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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Haruki Murakami

 

Reviewed by Edward Chapman

 

 

This is a difficult book to categorise. It is not a running book, yet it will be of interest to runners, giving you an insight into one person’s approach to training for marathons. The publishers describe it as equal parts travelogue, training log and reminiscence. The training log part is a huge piece of poetic licence, but I suppose the sentiment is about right.

 

I liked the book as it was easy to read, entertaining and thought provoking. It made me look at myself and my running in a different way. I did wonder why it was not called ‘What I think about when I run’ because I cannot see Murakami talking about running very much. I found the answer on page 16 ‘What exactly do I think about when I’m running? I don’t have a clue.’

 

Murakami is a very successful author and this shows through. If you are an aspiring writer then this book contains some good tips and comments. If you are also a runner then in the middle of page 71 there is a great paragraph on the theory of training which I will not repeat here because I want you to read the whole book. And in the second paragraph on page 73 there are some profound words on why you should keep running.

 

However most of the book is a reminiscence of Murakami’s journey through life, from running a jazz bar in Japan to becoming a successful and contented author and runner. It takes you from Japan to Boston, USA and back to Japan, meeting Olympic athletes and pretty women on the way.

 

An excellent read.

 


 
 
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