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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect book for runners who like to think
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...
Published on 7 Mar. 2013 by Paul C

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3.0 out of 5 stars 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 u
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...
Published 6 months ago by msund


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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect book for runners who like to think, 7 Mar. 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars This book really pins down why we run and why it is special ..., 27 Mar. 2013
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
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for every runner (and every perplexed non-runner)..., 22 April 2013
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Eugenie Verney (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant book... even if you are not a runner!!, 21 Oct. 2013
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Guy Blaskey - See all my reviews
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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
4.0 out of 5 stars Running and Rememebering, 5 Jun. 2013
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Samantha Simpson (Manchester England) - See all my reviews
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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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3.0 out of 5 stars 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 u, 9 Oct. 2014
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars What I Think About When I Run With My Wolf, 12 April 2013
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Mark Rowlands's "The Philosopher and the Wolf" - a popular philosophy best-seller based upon the writer's decade spent living with a wolf - was one of my favourite reads last year, and I was delighted to see that Rowlands came out with a new book. As a keen runner (and walker - I run the walking blog The Walking Post dot com) with a lay interest in philosophy, I was looking forward to a book about running and philosophy.

I have not read a lot of books about running, but I imagine that many of them take kind of a can-do, optimistic view of things. Doesn't regular physical exercise turn most people into more optimistic beings? If this is so, Mark Rowlands is not one of them - at least not in the traditional sense. "Running with the Pack" does not have an ounce of esoteric "our bodies are just avatars" speculation or "you can be whatever you dare to dream" pep talk in it. Rowlands does think a lot about the body and the mind (Descartes and dualism feature prominently in the book), but he keeps his feet firmly on the ground.

Nevertheless, Running with the Pack, and The Philosopher and the Wolf for that matter, are by no means pessimistic books - actually I find them very life-affirming in their core, mainly because of their sincerity. Rowlands takes a really honest look at life, and at the inevitable end of it, which awaits all of us. But it's this expiry date of the human body (and not speculation of what may lie beyond) that really makes him explore and live the here and now in a very intense way. So this sense, "Running with the Pack" is an optimistic book - not optimistic in that it puts its hope into faith (religious or other), but in that it explores who we really are and concludes that we can search for the meaning of our own lives if we try hard enough.

If you're interested in physical activity and philosophy, and how they marry up, "Running with the Pack" is a very engaging read. It is in many ways very different from Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running", but both writers use running to talk about life and philosophy (Rowlands) or writing (Murakami). My guess is that if you liked Murakami's running memoir, you will want to read Rowlands's "Running with the Pack".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, thought provoking look into exercise, pleasure and play and the meaning of life., 10 Sept. 2013
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I have been a fan of Rowlands since I read His book 'The Philosopher and The Wolf' due to his tone, informal style of introducing philosophy, humour and clear passion for introspection and understanding.

'Running With The Pack' is perhaps not the running book for those looking for practical steps on how to run. But, that being said those looking for inspiration to run, or perhaps, why indeed to run, will be moved by this book.

The philosophy within the book is perhaps distracting to those not inclined for a less physical workout, but serves it's purpose to inspire thought and revaluation of an otherwise -perhaps understood as- gruelling task of long distance running.

All in all a wonderful read, strongly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wise and humorous, 22 Jun. 2013
By 
C. J. Tyler "cjtbrocco" (England) - See all my reviews
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An unusual combination of wisdom and wit. I learned a lot here about the psychology of running and why I'm not better at it. Definitely worth reading more than once, in fact whenever you've forgotten why you are running. Very highly recommended. The author may be streets ahead of me in terms of achievement but I came away from this with respect for him and satisfaction in my position some way behind him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some interesting ideas, 29 May 2013
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Jacky Pratt (Northamptonshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I think some people might find this heavy, but I loved much of it. As a non-runner (with a husband who runs), I was interested in the philosophy side and I found the discussion of what is valuable in life, the difference between intrinsic and instrumental value etc very useful, together with ideas as to what makes us happy. It was refreshing to find the suggestion that what we do as work is not perhaps what gives our lives highest value - so may people seem to believe that fulfilling work is the ultimate goal. It gave me a better understanding of why people run and why I do some of the things I do.
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Running with the Pack: Thoughts From the Road on Meaning and Mortality
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