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The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances [Paperback]

Matthew Inman

RRP: £10.24
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Book Description

30 Sep 2014
This is not just a book about running. It's a book about cupcakes. It's a book about suffering. It's a book about gluttony, vanity, bliss, electrical storms, ranch dressing, and Godzilla. It's a book about all the terrible and wonderful reasons we wake up each day and propel our bodies through rain, shine, heaven, and hell. From #1 New York Times best-selling author, Matthew Inman, AKA The Oatmeal, comes this hilarious, beautiful, poignant collection of comics and stories about running, eating, and one cartoonist's reasons for jogging across mountains until his toenails fall off. Containing over 70 pages of never-before-seen material, including "A Lazy Cartoonist's Guide to Becoming a Runner" and "The Blerch's Guide to Dieting," this book also comes with Blerch race stickers.

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Product Description

About the Author is an entertainment Web site full of comics, quizzes, and stories. The site gets more than 7 million unique visitors and 30 million page views a month; 250,000 blogs and Web sites have linked to it. is written, drawn, and coded by Matthew Inman, a king of all trades when it comes to the Web. Matthew Inman is a Web designer and developer from Seattle, Washington. He launched the in 2009.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silence the Blerch and go run! 30 Sep 2014
By Paul A. Mastin - Published on
Matthew Inman, a.k.a The Oatmeal, has captured, for me, the essence and the joy of running in The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances. He's not an elite ultrarunner, but he's out there, running and loving it more than most. His stories and drawings are goofy, hilarious, thoughtful, and, in fact, inspiring. That, to me, is the measure of a good running book. When I'm done reading, or, better, while I'm reading, do I feel like going for a run? TTAWRWIRLD passes that test with flying colors.

Inman's trademark contribution to running lore is "the Blerch," "a fat little cherub . . . a wretched lazy beast" who tells Inman to "slow down, to walk, to quit." When Inman is "sedentary at a time when [he has] zero excuse for being sedentary," he is "blerching." The good news is, the Blerch "can be outrun. He CAN be silenced." I can relate to Inman. I have done more than my share of blerching. But, as Inman comically yet profoundly illustrates, running can be a time that transcends the noise of the world.

Among the wackiness, Inman does actually have some practical advice. His "DOs and and DO NOTs of running your first marathon" includes helpful tips like:
--DO let those pre-race jitters fly! Start out at a completely impractical pace. This will demoralize other runners into quitting early, and you will be crowned marathon champion at mile two.
--DO NOT stop running when getting a drink at an aid station. By enduring the "sprint-choke," you could shave three, possibly four seconds off your 5+ hour finish time!
--DO delude yourself into thinking there is anything enjoyable about eating energy gels. ("This tastes like boob milk from a cyborg.")

Runners will be laughing in recognition and looking for another race to sign up for. The running tribe can be a bit odd, and Inman one of us. Pick up TTAWRWIRLD, silence the Blerch, and then go for a run!

You can read a substantial excerpt at The Oatmeal. But, trust me, you'll want to read the rest of it, too.

(I should add a content advisory: Inman uses some, uh, colorful language. It may be a cartoon book, but it's not for the little ones. . . .)

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's funny, sarcastic 30 Sep 2014
By Jackie A Williams - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I laughed, I cried, I now have a bastardized version of a Ramones song- "Blitzkrieg Butt"- stuck in my head. And my cheeks hurt a little from smiling. And I think I'm going to go for a run.

It's weird how he can capture the humor and the emotion of running. It's funny, sarcastic, sweet, and poignant at times.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stay Classy Matthew, Stay Classy. 30 Sep 2014
By Justin 'legendarysim' Merrill - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Matthew Inman never ceases to amaze me. He is funny, clever, and smart. These attributes bleed into his books without question. This new book is no exception, however it is a little different from his previous books. He previous books were a little 'random' and enjoyably so. Matthew's new book is a little more focused, and its all about running (and a intermission about bees). The focus was quite enjoyable. Matthew was able to explaining is running journey while making it funny and enjoyable to read. I would say it provided me with some inspiration to go out and run....but who am I kidding? I read this for his writing style. It's great. Buy it. You'll love if you familiar with Matthew or the humor/comic genres in general.

The only con to this book is that it doesn't come with a poster, you get stickers as a consolation prize. Having purchased Inman's previous books I was expecting a meticulously crafted and funny poster. I was disappointed when one wasn't there :(
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