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This review is from: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Paperback)
This is a beautifully written (and sensitively, skilfully translated) set of essays on the physical and mental disciplines of running and writing daily. The charm of Murakami's writing for me has always been his scrupulous wording and exact, methodical investigation of his thoughts. Whether they are philosophical questions or mundane decisions, he attends to them all with equal respect and precision.
The essay on running an ultra marathon is drily witty as he tries to martial his tantrumming limbs into behaving so he can complete the run. It then shifts from this physical focus into an absorbing analysis of the trance-like state he reached during the race's final stages.
Every would-be novelist should read this book. I learned more about writing long narrative from the essay that connects running with writing than from any book that specialises in writing alone.