Dean Karnazes is probably one of the most public figures in ultra-running. In this book, he highlights his amazing comeback to ultra-running. He tells us the only pizza place to deliver to a crossroads is Round Table Pizza. He articulates his passion for running for himself and for causes. This book is full of exciting adventures and challenges you to think about getting off of your couch and heading outside.
A lot of people have criticized this book as being "self-glorifying," but I completely disagree. The book was very human, and it is easy for the reader to relate to Dean.
Some negative reviews call this a Dean Karmazes self congratulatory novel. To me this was a step by step history lesson of a man that didn't see purpose in his business life, decided to change that and turned to ultra running to get in touch with his spirituality. We are taken through his first run after the epiphany (which took him weeks from which to recover), through a number of other races where Dean discusses his self doubts and the inner being that drives him. Along the way we are introduced to a cast of memorable characters. At the end of the book you feel if Dean can do, why not me? Very inspirational.
Haven't read the print version.
I read Born to Run a couple years ago and Ultramarathon Man reminds me of it. The description of the races is similar and discussions of the training routines were comparable. The format of having short stories within the master story is also a like between the two books including the details about events. The flavor of humor and awe written into the stories I think is alike between the two books as well. Overall, both were fascinating tales of a kind of life I hadn't experienced but could relate to somewhat as a runner. Born to Run I think was more enjoyable and informative but Ultramarathon Man definitely held my attention.
Yes and no. There were long pauses in the narration which didn't make sense. The narrator didn't always match the enthusiasm or condition of the character. On the positive side the slow pace of narration did go well with the concept of Dean running 100 mile races. A slow pace to draw out the sense of distance.
Confessions of an All Night Runner
I read the reviews for this book in advance. The more negative reviews helped to prepare me for a sometimes annoying theme of the book. Dean talks much about himself and his accomplishments and not about those of the crazy people he meets. Born to Run provided a better rounded picture of the long distance running community. That said, I don't think Dean is an egotistical power and fame hungry selfist that some of the reviews present. He's simply telling HIS story. Dean's journey is his journey and that's what's told here. It sounds sometimes like he enjoys bragging only about himself. To some extent that is ok considering what he's done. I would have enjoyed less of that tone and some more side stories about the other runners he met or competed against. To be clear though, I don't think that aspect significantly ruined the book. It gave it a more personal flare and if nothing else probably communicates the competitive psyche behind a man that pushes himself to run over 200 miles.
Dean inspired me to make the move to ultrarunning! I had been a runner and completed many races including marathons, but until I read this I did not think I was capable of running more than 26.2 miles in one shot. I have done this several times now and have my first 50 mile race in a few months. Dean is a very down to earth guy (I have met him) that tells his story of running and life. He is modest and simply wants everyone to know the joys of running and the benefits it can bring. SO inspiring!!!!
I have listened to this book more times than I can count, all while training. When you run for four or five hours at a time, it's easy to listen to this book many times over.
Dean's approach to running and his ability to inspire all those around him.
I have read the book and I don't know that James does bring anything unique to the story.
It made me run 31 miles through the woods - jumping logs, running through streams, slopping in the mud, and dancing on rocks the whole way!
Get this and get outside!
I listened as I ran. Kept me going!
The stories are really unbelievable but told with honesty and credibility and just a bit of self deprecation as to not sound like bragging.
It made me run
As a runner and marathoner, I found this book to be both enjoyable and inspirational. Dean is not the fastest or the best - he is just a man with an extreme passion for running. With that passion, he takes the reader on his journey into the world of ultramarathoning. If you are a runner you will most likely enjoy this story.
The transformation from a working stiff to a running madman.
As a runner I found this book to be an excellent source of motivation. Whenever my runs became challenging, I would simply evoke the though of "what would Dean do?"
40 something male that is too busy to read but has an hour-long work commute that offers the prefect time for audio books.
I enjoyed the story but the horrible audio editing prompted me to write a review. The pauses are so misplaced and long that you will think playback has ceased. It may seem like a small thing to complain about but for a professional production it's beyond amateur that it made it out of post production. Editors should be ashamed.
I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.
For a blend of entertaining story telling, valuable insights, and motivation, this is a solid performance. If you're listening while driving, make sure your running shoes are in the car because you'll probably pull over and start running at some point. I roughly doubled my weekly mileage after listening to this book. Karnazes is an entertaining story teller who's put up the miles and experience to have some great stories to tell.
Sticking with the genre, probably only second to Born To Run in my eyes and even that is a close race.
Probably the most entertaining moment, which is told at two points in the story, was Karnazes calling for a pizza delivery in the middle of nowhere at midnight somewhere in Napa Valley. When he goes on to explain how he'd eat while running I almost had to pull over I was laughing so hard at the visualization.
Laughed so hard I nearly had to pull over while driving with the visuals. Karnazes includes enough details to draw a picture in your head of the whole scene.
Karrnazes is an incredibly gifted runner and while he downplays this by talking about how he dropped the sport for 15 years between high school and age 30, the book really does provide a lot of motivation for those of us who are less physiologically endowed. Running is such a universal experience that I find it hard to believe anyone wouldn't be inspire to lace up their shoes after giving this a listen.