As a runner who recently turned 40, I'm able to related to many of the observations here. That said, I came away with very little inspiration or positive messages from this one. While there's much passive acknowledgement that positive EXISTS and the author is thankful for the experiences, the majority of the words seem to dwell on inevitable disappointment associated with aging.
I was underwhelmed with this book. :(. I might be the only person... He presents very relatable experiences and is very humble but the book was not particularly thrilling or interesting. It was a straightforward brief memoir about the author and his endeavors in running.
I already know the worst day of my life. It is the day that Haruki Murakami does one of two things; dies, or stops writing.
Even something that I had absolutely no interest in, he can write about it in such a fascinating, emotionally profound way, that I'm instantly engaged.
Buy it, read it, you'll enjoy it.
It is a memoir so I expect the story to be very self centered, but the narration made Murakami seem downright pompous. That said, the book did have some wonderful insights about the practice of running and writing. I liked getting a glimpse into what Murakami's rituals are and how that figures into his creativity.
A runner myself, I have received the book as a gift several times and even in different languages. I got bored the first time I tried to read it but wanted to give it another go, and listened to the entire book, but disappointingly so, it never got any more interesting than in those first few pages. It contains lengthy and not particularly insightful descriptions of Murakami's running experiences – many of which compare to my own. This book may possibly be interesting for people who either are Murakami fans or don't run themselves and want to get a sense of what that is like – I didn't get much entertainment or new learning out of the book.
The narration was a bit too dramatic in its intonation.
I recommend not gifting this book to actual runners.
I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend. Haruki Murakami's books don't always lend themselves to an audiobook format, but this book was well served by it. It is a wonderful personal meditation on running and the routines of life. For anyone that runs regularly this book will feel like a dear companion. My only criticism is that it ended too soon.
I would recommend this book to friends who are good conversationalists and enjoying listening more than speaking. It's very entertaining if you are interested in other people who share your interests, but who have differing perspectives.
You know the cliffhanger as soon as you hear it, no mysteries there. But my favorite really is the great reveal. It wasn't whether or not he met his goal, but what would he think of the outcome? How would the outcome of this major effort affect his future plans?
I also liked Haruki's mention of living up to the standards you have set for yourself. The matter-of-fact,-no-excuses,-you-are-accountable-to-yourself way he set that was quite an eye opener.
(BTW... I did NOT expect Lovin' Spoonful to be one of Haruki's inspirations. Awesome.)
Ray Porter brought a good balance to the narration. (It's weird to write this next part, but I want to be honest with reviews)
I wanted authenticity without being stereotypical. I was a little hesitant about a book narrated by a "guy named Ray" written by an author who was Japanese.
What I really liked is that Ray brought a 'matter of fact' narration to Haruki's words. He emphasized where he should have and he just spoke well. "Enunciation" comes to mind first. But also Ray brought the conversational pace and tone of a man's memory.
I'm not sure how the whole thing fit together, maybe Haruki (Japanese) -> Philip Gabriel (printed english translation) -> Ray Porter (audio narration)
Overall, I think Ray Porter was a good fit and enjoyable.
Not really. But I generally ended each listening session with a good feeling.
Yes. I am interested in running, however I'm not a runner. Doesn't make for a good combination. However I found it interesting to get Mr. Murakami perception on this habit and why he does it for himself. I could use some of his perception to rub off on me.
It's non-fiction and didn't bore the hell out of me.
When he pointed out when you exercise everyday you don't have to worry so much about what you eat.