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240 of 247 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story, and much more
Born to Run succeeds at three levels. First, it is a page turner. The build up to a fifty-mile foot race over some of the world's least hospitable terrain drives the narrative forward. Along the way McDougall introduces a cast of characters worthy of Dickens, including an almost superhuman ultramarathoner, Jenn and the Bonehead--a couple who down bottles of booze to warm...
Published on 16 May 2009 by T. Sull

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199 of 221 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fictionalised and often disingenuous account
I realise I'm in minority here but I really didn't enjoy this book at all. As a result of all the rave reviews I bought a copy for both myself and a friend - we were both hugely disappointed.

The author, Christopher McDougall, is an American magazine correspondent and this perhaps goes someway to explain a lot of what I didn't like about the book. To begin...
Published on 31 Jan 2011 by Gerund


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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational, 4 April 2010
By 
Alison "Kindle Allie" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Born to Run is an excellent book; a mixture of travel and culture, biological anthropology and inspirational running writing. Ostensibly the book is about ultrarunning and the journey towards a 50 mile endurance event with a tribe in Mexico but it's really so much more than that. The author explores our running heritage and proposes that we are really born to run, being designed as running animals.

If you've got any interest in running from the recreational jogger right through to the elite ultrarunner then I'd heartily recommend this book. It's very well written, interesting, engaging and very compelling. I read it in within a couple of days because I just wanted to keep on reading. The only thing I would have liked to have seen would be some photographs of the people and places that MacDougall mentions but that doesn't detract from the great book that this is.

By the end of the book you will want get out outside and run barefoot for hours. Inspirational stuff.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Time to put on your plimsolls, 1 Feb 2010
By 
Mr. Stephen Greensted (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
"I've run twenty marathons and two ultramarathons, and have been wondering what, if anything to do next. This book has got me running again. The science of running is very revealing about the origins of homo sapiens, as are the explanations for why barefoot running is better for you than cushioned-shoed running, why we have a running range of 50+ miles, why women and men are more or less the same size, and why Americans, who started the running boom, now struggle to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the the marathon.

The topic of persistence hunting is covered well, but, if you want to know more, there is an earlier, and more informative, version in Laurens van der Post's "The Lost World of The Kalahari", which is also a first person eye witness account.

That aside, read Born to Run, glug down some pinole, pull on a pair of canvass and rubber shoes - 1970s Onitsaka Tigers, or 2009 Vibram Five Fingers or a 1930s vintage pair of plimsolls will do - and run."
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best running books I have read, 31 Oct 2014
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This review is from: Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Paperback)
One of the best running books I have read. A strange hidden world of 'ultras'. Ultra crazy if you ask me.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but better ones out there., 8 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Paperback)
Very American style writing but generally a good book. British books tend to be better written, IMHO..
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost like getting the endorphins from exercising from the comfort of your own chair!, 9 April 2010
This book is amazing! It was recommended to me by a colleague at work and I have recommended it to any of my friends who have ever done any sort of running.

I'm primarily a swimmer who has done a bit of running, but when I read the parts in this book that describe running, it gave me the feeling of running/exercising, escaping and being free. I looked forward to coming home and reading this book. I was really disappointed when I finished it. It made me a lot calmer when reading it.

Interwoven with the running races and the profiles of ultra runners and their stories, are scientific snippets about how we as humans are designed for endurance running and despite being designed for running hints at some interesting causes for the high injury rate associated with running.

Definitely one to read. It's one of the best books I've read this year, and I've read some fantastic books so far!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just read it!, 17 Sep 2009
This book is a fine read - enjoyable, inspiring, informative and moving in equal measure - that I would readily recommend to pretty much anyone, irrespective of their level of interest in running. It took me a chapter or two to get over the slightly breathless American journalistic style, but then I was hooked by a great story populated with exceptional and engaging characters. Not in any way a "running manual", it worked well for me as a counter-culture follow-up to ChiRunning (an approach mentioned in passing in this book, along with POSE). Having already tried and enjoyed barefoot style running, it's reminded me to do more of the same, and to do away with the expensive and arguably counter-productive running shoes that everyone has been brainwashed into believing are essential. But it remains to be seen whether I'll be running any further than 10k or so...!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring and Informative, 2 Jan 2010
By 
J. Goddard "Jim Goddard" (Shipley) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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I won't say much as I can't add to the peans of praise that others have written. They are justified. One can criticise the style a little bit (for example, almost without exception, the author feels impelled to mention how good-looking various female runners are), but that would be quibbling. Overall, this is an inspiring read. The digressions into discussing shoe use and evolutionary biology enhance the book rather than detract from the story. The author has taken a fascinating tale and done it justice. I was puzzled by the absence of photographs, but it didn't really detract from my enjoyment. Moreover, as a runner I have learned things that I think will have a signficant and positive effect on my running. I would certainly recommend it to any fellow runner. Indeed, many complete non-runners would also be bowled over by the central story and how it is told.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 6 Nov 2014
This review is from: Born to Run: The Hidden Tribe, the Ultra-Runners, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen (Paperback)
Written with integrity, gripping style, lots of information...a very interesting subject matter.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Tale of Running, 9 July 2009
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Few books really grip as this one did. As an aspiring runner (to improve my triathlon times!), I am interested in books about running that are not what might be described as orthodox. From the outset I was drawn into a world I had previously only seen mentioned in passing - that of the ultra-distance racer.

This book is written in an interesting and easy to read style and does an excellent job of mixing the story telling with some information about running (that references published articles and research, as well as hearsay and opinion), injuries and the running industry.

I could not wait to get back to it every time I had to put it down and would highly recommend it. This story inspired me to take my first foray into barefoot running (well with Vibram FiveFingers on).
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, especially if you're interested in running, 7 July 2009
As a book it's a bit of an odd beast; it's part history, part travelogue, part running science, part biology and part a series of personnel stories, all of it leading up to the climatic final race. However imho it all hangs together rather well and I really enjoyed it and would strongly recommend to all fellow runners.

If you're a non-runner, or have a passing interest; there are one two bits that are perhaps a little too detailed, however I'd still recommend it as an interesting, highly motivational and accessible book about running.

Strengths
+ interesting story/stories
+ well written
+ plenty of running related info.
+ highly motivating (got me considering an ultra ;-) )

Weaknesses
- labours the hypothesis we are evolved to be fantastic distance runners possibly slightly too much (one or two dodgy points in there too).
- few photo's would not have gone amiss as other have pointed out.
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