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

4.7 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 148 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing (30 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144946727X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449459956
  • ASIN: 1449459951
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 19,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"A short, laugh-out-loud graphic book about the promises and perils of exercise.The hilarious and the profound are often only inches apart, and Inman (Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, 2013, etc.) consistently nails the space between them. Sure to delight Inman's fans and probably win him some new ones.”

 (Kirkus Reviews)

"This graphic novel of sorts is for those of us who run so that we can have a guilt-free donut or five; those of us battling our inner fat kids. Writer and illustrator Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal (from his blog), chronicles his arc from a chubby sometimes jogger to a ultramarathoner who runs until his toenails fall off. You can’t help but conclude: If The Oatmeal and his inner Blerch (the ultimate self-underminer) can do it, you can, too." (New York Post)

"Finally! A voice that sings with the blerches of angels!" (Christopher McDougall, author of "Born to Run")

"He runs so hard his toenails fall off.  He asks himself, why?  Why do I do this?  Here, gorgeously, bravely, hilariously, is Matt's deeply honest answer."  (Robert Krulwich, NPR)

"All runners wonder, at some point or another, why we do what we do.  Mr. Inman's explanation is the best I've ever seen.  And the funniest.  Because he is clinically insane."  (Mark Remy, Editor at Large, Runner's World and author of "The Runner's Rule Book")

"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 lives in Seattle, Washington. He subsists on a steady diet of crickets and whiskey. He enjoys long walks on the beach, gravity, and breathing heavily through his mouth. His dislikes include scurvy, typhoons, and tapeworm medication.


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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: Paperback Verified Purchase
I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK.

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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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: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a real hit as a present for a runner. Lots of bizarre illustrations and humour which you will either love or hate! If you run to loose weight, you will certainly find this funny and be able to relate to some of the stories.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I absolutely love this book. I feel I can open it on any page and laugh, when seeking inspiration to push me out the door for a run. Great illustrations and a wonderful sense of humour. I don't even run short distances at this stage, but it was so inspiring to encourage me to lace-up in the first place. Don't be put off by the last 2 words of the title.
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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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