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What I talk about when I talk about running…

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

by Haruki Murakami, Philip Gabriel (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6091212,295 (3.6)94
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
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, Jr. (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 Susan. Jackson/Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi A (JuliaMaria)
  7. 00
    Runningtherapie het standaardwerk voor lopers en professionals by Bram Bakker (edwinbcn)
  8. 00
    De halve van Egmond by Bram Bakker (edwinbcn)

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» See also 94 mentions

English (95)  Spanish (7)  Dutch (4)  Swedish (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (119)
Showing 1-5 of 95 (next | show all)
I'm not a runner, but I found this to be a delightful little read. I enjoyed the narrative and the insight shared. ( )
  Crystal.Brown | Mar 19, 2015 |
There were certain passages of this book where Murakami perfectly articulated the motivation behind distance running and other moments that I thought provided some interesting insight on his novels, and for those I think it's worth a read. That said, even though Murakami and distance running are two of my favorite things, I just couldn't find the rhythm here. Unlike other running books I've read, it didn't give me the urge to lace up and head out. I was expecting to really love it though, so, to be fair, I could have been holding it to some unreasonably high standards. ( )
  cattylj | Feb 28, 2015 |
This memoir makes me to want to immediately run marathons and write novels, instead of doing those things at some indefinite point in the future. So the book did its job--time will tell if I do too. ( )
  AThurman | Dec 7, 2014 |
Haruki Murakami, eräs Aasian arvostetuimmista kirjailijoista, pyrkii vastaamaan kysymykseen "miksi juokset?" Haruki käyttää tähän vastaukseen 175 sivua käyden läpi uraansa kirjailijana, klubin omistajana ja tietenkin juoksijana. Hän kertoo maraton- ja triathlontreenistään sekä lopulta juoksuhuipentumaan, 100 kilometrin juoksuun. Kirja on täynnä mielenkiintoisia anekdootteja Murakamin elämästä, jotka hän hyvillä kirjoitustaidoillaan saa hyvinkin eläväksi. ( )
  jlgr | Nov 18, 2014 |
Haruki Murakami is my favorite writer. His writing is vivid, bizarre, and humorous. In this memoir, he shares the idea that running is essential to his longevity as a writer. The idea that running and writing are symbiotic. Haruki Murakami runs at least one marathon a year. ( )
  LisaMiuHwa | Sep 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 95 (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 editionsconfirmed
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:33:14 -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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