Taylor

Based on a real Australian gangster by the same name, Squizzy Taylor is a powerful criminal who employs Charlie as a runner. He initially presents himself as charming and sly, and Charlie’s perception of Squizzy… read analysis of Squizzy Taylor
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Alice Cornwall

Alice Cornwall is a girl who Charlie has feelings for. He first sees her at a football game, cheering for his team’s rivals, and he meets her again when Squizzy Taylor sends him to collect… read analysis of Alice Cornwall

Mr. Peacock

Mr. Peacock is a timber yard worker who gives the Feehans scraps of firewood in exchange for Charlie raking the timber yard. He was a friend of Mr. Feehan, but after Mr. Feehan’s death… read analysis of Mr. Peacock

Jimmy Barlow

Jimmy Barlow is a bully who threatens Charlie throughout the story. After Charlie beats him in the race to become Squizzy Taylor’s runner, Barlow holds a grudge and tries to physically attack Charlie any… read analysis of Jimmy Barlow

Mrs. Redmond

Mrs. Redmond is Mr. Redmond’s wife, and she lives with him in the house neighboring the Feehans. She often helps Mrs. Feehan by preparing food for Jack when he is at risk of starving. Because… read analysis of Mrs. Redmond
Minor Characters
Mr. Feehan
Mr. Feehan is Charlie’s late father. He dies shortly before the events of the story, but his influence is felt as Charlie and Mrs. Feehan struggle to navigate their grief.
Dolly is Squizzy Taylor’s girlfriend. She is kind to Charlie, but when Squizzy grows more power-hungry and aggressive at the end of the book, the two of them break up, leaving Charlie without an advocate in Squizzy’s group.
Daisy Maloney
Daisy Maloney is a sex worker who gives Charlie advice after his debt-collecting duties make him question his job. She warns him about the hazards of working for Squizzy Taylor and urges him to use his earnings for “something good,” a suggestion which he takes to heart.
Kenneth Cornwall
Mr. Cornwall is Alice’s father. He owes Squizzy Taylor money, and when Charlie comes to collect the debt, Mr. Cornwall panics and almost attacks him. Mr. Cornwall’s desperation makes Charlie realize that success in a criminal career comes at the expense of people like Mr. Cornwall.
Jack Feehan
Jack is Charlie’s baby brother.