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.
I really need all the help I can get as a runner to stay motivated especially with my crazy schedule, I enjoy running and though I try to do what I can when I can, I felt the need to widen my horizons a little and went ahead and spent my credit on this book. What I found was a beautifully written understanding of all the struggles one has when attempting to strive to become a better runner. I found myself shaking my head and agreeing with many things the author conveyed. I wasnt disappointed as a listener and as a runner. Its just one of those things that only runners can relate to and the author expressed it so explicitly. Its short and just perfect enough to keep anyone motivated.
I enjoyed listening to Murakami talk about his journey through life and running.
The most memorable moment of this book was Murakami's detailed description of what is going on or not going on in the runners head as he or she runs.
This is a must for any runner. Murakami's insight is brilliant and incredibly accessible. He has a knack for explaining complex feelings that I can only dream of replicating one day. The narrator beautifully relays Murakami's dry sense of humor.
A pretty solid book. It kept me interested. If you're not much into running, you might not like it as well.
The author is a humble person, but has accomplished much in life. Some nice stories here.
I enjoyed hearing about the author's time in Greece.
I read nothing that is popular.
Running is a passion for Haruki Murakami. Instead of writing another typical memoir of his achievement as being a great author, Murakami writes about his obsession on the sport and training for the NYC Marathon and swimming in a triathlon. Through his training, you get to understand where he gets his inspiration on his best sellers that his fans enjoys.
Unlike other memoir that I've read in the past, "What I Talk about When I Talk about Running" is comparable to "On Writing" by Stephen King. Both authors doesn't focus on their success as a writer, but they rely on their hobbies and what drives them to write.
If you are a runner and not familiar Haruki Murakami's novels, you will enjoy his training for NYC because of the bond at being a runner. If you happen to be a fan of his books, you will enjoy on how he became a writer. He talks about how he wrote some of his great books like Norwegian Wood.
There is a portion in his memoir, where he talks about the Dark Shadow chasing him when he is training. I got goose bumps when I listened to that segment because this book is not all about running, but yet an insight to one of the best Japanese author in our present day.
Learning how to swim for a triathlon was the best part of the book. It explains how discipline he can be.