• The Pants of Perspective

  • One Woman's 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure Through the Wilds of New Zealand
  • By: Anna McNuff
  • Narrated by: Anna McNuff
  • Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (173 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A thrilling, coming-of-age journey that will make you yearn to go on your own adventures.” (Runner's World)

Anna was never anything like those "real" runners on telly - all spindly limbs, tiny shorts, and split times - but when she read about New Zealand’s 3,000-kilometer-long Te Araroa Trail, she began to wonder...perhaps being a "real" runner was overrated. Maybe she could just run it anyway? 

Travelling alone through New Zealand’s backcountry for 148 days, she scrambled through forests, along ridgelines, over mountain passes, along beaches, and across swollen rivers. Running up to 52 kilometers in a day, she slept wild most nights and was taken into the homes and hearts of the Kiwi people in between. 

The Pants of Perspective is a witty, colorful, and at times painfully raw account of a journey to the edge of what a woman believes herself to be capable of. It is a coming-of-age story that will lead you on a roller-coaster ride through fear, vulnerability, courage, and failure. 

For anyone who has ever dreamt of taking on a great challenge but felt too afraid to begin - this story is for you.

©2017 Anna McNuff (P)2018 Anna McNuff

Critic Reviews

"Beaming with limitless ambition, positivity and enthusiasm." (Women’s Running)

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What listeners say about The Pants of Perspective

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Upbeat, good energy, good vibes - 4/5

I’m from New Zealand and I like running. So I expected to like this book. For the most part, I thought it was really enjoyable. It’s a light-hearted read which left me feeling good about my home and my people. The author did a really good job of narrating with tons of energy and enthusiasm too.

All of that being said, I was hoping for more trail/running talk and less focus on the author’s long-distance ‘does he love me?’ narrative. Also, the pronunciation of some Māori place names did my head in a little bit (but that won’t affect most listeners) though I accept that it’s a foreign language to the author.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to this book and I’d recommend to others interested in a light-hearted read/listen about New Zealand. You definitely do not need to be a running fan to enjoy this book.

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I loved this book

The author reads the book with such enthusiasm and energy I couldn't stop listening. If you liked North by Scott Jurek you will like this even more.

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Wonderful Narration

Great read! Anna does a wonderful job narrating the story allowing listeners to jog along with her. I highly recommend this book and would read other books by this author.

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Makes me miss NZ all over again

This was fun. I've read and listened to a lot of ultra running and long distance cycling books, and this is one of the better ones. My only complaint (and I feel bad even saying it) is her shouting during the narration when she is quoting a shout. It is painful on the ears. But otherwise, her narration is upbeat and fun. The book gets better partway through when she gets more real about the challenges and struggles and isn't as pollyanna. Lots of great characters met along the way.

I happened to be traveling in NZ in late 2019 and saw the book (and the pants!) for sale a few times, but only just got around to listening. I wish I'd listened while I was there - it makes me want to go back and do a lot more hiking. :)

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Funny and inspirational

Wow! A great story and amazing narrating.
Anna has a way of bringing you along on her journey with honesty, humor and descriptive recollection of events. You do not have to be an adventurer or runner to enjoy this book! It’s really a wonderful story of enjoying the highs in life and pushing through the lows. You won't be disappointed!

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What a great listen!

I hadn't heard of Anna before listening to her other book on pedaling through all 50 states, which was great! Then I wanted to hear more, and was happy to see she had another book on Audible.

She's very enthusiastic and I love a good adventure read with all it's pitfalls and pleasures. Plus when the adventures happen in a country that I don't know as much about, like New Zealand, all the better.

Highly recommended.

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FANTASTIC performance

You will LOVE Anna. Her reading makes this good story great. Good story for runners or people with an interest in NZ.

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Awesome story!

loved your story and you tell it so well! the book and your journey was very entertaining and motivational.
it would not have been nearly the same without your narration.

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love the energy

Help me alot while facing my inner b#### . I love the uplifting personality of the author.

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An Awesome Listen!

Memoirs are just better when the author reads them. This book is proof of that fact. I ADORE Anna’s narration and am thankful that I didn’t just “read” the book as I would have missed so much!

This book helped inspire my running (if you’re into that sort of thing😉).

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  • Portia
  • 04-24-20

High octane guff with a dangerous message

I admit I’m only about a third of the way through, so I’m hoping the key messages change by the end. If the writer is as badly prepared for her long distance wilderness run as she (repeatedly) tells us then surely she will be a lot wiser by the end. Now I don’t mind a bit of feel-good story polish but so far I’ve leant:
1. It’s fine to set out into the wilderness badly prepared.
2. Maybe don’t bother researching the trail you are doing, cos hey, that’s just amusing ditziness and not at all dangerous to you or others
3. Don’t take a GPS, because you not liking the way they ‘look at you funny’ is more important than not getting lost and putting others at risk when they try to find you. Ditto, help your folks back home feel you will be a bit safer if you get lost.
4. It’s fine to start out on something this strenuous and isolated without fully training with all your gear
5. In fact it’s fine to set out when you are injured because - presumably- positive thinking will help you. Putting people at risk to find you because you didn’t listen to your body is, again, fine.

So, the story. A lot of over the top ‘hey awesome’ and very little content or reflection. The descriptions of the landscape sound like they were added by another hand. Maybe they were and the author’s strength is running, not writing. But the disjunct is jarring at times.

I kind of wish I hadn’t paid money to encourage more of this.

6 people found this helpful

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  • A Terry
  • 04-13-21

Absolutely fabulous adventure

Anna McNuff is a legend! She’s got more enthusiasm in her little toe then I have in my whole body and it’s infectious. You can’t help get drawn in and invested in her journey (both the physical one and the emotional one). Please, please do yourself a favour and buy this book or the audio book read by Anna herself (or both, hey just buy both!!)

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  • Louise Saxton
  • 04-10-21

A glimpse into the sort of adventure most of us just dream about!

I really enjoyed Anna’s book. She has accompanied me on my daily commute for the last few weeks and I’ve enjoyed it so much. Thanks, Anna. Looking forward to your next expedition!

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  • Jennie Raine
  • 04-04-21

Adventure envy

I am currently running 12 half marathons one every month to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity. Before December my long runs were 5 or 6 miles so its been a huge leap physically and mentally. Alongside my physical training I have been immersing myself in others adventures and challenges for inspiration. Anna's books stand out for the additional humour as well as the adventure. Rather than dry science you can get in some overly serious challenge undertakers she makes you want to be more resilient with her approach to adversity and her enjoyment of the adventure. Time on the treadmill or roads, definitely goes more quickly and you feel like you are on the adventure as she paints a great picture of the people and terrain.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-31-21

Lovely

This book was lovely and Anna's narration made everything so much more personal. Totally recommend it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mrs G.
  • 10-18-19

Awesome listen!

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in running/ adventures/ challenges.
Read by Anna herself and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Anna in person it’s great to hear her reading this.
I have been listening to this whilst running and now I’ve finished it I’m eagerly awaiting the next instalment once completed the Barefoot Britain challenge! Go Anna - enjoy your adventures and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-27-19

Amazing, inspiring, down-right brilliant!

Absolutely LOVED this book! Anna reads aloud in a very animated and enthralling way - love the accents! This book has everything - even a love story!! An inspiring read and just loved listening to it on my commute - don't know what to do now that I've finished it!!

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  • stephen du plessis
  • 12-15-18

Great story about a great adventure.

Excellent storytelling. Inspiring and funny. I still need to write five more words now though.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Viki Marr
  • 06-18-22

Loved Pants of Perspective!

I think I’ve probably got quite a lot in common with Anna: both grew up in Putney, I’m pretty sure we are the same school year & we both love running & adventure so it’s no surprise I loved this book…however, the enthusiasm & humour she has put into telling her story, her humbleness & beautiful descriptions of her journey (& horrible ones of her blisters) took me on route with her. I would recommend this to anyone with a sense of adventure big or small!

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  • Paul Reid
  • 05-28-22

Frikin awesome!

Fantastic audio book, loved listening to the adventures of Anna's run across New Zealand. Funny, educational, inspirational, well narrated by Anna, overall _ frikin awesome!! and a bit of a love story to boot, what's not to like ! Looking forward to listening to Anna's next adventure.

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  • lisa
  • 04-23-22

Big hairy Lady Balls

Anna what a loveble goof you are! Such amazingly positive person, love your book. I'll look forward to hearing your next adventure.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-26-22

More please

Midway through this book I was inspired enough to have a go at trail running. It's tough different hard rewarding and I am ever so glad to have ventured out.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-21

Entertaining, Authentic, narrated by author 🤩

❤️LOVE this book which literally takes you along for the Te Araroa trail journey with Anna "puppy" McNuff🐕 You will find yourself shaking your head, laughing and wondering if Jamie is the real deal😉

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  • Sharon Noyce
  • 08-30-21

couldn't put it down!

Loved it! very easy to listen to, I laughed, I felt it all. was great to picture all the places and experiences while I'm living in Australia for 2yrs having grown up in NZ. Great account of the reality of the Te Araroa trail and the seriousness of some parts.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-04-22

A great listen

Fantastic book, inspiring and humorous. Anna manages to take you on her journey and through her experience with all her emotions and challenges.

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  • Jessica S.
  • 04-10-22

Great book to inspire

Really great book to read to inspire you to get out into the great outdoors. Great story Anna!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-03-22

Didn’t want the book to end!

Thank you for being you... for believing in yourself and in the goodness of other people. You’re a total inspiration! Going to hike the Te Araroa south bound end of next year and reading your book was just amazing! (Got myself a GPS while listening to your adventures just in case). Love you! xxx

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  • Michael
  • 12-05-21

Amaze Balls

Absolutely amazing book. Gives the reader motivation to set and achieve their own goals. what an amazing women and excellent role model. Very well written and easy to follow.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-03-21

What a journey

What a woman and what an epic adventure! This was such a great listen.

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  • Therese
  • 11-01-21

Just 100% awesomeness

Anna is authentic and inspiring. Her adventures are amazing but she's so real about it that I almost start thinking I could do I too. Her reading is just an awesome and fun experience.