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What I talk about when I talk about running…
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What I talk about when I talk about running (original 2007; edition 2009)

by Haruki Murakami (Author), Philip Gabriel (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9951301,907 (3.62)103
Member:edwinbcn
Title:What I talk about when I talk about running
Authors:Haruki Murakami (Author)
Other authors:Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Info:London: Vintage Books (2009)
Collections:Read but unowned, Read All Time, Read in 2012
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Japanese Literature, Biography, Haruki Murakami, Health, Sports, CASS

Work details

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir by Haruki Murakami (2007)

  1. 50
    Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words by Jay Rubin (Jannes)
    Jannes: If you want to know more about Murakami as a person you can either go to his own essay-style semi-biography, or you can try Rubin's more systematic and academic approach. Both are worthy of your time.
  2. 30
    The Rider by Tim Krabbé (gust)
    gust: Krabbé heeft het over wielrennen. Ook autobografisch, maar literair beter uitgewerkt dan Murakami.
  3. 30
    Born to run: the hidden tribe, the ultra-runners and the greatest race the world has never seen by Christopher McDougall (DeDeNoel)
    DeDeNoel: One of the best books ever about running. Murakami's book and this totally inspired me to become a runner.
  4. 10
    Cassidys Lauf: Roman by John L. Parker (ostgut)
  5. 32
    Bench Press by Sven Lindqvist (prezzey)
    prezzey: Writers talk about the place of sports in their lives. I personally prefer Bench Press, but if you're interested in the topic, both are worth reading.
  6. 00
    Flow im Sport by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (JuliaMaria)
  7. 00
    Runningtherapie / druk 1: het standaardwerk voor lopers en professionals by B. Bakker (edwinbcn)
  8. 00
    De halve van Egmond by Bram Bakker (edwinbcn)
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» See also 103 mentions

English (106)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  All (1)  Finnish (1)  All (130)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I loved the title borrowed from Raymond Carver´s ‘What I Talk about When I Talk about Love’. I had never read anything by the author but I knew about him. When I saw the book in perfect condition at a second-hand bookshop I didn´t hesitated to buy it. I wanted to discover his work and even though I am not a runner it coincided with a time in my life when I am trying to get into a routine of running 6km per day in my local park to lose the elusive last 20 pounds post-pregnancy weight. I found encouragement in the book and what I liked most is how close to the bone human he is and how running gives structure to his life, which is something I am beginning to relate to. I liked his self-pep-talk, perseverance and commitment to himself to always do his absolute best, and most of all, his profound understanding of how vulnerable we all are. ( )
  Acia | Jan 31, 2017 |
Let me start off with some qualifications. I'm generally not much for non-fiction. Nor am I big on audiobooks, which is the format in which I consumed this particular book. I also don't care much about running. But! I do very much like the work of Mr. Murakami, and I was particularly interested in what, over the course of discussing running, he might have to say about his writing process. So that's how I ended up giving this book a shot.

I definitely think the book will be of most interest to those who are runners. Mr. Murakami goes in depth on his training regimen for various races, as well as the events of those races, and discusses his disappointment and/or satisfaction with the results. I mean, it's a book about running marathons. But threaded throughout are elements of his life, his background as a writer, his thoughts on aging, some philosophies on life, and many other things that are seemingly outside of the book's main purview. His (writing) voice is so engaging that it held my attention all the way through, even during the parts that were exclusively about running.

It should be noted, for anyone who may pick this up due to an interest in running and then decide to check out more of Mr. Murakami's work: his fiction, generally speaking, does not read anything like this. Most of it is quite surreal. I'd recommend starting with Norwegian Wood (I think that's a good starting point for reading him anyway; it's a wonderful book, and relatively straightforward) and then go from there. ( )
  jonwwil | Jan 19, 2017 |
Listened to this unconventional memoir while on a road trip with the family. Murakami relates his life as a writer to his quarter century of long-distance running with some interesting insights. This is a book that I think resonates well with anyone who likes to run. It does drag on a bit, though. ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a very interesting memoir because it's so particular.

I adore Haruki Murakami's writing style and thought this was a really good read.

This work is more about Murakami's approach to running and his mental processes when he runs. I really like Murakami as an author, he's probably one of my favourite authors, so he could write anything and I'd read it. I'm a little bit biased.

I've heard a lot of people talk about the fact that they don't like this book so much because he complains a lot about his own flaws. To me, that made Murakami more vulnerable. I felt like I was talking to a friend rather than a prize-winning author.

His voice was lovely and humble and really approachable. I can understand why other people didn't like it but for me, it was short, sweet and sentimental. ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
A diary/memoir of the author's devotion to running. A devotion that borders on an obsession. But what he demonstrates is an unembarrassed self awareness and a complex mastering of apparently simple language which is similar to that of Oliver Sachs. Strangely inspirational. ( )
  Steve38 | Aug 27, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
[Y]ou need be neither runner nor writer to find resonance in this slender but lucid meditation.
 
So what does he think about while running? The disappointing answer is not much apart from the rhythms of feet on tarmac and blood pumping round the body.
 
It is not just these perversely impressive physical feats that sharpen what might otherwise be a dull treatise on a healthful habit; Mr. Murakami's work has always combined the ordinary and the extraordinary, and this memoir is no exception.
 
To characterize it as briefly as possible: easy on ear and mind alike, it’s the type of prose I would call sort of pretty poor. Running is “sort of a vague theme” (i.e., not just vague but vaguely vague), and the book is “a kind of memoir.” Murakami sort of likes this kind of thing, not just as an indistinct modifier but as a form of category-definition. He’s the “type of person,” “kind of person” — I lost track of the number of times this came up — who likes “sort of laid-back” music and is “sort of a brazen person” who sometimes has “a sort of arrogant attitude.”
added by dcozy | editNew York Times, Geoff Dyer (Aug 10, 2008)
 
When I closed the book, I found myself fantasising not about athletic feats, but that more readily available satisfaction that Murakami evokes so tellingly: the stinging joy of a very, very cold beer.
 

» Add other authors (23 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Haruki Murakamiprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gabriel, PhilipTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Zum Schluss möchte ich dieses Buch allen Läufern widmen, denen ich auf meinem Wege begegnet bin, die ich überholt habe und die mich überholt haben. Wenn ihr nicht gewesen wärt, wäre ich vielleicht nie weitergelaufen.
(Nachwort, August 2007)
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I'm on Kauai, in Hawaii, today, Friday, August 5, 2005. It's unbelievably clear and sunny, not a cloud in the sky.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307389839, Paperback)

An intimate look at writing, running, and the incredible way they intersect, from the incomparable, bestselling author Haruki Murakami.While simply training for New York City Marathon would be enough for most people, Haruki Murakami's decided to write about it as well. The result is a beautiful memoir about his intertwined obsessions with running and writing, full of vivid memories and insights, including the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in athletic pursuit.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he'd completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a slew of critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo's Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston among young women who outpace him. Through this marvellous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revealing, both for fans of this masterful yet private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running. Biographies & Autobiographies. Track & field sports, athletics.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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