I had heard some good things about this book. I was disappointed with the sophomoric writing style. The awkward subtitle is the first clue to the bad writing. Everything has to be larger-than-life. As the book was being read, it sounded like every sentence ended with an exclamation point. I was hoping for a thoughtful science-based analysis of the merits of barefoot running. Instead, 2/3 of the book is spent describing, in hyperbolic fashion, the crazy personalities involved in the field. When the book finally gets to more hard science, the author pushes theories as if they were established fact (such as the basis for accelerated cerebral growth in modern humans).
The reading was mediocre, but obviously limited by the source material.
I don't know how much of this story actually took place but I don't care. I feel like I learned something and I'm totally inspired. One of my favorite audio books!
McDougall's book is part whodunnit, part national geographic expedition, part "Rocky" ...and a completely enjoyable read (and listen). The narration is solid and McDougall's prose is immediately engaging. I have recommended this book to many folks and all have loved it.
How often can you say that a book changed your life? For me, only one has -- this one. While I had started down the path of barefoot running before I read this book, this book has firmly set my course. Christoper McDougall has created a wonderful story from true events so riveting you'd swear this was fiction. By the middle of the book, I was already anxious to listen again, and so I did. I can only wish for a movie or documentary to reinforce the great information and drama this book provides.
Most of the reviews of this audio book were very positive, but the few negative reviews made me hesitate to get it. I didn't want to spend 10+ hours listening to a load of 'barefoot' running propaganda or for-me-useless ultra-running advice. I run, but 10Ks not 160Ks and in shoes! In the end I decided to get it, but to listen to it like it was a fictional story, and well if anything struck me as true or useful then I'd accept that and just enjoy the rest as a story. And oh my, I am so, so, SO glad I did!
From the get go, I forgot all about trying to not take it as factual or not, I was so enthralled by the amazing story. First off, and to my surprise, the ultra-runners were just fascinating to me, the races, the personalities, the adventures. The first half of the book is mostly taken up with the story of ultra-runners and their races. The second half is a mix of the big race, plus a whole of of talk about the evolution of the human body and running. The evidence presented is fascinating, and the barefoot argument, although definitely a major point in this part of the book, is far from being the main point, which is that we are evolved to run long distances, and when nowadays we do it fulfills in us some deep innate need. For instance, did you know some animals can't breath while they're running, most can only take one breath per stride, and humans alone can take as many breaths as they want per stride? That's just one fact that you will learn from this book. And even the most sceptical listener will end up convinced that we are literally born to run.
Finally, and well in an audio book, an important aspect, is the reading. Again fantastic! Fred Sanders, has a sort of nice level of enthusiasm in his voice, fits the text perfectly without getting annoying. His timing, speed and intonation are perfect. I just could not stop listening and in spite of my initial hesitations this book has radically changed how I run and how I feel about running, and yes I'm an
I am not a runner, but married to a marathoner. Bought him the hardcopy book and got intrigued reading the 1st few pages. Bought the audio version for myself and found it fascinating. It covers such a wide variety of running subjects. Have several friends who have run the Leadville 100, so found that subject expecially interesting. A must for runners--and their faithful supporters!
I don't run but my wife told me to listen to it. It read like a riveting story full of colorful characters. I't actually got me motivated to start running, which is a feat in of itself. I would highly recommend it even if your not into running.
I've done various sports for most of my life, but the level of activity came close to a halt after I got three kids in a short time span starting a few years ago. I began to feel more and more out of shape. Running in itself never caught on. I've tried a few times, but it never stuck. The motivation for going for a run just wasn't there. After I listened to this book, I strapped on my running shoes and went for a short run on a rainy Friday in April in Oslo, Norway. This time I had the book and its many different aspects of running fresh in my mind. This gave me an intrinsic inspiration to take up running. Thanks Chris!
i am a runner and this was abominable, terrible reading, worse material, do not waste your money
This is my first review for Audible after many years of listening, and I found this book one of the most surprising and enjoyable of my many downloads. I am NOT a runner, but the story is so fascinating and the characters so gripping, that I have listened to this book many times. It tells a real story about people, yet intertwines science, medicine, history, and humor. The 100 mile races are incredible to read about, but the story telling is what catches you. That's the key - this is true story telling.