Published in April 2009, "Longest" is billed as a work of fiction, but is perhaps more appropriately read as a memoir, as the bulk of the story parallels Krinsky's own real life experiences.
Longest recounts a tale of a high school cross country running team and the various challenges, triumphs and tragedies it experiences during one uniquely memorable autumn season. The focal point of the story is the shocking and untimely death of one of the team's members, which plunges the rest of the team into a whirlwind of turbulent emotions. The runner's death serves as both a cause of despair and a source of inspiration for his teammates, who subsequently set out to win the county championship title in honor of their late companion.
While the names of most of the characters and some of the locations featured in the novel have been fabricated, the basic storyline and many of its details are derived from a similar series of events that unfolded during Krinsky's tenure as a student at W.C. Mepham High School in the mid 1990s. At that time, Krinsky was a runner on Mepham's cross country team. As in "Longest", one of Krinsky's teammates, Troy DePass, died tragically during the summer of 1996.
"Troy died from a rare, aggressive form of leukemia," Krinsky recalled. "It was sudden and shocking."
Krinsky said he and his fellow teammates "were all deeply crushed" by DePass' death, but managed to summon the resolve and determination to persevere on and win the county championships that autumn on behalf of their late teammate.
"It was a tough season," Krinsky added.
Krinsky explained that he thought it more prudent to write a fictionalized recreation of his experiences rather than merely dictate a straightforward retelling of them.
"I never intended to write a non-fiction book because I knew it would be too painful for me, my friends, our coach and many of the families close to the tragedy," he said.
For the setting of his novel, Krinsky creates what he calls a "fictional 'nexus'" – that is, a fictionalized world intertwined with a real life one.
"I made up a name for the school, the town and the characters on the team," he added. "Almost all the details about the town and school are real. The characters are combinations of my teammates. I did this so the story could be placed in real time and space, while protecting my friends and the family who lost their son."
"Longest" features lush and vivid descriptions of such locations as the Bethpage and Sunken Meadow State Parks, where the characters in the story – as Krinsky and his team had in real life – train for competitions.
Krinsky described his novel as a "coming of age story." He explains that the "fall" referenced to in the title alludes to both the season in which the runners in the story compete and the metaphorical "fall from grace" that the characters experience as the tale unfolds. Krinsky said that while the story depicts a specific set of circumstances, it is "universal in its message."
"Runners [who read the novel] will see themselves as resilient and persistent while those who experienced a loss in their lives will find comfort to discover that they are not alone," read a press release on Krinsky's official Web site.
More than 600 copies of "Longest" have been sold thus far. The book has received glowing reviews from critics and casual readers alike.
"'The Longest Fall' is more than a running book; it is a book about life." states a review by runners-resource.com. "Runners and non-runners will both find inspiration in overcoming heartbreak and triumphing over impossible odds. The book is beautifully written and the descriptions of running routes and parks in New York made me feel like I was there."
"'The Longest Fall' is a great read for coaches and runners," said cross country coach Eric Yost. "Once you open the book you are on the course and boom - you are captured by the story."
'Longest', which was initially drafted by Krinsky roughly eight years ago, is his first published novel. He is currently in the process of drafting a second novel on the subject of surfing. He has also written poetry, drawing inspiration from the work of Jack Kerouac.
In addition to his various work in writing-related fields, Krinsky also co-runs the Troy DePass Scholarship Fund. Each year, the fund awards $500 each to one male and one female student graduating from Mepham. Portions of the proceeds from sales of "Longest" will be used toward the fund.