I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
It is rather motivational. Even if you never plan (or want) to run extreme distances, it does pick you up for those short runs too - i.e. if he can drag his butt through 199 miles, why can't I just finish this 5 miles?
He is very extreme and I imagine it's a good thing there are few like him - I believe that running is good for body and soul, but don't think we should push ourselves to the extent that these extreme runners do.
I find it amazing that he can fit a family life and a job into his reality, but he claims to do so. Makes me feel lazy with my one hour a day to hear how he runs, literally, from Friday night to Sunday evening, then goes back to work on Monday morning.
Sigh... I really gotta keep his determination in mind when I give up on my marathon training mid-season because I find it too time-consuming. The narration is good, and there's no sense of the author being "full of himself". He has done amazing things with his body... good for him!
No. Though there was interesting stuff in the book, you had to slog through hours of hearing about what kind of car Dean drives, how much money he makes, the fact that he wears tailored suits, that he partied all the way through college and "accidentally" become valedictorian, etc. The narrator is so bad, he makes me wish audible had a feature that would filter out certain narrators from my search results. He sounds like he is a high school kid being made to read aloud in front of the class.
The fact that so much of it was spent telling the reader how amazing he, the author, is. When other reviewers said he was self-congratulating, I thought, "well it is hard to say I set a new world record without sounding that way in an autobiography." But self-congratulating does not begin to describe this guy. The book is replete with stories of people being amazed at what a great father he is, thrilled by his wit, and amazed at his humility. (I am not making that up.)In his defense, I will say that though he is totally, unapologetically arrogant, I do believe that some of the glib remarks were meant to be humorous, but the narrator so utterly fails to pull it off, they just make him sound even worse.Also, be aware that this book is completely devoid of any meaningful training tips or running strategies, so if you are looking for that, look elsewhere.I will say that after the first third of the book, when he gets to his description of running the Western States 100, the story does get more interesting, but he is just hard to take. And between that and the narrator, the unsuspecting listener is in for some punishment.
As I mentioned above, this narrator sounds like a high school kid reading for his class. Though he has inflection in his tone, it is not used to properly emphasize or heighten the drama. Also, the listener is treated to many pauses where the only sound is his lip smacking and swallowing.Additionally, though it is a minor gripe, periodically throughout the recording, there is a sound in the background like he is recording in a typing pool.
Not a chance.
If you are looking for books about Ultra-running or Ultra-runners, I recommend both Scott Jurek's Book, and Rich Roll's book far above this one. Not only are they full of useful information for runners, but they leave you with a respect for the authors that this one absolutely does not.
Great story of why and how Dean runs. It highlights the Western States 100, Badwater, a South Pole Marathon, and a 200 mile relay ran solo. Lots of inspiration from the heart.
Karno's book isn't overly flowery, but it's just what I needed. Dean's story reminded me that testing my limits and a perfect way to remind me that I'm still alive! I can't wait it to go put my running shoes on…
If you've ever wondered -- as I have:
"Why would anyone want to run great distances?"
"Are those people just immune to pain?"
Or, "What does it really take to complete an ultra marathon?"
This book not only helps to answer those questions, but tells it through the eyes, heart, mind, and body of one of the most heroic ultra marathon runners alive.
Hearing Dean's story, why he runs, and the trials he endured as part of all of his accomplishments was very inspiring. It makes me want to go out and run further and push myself harder every day. And I liked that he lives by one of my favorite quotes: "Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go"
Great story by a great runner and person. Very inspirational!!! Great narration. Love the quotes!! Keep on running and telling stories about it.