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What I Talk about When I Talk about Running Audiobook

What I Talk about When I Talk about Running: A Memoir

From the best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him.
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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of Kafka on the Shore comes this rich and revelatory memoir about writing and running, and the integral impact both have made on his life. Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers Murakami's four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon.

Settings range from Tokyo, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston, among young women who outpace him.

Through this marvelous lens of sport emerges a cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after age 50, of having seen his race times improve and then fall back.

Translated by Philip Gabriel.

©2007 Haruki Murakami; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Murakami crafts a charming little volume notable for its good-natured and intimate tone....An early section recounting Murakami's transition from nightclub owner to novelist offers a particularly vivid picture of an artist soaring into flight for the first time." (Publishers Weekly)
"A brilliant meditation on how his running and writing nurture and sustain each other....With sparse, engaging prose....Murakami shares his runner's high." (Sports Illustrated)
"Provides a fascinating portrait of Murakami's working mind and how he works his magic on the page." (The Plain Dealer)

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Karen 09-06-14
    Karen 09-06-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting peek into Murakami's life experiences"

    Until I listened to "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running," Stephen King's "On Writing" was my favorite nonfiction memoir-like book by a novelist. Both books are a rare treat, peeling back the veil on the novelist's mind to reveal something of their daily life and motivation for writing. While a significant portion of Murakami's book is indeed focused on running and his thoughts during his runs (which are usually quite philosophical), he also shares experiences from his stay in Cambridge MA, his earlier career as a tavern owner, his search for a swim coach, and how he runs in order to do his "day job" more effectively. I found this book absolutely fascinating and like King's "On Writing," it gave me a greater appreciation for Murakami as a writer. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 07-22-12
    Raleigh greensboro, NC, United States 07-22-12 Member Since 2009
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    "i am my own therapist and hero"

    murakami is a neurotic, nonathletic, indulged and observant guy
    he works hard to make a genuine, deliberate life for himself
    society's demands for conformity and interaction surround him

    in the midst of this struggle he discovers long distance running
    he does it because "... it suits me..." / it lets him be himself
    in the process of running he becomes his own therapist and hero

    the book doesn't try very hard to dazzle or entertain or engage
    murakami wants to connect to those who have travelled the same path
    he then shares the process by which he came to know his true self

    in an increasingly sedentary and interactive world he found a way out
    he has created a private, moveable, reliable place to retune his compass
    if that speaks to your soul great / if not, murakami would say "...move on..."


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Yerkes Singapore 06-09-09
    A. Yerkes Singapore 06-09-09 Member Since 2012

    Expatriate American academic with high, middle, and low-brow taste.

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    "pretty good"

    I had no problem with the narrator -- his reading is unaffected. I loved the first half of the book, as the writer made philosophical connections between running and writing. His claim that writing is like summoning up a toxin from deep inside will stay with me forever. But in the second half of the book, it succumbed to the common error of fitness books by focusing only on the details of his own training, goal-setting, disappointments, and I stopped caring. Still, compared to the jockish egoism of so many running books, I was impressed and identified strongly with Murakami's individualist outlook and will now check out some of his novels.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KC 01-28-10
    KC 01-28-10 Member Since 2010
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    "Engaging insight into an enigmatic writer"

    This is the first Murakami audio book I've ever listened to and I wasn't disappointed.

    I won't repeat the summary of what this book is about (the title pretty much says it all anyway), but I really enjoyed Murakami's anecdotes. Being a Murakami fan for many years now beginning with Norwegian Wood, it was refreshing to know more about the writer behind all the beloved books I've read over the years.

    The narration is excellent. Ray Porter does an admirable job, embodying Murakami's "voice" so much that I find it hard to believe it isn't Murakami narrating these anecdotes himself.

    When I listen to the book, it feels like I'm hearing an old friend recounting his stories. I've had this audiobook for close to a year now, but I return to it time and time again. Just like an old friend, I find comfort in his words and motivation in his trials/triumphs.

    Perfect for those who wish to appreciate Murakami at a human level.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean Casey King of Prussia, PA United States 02-06-16
    Sean Casey King of Prussia, PA United States 02-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Stream of Consciousness"

    I'm a runner and a big fan of Murakami's novels, so I was excited to read this book. It wasn't terrible, but I didn't love it either. He meanders around a number of topics, injects race stories here and there, and does the usual introspection we'd expect, but the book lacks any real point or take-away. I can't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samuel Lareau 01-17-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Good book. Easy to listen too."

    I think every runner will enjoy listening to this book. Very well written and narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott 12-19-15
    Scott 12-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Dreadful and uninspiring."

    Mediocre narrator and a terrible book. I kept waiting for it to get better. It didn't. It wasn't even accidentally interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer " this is planet earth" 11-09-15
    Kindle Customer " this is planet earth" 11-09-15 Member Since 2015

    "mr.max"

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    "Mens sana in corpore sano"

    Murakami- San's memoir prose is as honest, challenging, insightful and captivating as his fiction. Recommended even if you don't like running.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jared 10-08-15
    Jared 10-08-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Helps understand your runner spouse :)"

    This book helped me understand my wife who is an avid runner. It was interesting to hear why they do it (or at least one or some of the reasons). It may even have motivated me enough to start running.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Ward 07-28-15
    David Ward 07-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Starts strong finishes slow"

    The beginning promised much in the way of the inner voice of the runner - and the comparison between running and writing seemed as though it might reveal some significant insights. As the book progressed, I got the feeling of being stuck on a long run with a companion self-obsessed about detailing his superiority for the fact that he laces on some running shoes and thinks that it's compelling for one to hear about all the little things that bothered him in life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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