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Running with the Pack: Thoughts from the Road on Meaning and Mortality Paperback – 7 Mar 2013


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Running with the Pack: Thoughts from the Road on Meaning and Mortality + The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death and Happiness
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Publications Ltd (7 Mar. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847082025
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847082022
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 273,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Rowlands is a lovely writer, funny and moving. His philosophical thinking is easy to understand ... If you're of an optimistic bent, hopeful that life will offer up moments of wonder and delight, then Rowlands is your kind my kind of philosopher." --Miranda Sawyer, Observer

"An outstanding work of sports writing that shows clearly why running is about many things, but mostly about freedom and fun and why so many of us are hooked on it. Running With the Pack is life-affirming and gets straight to the heart of why running is has such an important place in our lives as it perfectly captures the essence of what happens when we lace up a pair of trainers and close the door behind us. Not only does tell a story that will be familiar to anyone who runs - be it a jog around the park or much further - it is an ideal and necessary introduction for anyone taking on their first marathon and wants to know just what they are getting themselves into." --Robin Harvie

"Rowlands' provoking thoughts will certainly spur more exploration."-Financial Times

"A powerful read, which weaves in ponderings on everything from ageing to the meaning of life. I defy anyone to read this and not be inspired to lace up their trainers."-Top Santé

"A real treat. It s a dense and serious philosophical examination of why we run and the value of it."-Runner's World

"Rowlands is really strong on how running makes us think"-Metro

"Rowland s argues that running returns us to something we have lost as humans in our pursuit of goals, material or otherwise." --Independent

"An outstanding work of sports writing that shows clearly why running is about many things, but mostly about freedom and fun and why so many of us are hooked on it. Running With the Pack is life-affirming and gets straight to the heart of why running is has such an important place in our lives as it perfectly captures the essence of what happens when we lace up a pair of trainers and close the door behind us. Not only does tell a story that will be familiar to anyone who runs - be it a jog around the park or much further - it is an ideal and necessary introduction for anyone taking on their first marathon and wants to know just what they are getting themselves into." --Robin Harvie

"Rowlands' provoking thoughts will certainly spur more exploration."-Financial Times

"A powerful read, which weaves in ponderings on everything from ageing to the meaning of life. I defy anyone to read this and not be inspired to lace up their trainers."-Top Santé

"A real treat. It s a dense and serious philosophical examination of why we run and the value of it."-Runner's World

"Rowlands is really strong on how running makes us think"-Metro

"Rowland s argues that running returns us to something we have lost as humans in our pursuit of goals, material or otherwise." --Independent

About the Author

MARK ROWLANDS was born in Newport, Wales. He is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami and the author of a dozen books, including the bestselling The Philosopher and the Wolf, also published by Granta. His books have been translated into fifteen languages.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Paul C on 7 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read Mark Rowlands' "The Philosopher and the Wolf", I was excited to find out that another book from this original and thoughtful author was on its way. Like The Philosopher and the Wolf, Mark offers insightful, creative and thought-provoking insights on our approach to running and how we could think differently about it and life in general. It's an uplifting book and offers much more than many other books on running that I've read. After reading this book, I have tried to think differently about the reasons why I run and appreciate much more than before the experience of running in the moment, rather than where it may get me in the future.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who runs, whether you like running or not. It might just change the way you think about running and life. That's certainly worth trying!

Paul
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James on 27 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
I devoured this book. Quite simply, it pins down what it means to run like no other book I've read - why we do it, why it is so special. But the author also goes on to use the key runs of his life as a launch pad for some page turning thinking on many aspects of life. If you liked Murakami's 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running' this is definitely a book for you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eugenie Verney on 22 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thought-provoking throughout, well-written and cleverly constructed - just an excellent read. Rowlands explores some seriously deep stuff in here, but with a light and engaging style that will resonate with just about anyone who's ever put on a pair of running shoes. For long-distance runners in particular, there's a lot of wonderful insight and "a-ha!" moments, and for non-runners there's ample insight into why the runners do it, and keep on doing it... His remarkable relationship with his wolf/dog pack is at times integral to the narrative and at others a fascinating sub-plot. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Guy Blaskey on 21 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
I was given this book, as a keen runner.... but this is not a running book it is a life book.

To some degree being a runner does help you to understand it, but you don't need to be a runner and you certainly don't need to be a good runner - the author himself admits he is no great runner.

Running with the Pack is about how to live our lives and be happy. The insights are based on the work of great philosophers and how their work is relevant to how we live our lives and how we can be happier in these lives. There are a lot of "self-help" books out there that offer "paths to happiness". That is not what this is, it is not a "self-help" book (as I understand them), it is not about following someone else's guide to life, it is about seeing life differently.

I think everyone in the world should at least read the last chapter of this book and preferably read the whole book.

Buy it. Enjoy it. Enjoy life. (And maybe run)!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Samantha Simpson on 5 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was far more philosophical and intellectual than I had foreseen. Nevertheless I am enjoying it. I have been a life long runner and am also interested in philosophy and alternative thinking but if you choose this book, be prepared for a lot of digression and tangential thought. It is less about running and more about reflecting on life and its passing. It uses the metaphor of running a marathon more as a cohesive device than as a biographical account of training and completing a run. I recently listened to the writer - Mark Rowlands speaking at the Hay Literary festival and found that his book is far more insightful and thought provoking than he is in person - nice guy though. Buy it and read it if you enjoyed 'Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance' but not as a gift for a running enthusiast - as i did!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not sure what I expected when I started to read from Mark Rowlands, but I bought the book with hope that it would provide me with a new, refreshing and thought provoking take on running. Mark is a professor of philosophy and so his analysis on why it is that we run and the intrinsic value that it is able to give us was good in a way that I could relate to it. I have been running for the best part of my life and in the past 35 years I have only missed a day, almost entirely either through injury or illness. The book does not consider running as being addictive and that endorphins as the bodies natural painkiller released when we run may be the 'fix' that some runners become addicted to. He does describe what he calls the 'heatbeat' of the run, and which I can sort of understand, although I may interpret it slightly differently, it does however go some way to explain the feeling we can have when we are unaware that we are running as we become absorbed with its rhythm.

Mark is very keen on dogs, his first 'wolf dog' called Brenin was the reason for him to start running. More dogs came along and so he was 'running with the pack' which he used for the title of the book. If you are both a runner and dog lover then this book should tick a few more boxes for you. It is partly autobiographical which is fine, as many running books are, and he takes you on some of his running in Wales, France and America.

I found the book to be at times thought provoking, alhough some parts heavy and difficult to read, I nevertheless enjoyed it, partly because running is one of the most important things I have in my life and we all have are reasons for doing it.
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