First, let me say that I hate running. HATE IT.
But after listening to this wonderfully written and masterfully read story I have actually begun the first steps of barefoot running. After listening to Christopher McDougall's adventures/misadventures in the Copper Canyons of Mexico with Caballo Blanco I have both a new-found respect and interest in running. The book itself perfectly entwines great story telling, historic & scientific discoveries, and profound human truths all associated with the "art" of running. I've rarely been so satisfied by any book - I couldn't stop listening and I miss the characters so much I'm listening again. Awesome awesome awesome.
First, I was skeptical of all the good reviews. I downloaded it and then could not stop listening. This book is super long but as many have said, it is an experience you do not wish to end. This book has been crafted from somewhere deep in the author's soul and was written through many many years of effort and inner conflict.
It speaks to you if you listen with your heart. It is full of the substance of a hard-worn and profound life experience. Those experiences so perfectly relayed in description that they stay with you.
I cannot say enough about the language, the story, the wonderful characters, and the underlying themes. It is a story about true freedom. It is a story about the tragedy and beauty that is life when lived to it's fullest. It is, at once, both a deeply moving account of human resilience and wild narratives so engaging and resonant they could only be true. It is, by far, my favorite book.
A word of warning though, I have read several reviews claiming this book is slow or reporting that this book is this or that. All I can say for sure is that you have to be an introspective sort of person to read and enjoy this book beyond the surface of the main story. You must possess an emotional intelligence that is above average. You must WANT to identify with every last drop of this book or it's magnificence will be lost on you.
And oh, the narrator is awesome too. Probably the best I've ever heard.
All together this book is a life changing thing of beauty you'll never forget.
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