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

Matthew Inman
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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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 details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (30 Sep 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449459951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449459956
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 17.8 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's the Oatmeal, what's not to like? 7 Oct 2014
By Mike N
Format:Kindle Edition
I've enjoyed the Oatmeal comics for several years now, which of course means I'd already read a fair portion of this book.

That didn't matter though - it's still hilarious!

It's a book about why we should run (or indeed exercise) - that is, not to look good, but to feel good. It's also a book about Japanese hornets, godzilla, binge eating and the kraken.

If you've enjoyed the Oatmeal before, you'll love this. If you enjoy humour, you'll love this. If you run, you'll love this. If you don't run, you'll love this.

One disclaimer: I got this as a present, so the price wasn't a problem for me as it seems to be for other reviewers.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book on running 18 Oct 2014
By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER
Bah. Running. Exercise. Ugh.

The last (and only!) book I read about long distance running was Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running and it was ok – Murakami’s writing always has this strangely Zen/peaceful quality to it. But it basically repeated the same thing over and over: he likes running because it makes him feel good about writing, about his life, about everything.

Matthew Inman’s written a similar book, albeit in comic form, in The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances, which also informs you that he likes to run because it makes him feel better about his life, about his work, about everything. But it’s also about other things like Inman’s hatred of gyms and gym culture, his dislike of healthy food-only diets, and an anecdote about giant Japanese hornets (which are literally the size of sparrows!).

Thanks to a combination of natural storytelling ability and appealingly over-the-top imagery (his apathy is characterised as a morbidly obese fairy called The Blerch who urges him towards cake and Netflix), Inman is able to take this rather mundane-seeming material and turn it into a compelling and fun book.

Besides the autobiographical stuff, there’s actually a lot of good advice for anyone looking to start running themselves. Like how not to pressure yourself early on to change all aspects of your life if you decide to start running, or to set unrealistic targets (waking up at 5am every day? Nope!).

There’s a refreshing honesty to his approach – he’s not setting out to tell you how to lose weight, and he’s not telling you that running will solve all of your problems; he’s just telling you what works for him.
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Format:Kindle Edition
First off, disclaimer: I downloaded a copy from Netgalley in return for an honest and unbiased review. Honestly, it's going to be hard to be unbiased because I really really love The Oatmeal, but I tried.

Okay, so. You are going to love this book, even if you've never, ever visited Matthew Inman's site, The Oatmeal, ever before in your life. If you're a runner; a lazy unemployed bum extraordinaire; a beauty queen; a Daddy; a Soccer Mom; a hooligan. Any/all of the above should love this book because it's effing hilarious.

It's a book about how and why Matthew aka The Oatmeal started to run; about how he gave the fear of becoming fat again like he was as a kid, the name "The Blerch". It's a book about running. Mega humungous Japanese Giant Hornets. Bleeding Man Nipples. The glorious taste of a purple rainbow in the middle of a bamboo jungle.

And the terrible and wonderful reasons why he runs long distances.

If you HAVE visited The Oatmeal before, there's a chance that you've read a good portion of this book before, which is why it's only received a four-star rating. I couldn't recognise anything new until almost the end, which wasn't a good thing, but considering this was honestly one of my favourite The Oatmeal comics (bar the Nikola Tesla ones) I wasn't really complaining. I could read it again and again, and find myself wanting to join him.

If only my own Blerch wasn't an actual physical being...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic running inspiration - in picture form 15 Oct 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely wonderful book. I have read pretty much all of them and this is so different it is well worth buying.

With a picture and a few words he can express the feelings of a long distance runner better than others will do in 1000s of labored text.

It won't take you long to read it, but you will read it again and again. It's perfect to have lying around the house for when friends come round and they might ask you why you bother running and you can just throw this at them.

I am going to leave it on my desk in my office, so that when I am debating whether to go out for a run or sit in a chair and count my "likes" for some stupid facebook post I'll open this and hope that it kicks me out the door.
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5.0 out of 5 stars best book in my collection! 19 Oct 2014
By oliver
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

knowing what sort of comics the oatmeal draws, i expected this to be a hilarious book of comics and such. which it is, but it is also so much more than that!

it also surprised me and became such an inspiring book, that i have vowed to start making changes to my life.

if you want a reason to change your life, a good few chuckles or both, buy this book RIGHT NOW!
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