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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.

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
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  • Story

Written about me.

This book was written about me, or perhaps many long distance runners. There are a few passages that speak directly to my thoughts when I run and how I feel about it. The drive of us all is written in the pages. The story in the tails also makes you want to know, how did he do in that race. Well written and well red. A runners inspiration.

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insightful, entertaining, honest

the only issue I have is that it's a bit too short (I wanted more!)

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Lovely For Writers

If you could sum up What I Talk about When I Talk about Running in three words, what would they be?

This is great if you're a writer and want to know how other writers work in their daily life.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Due the writer its about.

Which scene was your favorite?

This book can be good to read while your running.

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

I'm going to start writing next week!

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This book uplifted my spirit

I confess to wanting to, but not reading any of Murakami's books. A few years ago I purchased 'Mozart on the Shore' on Audible, but never got around to listening. This book somehow appeared on my screen as I was browsing for books; the title and its author grabbed my attention. I'm in my mid fifties and have been running regularly for the past six years, seven miles per run, a few times a week, work and weather permitting. I ran a few half marathons for fun, not in a race, just because I felt I could do it. I also wrote a couple of technical books and am in the process of writing the third. So, I could relate to Murakami's writing, and was fortunate to listen just when my spirits were low due to the slow and tedious work on my book, and a reduced frequency of runs. I started listing at a low point, and after seven miles, the rest of my day brightened up. I gained my optimism again, and now, after finishing his book on writing and running, look forward to reading his novels. I enjoyed The performance very much. Thank you!

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Nice little book

I've never been a fan of Murakami and purchased this book only because it talks about running. Nevertheless, many times while the listening to it, I catch myself thinking of a person I know, who isn't crazy about this theme, but would appreciate the book. So, I would recommend this book to anyone as a good and thought provoking read.

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A surgical examination of the mind of a runner

I read this book because I am both an ultra runner and a fan of Murakami's previous novels.

I found all of the little joys of running, the personal frustrations, victories, and even thoughts I have never defined. Articulated and related to throughout this book.

It's a book about how we live and grow, and sooner or later find ourselves to be when we start running.

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fantastic!!

loved it! Haruki Murakami gets running and how to tell the story of what goes through the mind of the average long distance runner

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great insight

love to hear about the philosophies of one of my favorite artists. very insightful and entertaining.

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Great for runners

I was hoping for more information on Murakami, as I'm a huge fan. Great for runners.. This is about his relationship with running and it's discipline.

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Fun and interesting

Provides a lot of insight into the author's world view and approach to writing novels. Made me want to get out my running shoes.