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.
Yes if they were an athlete and strongly considering a Paleo diet. It provides practical DIY details into how to hone such a diet for specific sports.
I thought there would be more variety to the diet described. My biggest take away was that sweet potatoes and walnuts are awesome and grains are not. So that was less than expected.
Yes. Not too fast or slow or out of tone. It was boring sometimes though. Buying a Paleo cookbook might have been just as effective.
No. Unless they make a cooking channel showing how to make some of the foods described. I actually tried a couple of the recipes. Seeing someone do the food prep as it's being described could be really useful.
While I enjoyed this snippet into a diet that I don't use I think there was other less time consuming ways to find out what this book explains. i.e. a few specific internet searches could get most of it. The book just puts it in an organized grouping. If an interested reader is on the fence I'd say just do some Googling. Look into: Paleo's origins, science behind it, key tenants, adaptations for athletes, and FAQ. That's the book in a nutshell.
The details of his diet. He summarized well including scientific reasoning for what he eats and why. I took long notes about his food and drink choices and did further research about it on my own. While the story was inspiring and fun to hear, it's the diet information that I've continued to put to work each week.
I'd slightly compare this to Scott Jurek's book Eat & Run. Mainly because of the blend between his personal life and his eating life. Both overcame some heavy life stuff to become awesome athletes and both espouse similar healthy eating plans.
No. I can't offer comparison here.
No. It's plenty long enough to listen to over days. Plus I waned to think about what he did before continuing so I could wrap my mind around his accomplishments. In addition, taking notes and doing follow on research about his diet assertions was helpful to me getting the most from this audiobook. This required time and I would have missed much by cranking through it in one sitting.
Humble and filled with details. This was well worth the money and time. In fact, I bought a Vitamix blender after hearing what Rich could do with one. Next to entering an Ultra-man race I'd say this book was very impactful on me and could be for others.
I haven't read the print version but in general I would say yes. Elizabeth herself reads it which is meaningful for this story. Also, there isn't much about this story that requires a person to re-read it. So hearing it once in audio at the pace and tone it was written is probably better than what may happen if read in print.
When there are police nearby looking for Elizabeth but she is too afraid to scream to them for help. For me such a concept as not screaming for help when it's so desperately wanted was shocking. Yet Elizabeth does well at describing why this was so. I found that to be a powerful example and insight into how these crimes evade discovery.
Since most of the first half of the book is about lots of bad stuff happening, the part that was my favorite was Elizabeth being reunited with her family. I won't spoil it but it was quite the scene to read about. Especially, knowing it's actually happened and all that went on leading up to it.
No. Sometimes it seemed like I wanted to get through it quickly. But there is only so much of the dark stuff described that I could take in one sitting. Don't get me wrong, it's not all dark, but I wanted breaks between large sections.
I thought the story was well told. A reasonable amount of detail was provided to honestly and throughly tell the story without going too deep into stuff that's inappropriate to share.
Yes. Mostly. Gave me insight into her experience on the PCT. How she handled the challenges, what the people were like, and the tie into her life themes. I enjoy learning about this stuff because a) I am a long distance hiker and can benefit from some of it and b) I enjoy hearing other people's life stories for entertainment and edification.
I was happy with it. It made sense given the story that unfolded and how the true character developed. It didn't leave me with many unrequited frustrations like some stories do.
The voice didn't sound as I would have pictured the character. It took some getting used to her tone.
Maybe. It's got the drama and suspense for either. Movie maybe because it could show the highlights of the experience. Series since it could get into the deeper themes of the characters life which were explained in the story. Much of the book spent time on those things. I don't think any known stars should play in it. An all new cast would be appropriate for the haphazard type theme that the main character experiences. No known character could fit that well.
As a long distance hiker myself much of the experience the author described was very familiar to me. In that regard I was a little disappointed. I can imagine someone who has never backpacked more than a couple days on a trail would find the story way more exciting than I did.
Depends. If they want to delve directly into learning the Kenyan culture of running to "feel" what it is that makes them great then yes. If they are just looking for facts about what the Kenyans do right then no. The facts can be found elsewhere. This is a story of a guy visiting Kenya to run with the Kenyan's and understand what makes them great. But there really isn't a secret as to what that is. It's a combination of many things and I'm sure there are summaries online that explain everything revealed in this book in a simpler format. Since this is the authors experience in Kenya he tells side stories about his family and what life is like there. Often they aren't relevant to why I choose to read the book and in addition I found them boring. Frequently I found myself screaming in my head, "stop telling me all these meaningless details from your everyday life!". I didn't want to hear about him not getting offered tea when he visited someone. I did get some useful information from Finn's experience though. Since the information was surrounding a real story it may help me remember it in the proper context better. From that perspective the book was a success for me. Being able to see how facts connect to reality is the biggest value I got from this book.
No. He includes too many details of little importance to hold my attention. His story also starts too slow and strays from the central point of the book too much. I'd rather not go through that again.
Sort of. Too slow in my opinion with unnecessarily long pauses. Once he got talking about events it wasn't too bad. Most of all though the voice just didn't match how I imagined the character sounding. I know Finn is British but the narrator sounded like a grandfather too tired to walk rather than an above average marathoner in his 30's. And the English expressions in the tone of the narrator to me sounded awful sometimes. On several occasions at least I recall thinking that the author couldn't have actually used that tone matched to those expressions when he spoke to the Kenyans. I guess i could be wrong but that's what I thought of.
Yes. I'd like to have known more about his work with Runner's World magazine. Was he writing articles for them while he was in Kenya? What were his typical topics? Did he work much in Kenya? What kind of hours and schedules did he work? Did Runner's World pay for any of his travels and running stuff in Kenya? His occupation seems like such a useful piece of information yet Finn left out much of it's influence on his Kenya trip. Surely he was able to move to Kenya partly because Runner's World loved the idea. But he just leaves that whole piece rather empty.
Decent book overall. But it lacked many of the things that make a great book and great narration. I don't regret buying it but wish it were priced less considering it's quality.
This book ranks in the top quarter of the audiobooks I've listened to.
Description of Scott vomiting during the Badwater race.
I wouldn't have pictured Scott having such a pissed off voice the entire time throughout Quincy's reading. I still imagine that Scott doesn't have such a voice but it colored the whole books experience. There was a number of situations where it was appropriate to convey the competitive and tough nature of the scene. I'd say there was equally enough situations where it wasn't appropriate. Every other time was just annoying to hear that tone. By the end I got used to some but would have preferred it not be that way.
This book did make me laugh at several parts and there were a few others that were very touching. I've done enough crying over my own losses so I passed on doing it here. But Scott's story is very real and human. I'm glad he shared the depth of his life. As a result the story was powerful and inspiring. If I go out and run my first ultra-marathon then I'd say I had an extreme reaction to this book. And I do want to run one now.
The book includes many valuable suggestions for runners. I frequently stopped and took notes so I could examine and try some of his suggestions. Considering I've been a runner for 15+ years I'd say this is worth noting.
Yes. Factual information can be life transformative to someone depressed, anxious, mal nourished, or who struggles with addictive behavior. To someone already in a regular exercise routine it is supportive, informative, and motivational. I think most people could benefit from this information. I wish I knew it when I was younger. It may have saved me from much misery in my life.
His story of kids at a school that included vigorous aerobic exercise in their curriculum. About how they learned better,performed better academically, and had less behavioral issues.
Yes. Clean and well spoke. Good tempo and tone.
The discussion about exercise and depression. I've had a number of personal experiences of dealing with depression when my physical activity decreased. Trying to describe that to friends, relatives, and even doctors was always frustrating. Now I know some of the neuroscience behind what was happening. It justified much of what I've been telling people for years and had to discover the hard way on my own. From this book I have an even clearer perspective on my own condition and how to maintain and improve the quality of my life.
To those who don't like exercise. The author discusses how it is true that some people may be genetically predisposed to not "like" exercise. However, he told story after story of when "those" people tried aerobic exercise it was life transforming for them. Angry people becoming calm, anxious people becoming confident, unfocused people becoming focused. Almost biblical healing kind of stuff. If only so many more of those people knew how they could help themselves how much happier people would be. This idea was one of the more profound this book has to offer.
No. It's too long. But I'd consider it if I had the time and wanted to re-enjoy the beauty of language used well and the story of important philosophy woven into a story of several people.
A discussion on the purpose of money.
Elements of tone and personality to the characters and situation which helped make the story come alive.
Many. Discussions of trade and money. Logic tirades arguing the harms of socialism and the value in a merit based system.
Though I drool over pro-capitalism and meritocracy literature it should be noted that not all of Rand's points make sense universal. She does tend to make things linear and absolute which in reality are not. Perhaps that's the beauty of her work in that she can make things absolute and clear to illustrate her points. Although, I would caution a reader that if they have conservative views or understand a more balanced approach to marketplace interaction some parts of this book may rub the wrong way.
Yes. The facts included from research and real world examples made the points come to life in a very real way. It allowed the content to sink in and stick in my memory. In addition, the content was relevant to exactly what I wanted to know.
Describing how a typical medium income level earning person becomes a millionaire.
The concept of investing time in how to invest and bend everyday financial decisions into an orchestra building a symphony of wealth.
I recommend this to other people looking to build wealth from modest incomes. Or really any income level.
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