- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (2 April 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099526158
- ISBN-13: 978-0099526155
- Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Paperback – 2 Apr 2009
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"There's a wandering, digressive, free-form quality to the writing - like improvised jazz - familiar to anyone who has read the novels, with their labyrinth plots, perplexed, solitary male protagonists, meaningful coincidences and dream-like sequences. The narrative voice here is as persuasive as in any of the novels, candid and jaunty, and you finish the book charmed by the simple, unaffected grace of Murakami"--The Observer
"Comical, charming and philosophical... an excellent memoir"--GQ
"[Murakami] says no-one can warm to a character like his, but when he talks like this, on the run, we keep pace and pay rapt attention"--The Times
"Murakami manages to set a course that takes in views of all literature, sport and the uphill journey of ageing, all with a modest fluency that covers the ground without raising a sweat"--The Independent
The first, fascinating insight into the life of this internationally bestselling writerSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Murakami insists that he is a rather physical and unreflective person, built for the long haul rather than speedy brilliance. As such, he finds in long distance running - marathon and triathlon - an analogy for his writing career. This isn't a technical manual for runners: written episodically over a period of two years as an exercise in self-knowledge, it's aimed at readers who want to know something about the man behind the writing of the novels. But Murakami is clearly uneasy with theory. He'd rather talk about the routines he follows in his life, the patterns and rhythms dictated by his parallel writing and running lives.
He's quite clear about the running as physical conditioning for the writer. Coming to the sport relatively late in life, and not conspicuously talented, he thrives on internal goals rather than external competition. A portrait emerges of a man in his fifties who is slowing down, pacing himself, learning to accept the limits that his ageing body sets while harvesting what he can from his self-imposed discipline.
An English reader who is familiar with Murakami's fiction will recognise his distinctive voice in these musings. It's the voice of a man who, as he says, has no problem with being alone: self-involved and rather dry, but unpretentious.Read more ›
His simple approach to running is set down on the page with great skill and grace. But is it a hobby? An obsession? A way to keep fit? Or something more spiritual and meaningful? You can't help plumping for the latter when you read this book, so evocative and powerful are his thoughts on the way in which running requires tenacity, persistence, and a willingness to make the mind and body do things they don't really want to do. Running becomes a way of talking about all the difficulties of life - self-discipline, lack of willpower, the need for consistency.
On the other hand, he's also fantastic on the joys and delights of running: a "very attractive" young Japanese runner who smiles at him everyday on his Tokyo circuit; the mists of the wintry Charles river in Boston; a quick turn around Central Park reservoir in the company of fellow novelist John Irving.
If you aren't even slightly interested in running the book still has something to offer. It goes into detail about his philosophy of life, and he gives his thoughts about being a writer, which is intriguing for anyone who's read his strange and delightful fiction. But in the end I kept thinking about Zen buddhism - not a subject he directly touches upon.Read more ›
Haruki Murakami is a writer whose novels are enjoyed by audiences from around the world. This artist, besides with his books, manages to interest readers with his unordinary biography that runs through many of his works.
'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'' is evidently one of those books which writer, after years of writing for audience and compromises made to the editors and the market, decides to write exclusively for himself. The little things that will not seem important to the general readers will draw his real fans further close to the writer who besides music and writing has a third love – long distance running.
This book is a sort of travelogue and diary jogging which tracks his preparation for the New York marathon, while Murakami introduces us to the world of professional runners noting a number of technical details that at times become annoying to those who expected profound reflections on life, love, art and others which can be found in other Murakami works.
Many will approach to this book expecting an intimate confession of favorite author, but will be surprised by the fact that the author during the run is very little thinking about anything, except on the running.
However, it is worth withstanding a small number of uninteresting information on running to come to the recognizable Murakami writings.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
By far one of the best books i have bought. If you are a runner this book is for you!Published 18 days ago by sam dickie
I so enjoyed reading this. Murakami wrote it over 10 years and the book is a collection of his thoughts on the different running events that he competed in. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Mrs K Durkin
I read this book because I love running. Unfortunately I didn't love reading this book, I barely liked it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by MikeCr
not a runner, so it hard to work hard to interest me, finished book irritated with author's egotism, don't see what people see in it, but plenty do! Read morePublished 2 months ago by dreamflower