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The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances Paperback – 30 Sep 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (30 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449459951
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449459956
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"You will have seen many of these cartoons on his website, The Oatmeal, but there is so much more in this book, and the price is well worth the extra content. Not only that, there is no excuse to not have this if you are a runner. I cannot express how many times I put this down and cried laughing." (Joe Hempel, Top of the Heap Reviews)

About the Author

TheOatmeal.com 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. TheOatmeal.com 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 Oatmeal.com in 2009.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mike N on 7 Oct. 2014
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Every year, people promise themselves that they’re going to finally conquer that mountain that is the New Year’s resolution. This is the year they get into peak physical fitness, or stop drinking caffeine, or stop themselves from continuing with bad habits… the list goes on and on.

I’m familiar with all of these failed resolutions. And every year I wish I had more willpower to fulfil them. As any gym owner will tell you, though, the rate at which people buy memberships in January and then simply stop going back after two weeks is incredibly high.

Well, we’re only a few weeks in 2015, and yet I’m doing very well with my resolutions so far. I’ve lost a kilo or two, I’m eating healthier (buying fruit and vegetables and making salads, stir fries and chicken dishes rather than eating processed crap), and I’m walking a lot more than I used to. As a result, I’m feeling less sluggish and my anxiety’s slowly starting to decrease day by day. And believe me, that’s saying something.

Want to know why? I read this book.

In fact, I read this in the book store (the doofus who forgot her wallet that particular day? That’s me) and pretty much placed my order on Amazon the moment I got home.

I’ve always found that many books like this fall into the trap of becoming very patronising or over-simplifying the root cause of the problem. Not here. Matthew Innman is hilarious and incredibly relatable. He’s a man who started long distance running as an adult and found that it awoke a feeling of pure bliss within him. He was no longer tied behind a computer, coding websites and writing articles. He could eat whatever he wanted, too.
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By Sam Quixote TOP 50 REVIEWER on 18 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
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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