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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

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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

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Burt Schwartz Canada 03-31-14
    Burt Schwartz Canada 03-31-14 Member Since 2014
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    "A wonderful book to listen to while running."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this audiobook to a friend. Haruki Murakami's books don't always lend themselves to an audiobook format, but this book was well served by it. It is a wonderful personal meditation on running and the routines of life. For anyone that runs regularly this book will feel like a dear companion. My only criticism is that it ended too soon.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Chris ROchester, NY, United States 02-02-14
    Chris ROchester, NY, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting. Thoughtful."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this book to friends who are good conversationalists and enjoying listening more than speaking. It's very entertaining if you are interested in other people who share your interests, but who have differing perspectives.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What I Talk about When I Talk about Running?

    You know the cliffhanger as soon as you hear it, no mysteries there. But my favorite really is the great reveal. It wasn't whether or not he met his goal, but what would he think of the outcome? How would the outcome of this major effort affect his future plans?

    I also liked Haruki's mention of living up to the standards you have set for yourself. The matter-of-fact,-no-excuses,-you-are-accountable-to-yourself way he set that was quite an eye opener.

    (BTW... I did NOT expect Lovin' Spoonful to be one of Haruki's inspirations. Awesome.)


    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ray Porter brought a good balance to the narration. (It's weird to write this next part, but I want to be honest with reviews)
    I wanted authenticity without being stereotypical. I was a little hesitant about a book narrated by a "guy named Ray" written by an author who was Japanese.
    What I really liked is that Ray brought a 'matter of fact' narration to Haruki's words. He emphasized where he should have and he just spoke well. "Enunciation" comes to mind first. But also Ray brought the conversational pace and tone of a man's memory.
    I'm not sure how the whole thing fit together, maybe Haruki (Japanese) -> Philip Gabriel (printed english translation) -> Ray Porter (audio narration)
    Overall, I think Ray Porter was a good fit and enjoyable.


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

    Not really. But I generally ended each listening session with a good feeling.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Bisson Richardson, TX 09-17-13
    M. Bisson Richardson, TX 09-17-13 Member Since 2012

    Book Lover

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    "Makes me want to try running."
    Would you listen to What I Talk about When I Talk about Running again? Why?

    Yes. I am interested in running, however I'm not a runner. Doesn't make for a good combination. However I found it interesting to get Mr. Murakami perception on this habit and why he does it for himself. I could use some of his perception to rub off on me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It's non-fiction and didn't bore the hell out of me.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When he pointed out when you exercise everyday you don't have to worry so much about what you eat.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna 06-18-13
    Anna 06-18-13
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    "Interesting memoir for runners"
    Would you listen to What I Talk about When I Talk about Running again? Why?

    I really need all the help I can get as a runner to stay motivated especially with my crazy schedule, I enjoy running and though I try to do what I can when I can, I felt the need to widen my horizons a little and went ahead and spent my credit on this book. What I found was a beautifully written understanding of all the struggles one has when attempting to strive to become a better runner. I found myself shaking my head and agreeing with many things the author conveyed. I wasnt disappointed as a listener and as a runner. Its just one of those things that only runners can relate to and the author expressed it so explicitly. Its short and just perfect enough to keep anyone motivated.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Joseph C. Stewart Modesto, CA 05-25-13
    Joseph C. Stewart Modesto, CA 05-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book to listen to while you run."
    Where does What I Talk about When I Talk about Running rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed listening to Murakami talk about his journey through life and running.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of What I Talk about When I Talk about Running?

    The most memorable moment of this book was Murakami's detailed description of what is going on or not going on in the runners head as he or she runs.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Douglas 02-13-13
    Douglas 02-13-13

    dalsingdj19

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    "Brilliant"
    What did you love best about What I Talk about When I Talk about Running?

    This is a must for any runner. Murakami's insight is brilliant and incredibly accessible. He has a knack for explaining complex feelings that I can only dream of replicating one day. The narrator beautifully relays Murakami's dry sense of humor.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Blue Springs, MO, United States 02-07-13
    William Blue Springs, MO, United States 02-07-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Interesting Stories; Good for Runners"
    Where does What I Talk about When I Talk about Running rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A pretty solid book. It kept me interested. If you're not much into running, you might not like it as well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author is a humble person, but has accomplished much in life. Some nice stories here.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I enjoyed hearing about the author's time in Greece.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim United States 12-15-12
    Tim United States 12-15-12 Member Since 2011

    I read nothing that is popular.

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    "An Insight in Murakami"

    Running is a passion for Haruki Murakami. Instead of writing another typical memoir of his achievement as being a great author, Murakami writes about his obsession on the sport and training for the NYC Marathon and swimming in a triathlon. Through his training, you get to understand where he gets his inspiration on his best sellers that his fans enjoys.

    Unlike other memoir that I've read in the past, "What I Talk about When I Talk about Running" is comparable to "On Writing" by Stephen King. Both authors doesn't focus on their success as a writer, but they rely on their hobbies and what drives them to write.

    If you are a runner and not familiar Haruki Murakami's novels, you will enjoy his training for NYC because of the bond at being a runner. If you happen to be a fan of his books, you will enjoy on how he became a writer. He talks about how he wrote some of his great books like Norwegian Wood.

    There is a portion in his memoir, where he talks about the Dark Shadow chasing him when he is training. I got goose bumps when I listened to that segment because this book is not all about running, but yet an insight to one of the best Japanese author in our present day.

    Learning how to swim for a triathlon was the best part of the book. It explains how discipline he can be.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Michael 10-11-12
    Michael 10-11-12
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    "Fascinating peek into the mind of Murakami"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd recommend this to anyone with a passing interest in writing or running. This is essentially an exploration into one man's methods behind both, binding them together in two like-minded experiences. Having already been a long-time fan of Murakami's novels, as well as a long-time running enthusiast, I couldn't believe the luck of having two personal interests so thoroughly combined. Absolutely satisfying.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jazmin 10-10-12
    Jazmin 10-10-12 Member Since 2016

    Librarian, knitter, bibliophile.

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    "Murakami is a great author"
    What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Ray Porter has a soothing voice that makes this novel a great listen.


    Any additional comments?

    Murakami is the kind of writer who can make even running seem interesting. The way he weaves his life, writing and running together is compelling, and the narrator has such a nice, conversational tone that you almost feel like he's an extension of Murakami telling you about everything while sitting in his living room.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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