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Summary

In 1982 Murakami began running to keep fit. Here he reflects on his running experiences. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-listen for fans of this masterful author and for the increasing number of people who find a similar satisfaction in running.

©2007 Haruki Murakami (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc

Critic reviews

"Hugely enjoyable.... You don’t have to run a marathon to be captivated." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"This is my most recent inspirational find.... Murakami makes me want to write hard and run far and fast." ( Easy Living)

What listeners say about What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprising little gem

I was a little apprehensive at first to listen to a book about running especially for someone who doesn't run but once again Haruki Murukami brings the subject to life through wonderful little anecdotes, takes and philosophies. Only he can do such a thing. It actually inspired me to take up running some day.

12 people found this helpful

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A beautiful book beautifully narrated

This is an absolutely wonderful book. I love how it is both about running and also nothing to do with running whatsoever. It is in no way a self help book or a manual on exercise, but more Murakami's autobiography told through the act of running.
You can see how the structure of the book was conceived as it could easily be the passing thoughts and memories thought up by someone during a run.
The book's themes run very deep. I suppose overall it is about life and its deep complexities. Health, longevity, tenacity, achieving your goals, mortality.
Murakami's clean Japanese prose style is beautiful to read and this performance is beautifully narrated without any embellishment or unnecessary drama. I've already listened to it twice.

8 people found this helpful

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Seriously disappointing

I was so looking forward to this book. It’s hailed as a running classic and source of inspiration but I found it a turgid, self-indulgent ungrateful monologue of great superficiality. The moments that almost resembled something akin to self reflection or a probing of the deeper emotional relationship with running led nowhere. The prose was immature and boyish, and the potentially philosophical elements linguistically crude with simplistic and pointless metaphors. Written from a (self confessed) self centred perspective I struggled to get through each whining chapter and gained no insight, wisdom or even enjoyment. Seriously disappointing.

6 people found this helpful

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Always worth reading

Murakami is one of today's best writers, with great insight and ability to relay it on.

5 people found this helpful

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An inspirational memoir

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely. "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" is a story which captures a quintessential aspect of human life. It reminds us that the joy of achievement is not only in outrunning the competition but it's also in the small improvements you bring into your performance every day. It gives you a sense of purpose and makes your life experience worthwhile.

This memoir captures Murakami's experience between the year 2005 and 2006. Although the author had primarily summarised his experience from sports and writing novels, his philosophy could be equally be applied in any domain.

In short words, this memoir is a simple yet profound experience. You should definitely read this if you love running and also read this if you don't, you will not be disappointed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Maybe, I enjoyed this book and perhaps I may return back to it in future seeking for inspiration again.

5 people found this helpful

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A book for runners, a book for everyone.

I have found listening to this book has beautifully encapsulated so much of what I've learnt about myself and other people through running. Murakami doesn't tell you about running, he shows you.

4 people found this helpful

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One for the fans

I liked it but I love Murakami, so it was like listening to a wonderful wise friend telling stories. Admittedly, that friend bangs on a lot about what not, but hey, he's your friend, his anecdotes are lovely. You might not ring him for a while though, you know, in case he asks if you've taken up running.

2 people found this helpful

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Just meh!

Ok it was easy to listen to, but I don't really understand the purpose of this book. It doesn't really seem to have a story to it. He just seems to randomly bounce between subjects of running, then triathlon. Not worth a credit for sure.

2 people found this helpful

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Foot for Thought

I wasn't sure what to think about this book. It's off the beaten track in more ways than one, almost a philosophical examination of long distance running, the life of a novelist and what the point of being either actually is. I suspect that you could read or listen to this book several times and get something different from it each time. On the surface, it seems quite a simple read but there are probably layers to it if you chose to look deeply into what is being said. One example that sticks in my mind is where the author passes a pretty girl every day on his regular run. She becomes part of his motivation to head out, in the hope he'll see her in a new outfit, or that she'll give him a bigger smile as she passes by. But he knows he's too shy to try and stop and talk to her, never mind learning her name. That doesn't diminish the connection though and, for him, looking forward to the regular occurrence reinforces his sense of self and is another reason to enjoy running. For others, this might be a missed opportunity that they'd torture themselves over. The lesson is to find your own path, find what works for you and commit to it in a manner that is true to how you live your life. It is your life after all.
Maybe I should go back and read or listen to the book again. I enjoyed it, but finished it wondering if it was the book that was a bit shallow or if it was just my reading of it? I kind of suspect the latter.

2 people found this helpful

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A simple, yet great memoir

Here you will know more about Murakami San
It is not only book about running, it is also about life, and the will to keep on going.
After finishing many of his novels, Honestly i didn't expect Mr. Murakami to have this peaceful view about life!

If you love his novels, then this is definitely a book for you, and you will find interesting things about them :)

7 people found this helpful

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  • Kasper
  • 27-01-18

Like listening to a friend

For what it is, it's perfect. Want to hear a man talk about running and how it has been an intricate part of his daily life as a writer? If yes this is the book for you.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sólveig
  • 21-05-17

Fantastic book!!!! Could not stop listening to it!

Fantastic book!!! Could not stop listening to it!! The storyteller does a good job!! I will now look at other books from this writer :-)

1 person found this helpful

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  • shannagen
  • 29-12-16

Very natural and real

Loved this book.. the author kept it so real.. loved his approach and honest view about everything in this book.. it inspires me to define my own goals n not be disturbed/distracted about the general notion of "success"


1 person found this helpful

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  • Raiya Kishwar Ashraf
  • 20-11-21

Banter with a friend

Listening to this book was like having a long conversation with a friend. Haruki’s storytelling together with the matter-of-fact reading made for a great listen during walks. Recommend to anyone with a desk-based job!

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  • kferic
  • 10-10-21

Simple but brilliant book

Interesting book, very modeste writing style. Since it a biography I like it even more because H. Murakami is a simple, organised, openhearted person. The narator is perfect.

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  • Not
  • 04-01-21

Easy short read

As a runner I really enjoyed this book. It left me feeling and wishing he had a part two of this story. He definitely helped me realise alot of runners think and feel alot of similar things. And our competitive behavior is very similar. live it. Will definitely read it again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-05-20

10/10

Such an amazing book, made my runs so much more enjoyable. One of the best books i have ever read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-01-20

What he talks about when he talk about himself

What he talks about when he talk about himself -is running.

Mixed bag this one, annoying lack of insight at times but there are lessons to be learned from this book for sure.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cari Batenburg
  • 08-01-20

Didn't know if I would like this but...

I loved it so much! Who would have imagined that listening to a person's thoughts and experiences of running would be so enjoyable and thought-provoking.

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  • Filipe Pereira
  • 12-02-19

he is a natural. his way is so fluid ! I

he is a natural. his way is so fluid ! i saw myself in each word! became a fan!