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Ultramarathon Man: Confession of an All-Night Runner | [Dean Karnazes]

Ultramarathon Man: Confession of an All-Night Runner

Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.
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Publisher's Summary

Karnazes reveals the mind-boggling adventures of his nonstop treks through the hell of Death Valley, the incomprehensible frigidity of the South Pole, and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains and canyons of the Sierra Nevada.

©2005 Dean Karnazes; (P)2006 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"Karnazes' book is intriguing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Charming and surprisingly quirky, providing the perfect escapist fantasy for couch potatoes and weekend warriors alike." (Kirkus Reviews)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (412 )
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4.1 (200 )
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Performance
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  •  
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 04-15-11
    crazybatcow East Coast, Canada 04-15-11 Member Since 2007

    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)

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    "If only I had his determination..."

    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!

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    karen litchfield, CT, United States 07-17-14
    karen litchfield, CT, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2011
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    9
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    "I'm not a runner"
    Any additional comments?

    The story is very captivating and it kept me entertained. The narration is great too. I was surprised that although I'm not a runner I still very much enjoyed the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 05-31-14
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 05-31-14 Member Since 2000

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Just Keep Running"

    This book has been an inspiration to stop holding myself back and just run more. Don't worry about working up to something. Just find your limits. Stop worrying about little aches and pains. Most of us have learned to pamper ourselves and avoid discomfort. It is time to seek a different, more rewarding, and more difficult path.

    Some reviewers say the book is too egotistical. Only mildly so. It is an autobiography, what did you expect he was going to write about? It will motivate you out of your comfort zone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David NC 05-13-14
    David NC 05-13-14 Member Since 2007

    bookwyrm55

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    "Amazingly entertaining while running..."
    What made the experience of listening to Ultramarathon Man the most enjoyable?

    The fact that I was able to combine listening to Karnazes' achievements, and goals, and the stories of his life, while I was also out running. I'm no ultra-marathon man, but a book like this causes "connections" and was very inspiring.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ultramarathon Man?

    The thing I keep coming back to is where he was running along a road, called ahead, and ordered a pizza ... and the guy delivered it while he was still running...


    Have you listened to any of James Yaegashi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not. I like his voice, but the reason I gave this four, and not five stars, is that the pauses at breaks, ans chapters were much too long. There were some issues with the production, I think.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, just thoroughly enjoyed it, and immediately went to find more books by the same author - which I already did, and listened to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 05-08-14
    Todd 05-08-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Only 1 redeeming quality of this book"
    Any additional comments?

    ... and that is the story of how Dean started running again as an adult. He had an opportunity to cheat on his wife, and he ran from it (and never stopped). That is praiseworthy and admirable. Cheers and blessings to Dean and his family. The rest of the book was truly self-congratulatory and an exercise in self-promotion and self-marketing. While it is very cool that he includes his family in his adventures, I had to flog myself to finish the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Surprise, AZ, United States 04-21-14
    Carl Surprise, AZ, United States 04-21-14
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    "Excellent book"
    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This guy is crazy and amazing!


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed this book and yes even my larger body is considering moving the legs again;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Anthold Porter Ranch, CA, United States 03-29-14
    Dave Anthold Porter Ranch, CA, United States 03-29-14
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    "From Couch to 100 miles"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Tempe, AZ, United States 12-31-13
    Steven Tempe, AZ, United States 12-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Entertaining and informative. Ignore the critics."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    scott Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 10-27-13
    scott Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 10-27-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Exactly What I Wanted From This Book"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean COLUMBIA, MD, United States 07-24-13
    Sean COLUMBIA, MD, United States 07-24-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Fun and inspiring story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ultramarathon Man to be better than the print version?

    Haven't read the print version.


    What other book might you compare Ultramarathon Man to and why?

    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.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    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.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Confessions of an All Night Runner


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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