For most of us, being hit by lightning and kicked out of the circus would be an extraordinary turn of events. For [Edward Payson] Weston, it was a pretty typical week. Weston, whose story is recounted in the spectacularly entertaining book A Man in a Hurry, by the British trio of Nick Harris, Helen Harris, and Paul Marshall, lived one of those fevered American lives that seem to hurtle from one beautiful strangeness to the next. By his mid-teens, he had already: worked on a steamship; sold newspapers on the Boston, Providence, and Stonington Railroad; spent a year crisscrossing the country with the most famous traveling musicians in America, the Hutchinson Family Singers, selling candy and songbooks at their concerts; and gone into business for himself as a journalist and publisher. In his 20s and 30s, he somehow became one of the most celebrated athletes in the English-speaking world despite the fact that he was physically unprepossessing — 5-foot-7, 130 pounds, with a body resembling “a baked potato stuck with two toothpicks,” as one journalist wrote — and that his one athletic talent was walking. Just straight-up walking made Weston, for a while, probably the biggest sports star on earth.