readinginportland, April 29, 2009 (view all comments by readinginportland)
After training for a marathon all fall, and successfully completing it, I didn't think I wanted to think about running again for a while. But when I received this book as a gift I was captured by the simple and engaging style, and enjoyed it immensely. Highly recommend it to runners and others!
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Tim Cook, February 26, 2009 (view all comments by Tim Cook)
My new favorite book about running. I can hear Murakami's voice as I go out on my long runs. It's wonderful to read another person's experience needing to run alone every day.
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d.dharmendra, September 30, 2008 (view all comments by d.dharmendra)
Murakami doesn't endear himself to the reader because he is a runner or for that matter, because he is a writer, (a good one at that). Actually Murakami as he describes himself doesn't try much to endear himself at all. He'd rather be by himself, running his 6 miles everyday. And this is precisely why you will love the book as he attempts to be an ordinary pain-seeking marathoner
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dot, September 25, 2008 (view all comments by dot)
Obviously this is a book about running - and it is a book about making a commitment to yourself and following through, and what do you do when you don't or can't. His writing is personal, accessible, honest, and insightful. And self-confident without being self-aggrandizing. When he writes about running, even when it is specific to the event (ex: how many soccer players or dragon boat members smear their bodies with vaseline before it begins?), there is a universal application in the story. You don't have to be a runner or a runner with aspirations of completing marathons to enjoy this book.
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eggplant, September 3, 2008 (view all comments by eggplant)
I've tried reading Murakami's fiction, but it was a little too futuristic and a tad too deviant for my taste. When I saw this running memoir, though, I figured I might be able to relate. Murakami's honest and sincere observations, both about himself and about running, and his relaxed, rhythmical voice totally sucked me in. This is a wonderful book for the everyday runner, and I think I might be ready to revisit Murakami's fiction now!
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Knopf Publishing Group -
Offers sparkling insights not only about the author's life, but about life itself.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Murakami's latest is a nonfiction work mostly concerned with his thoughts on the long-distance running he has engaged in for much of his adult life. Through a mix of adapted diary entries, old essays, reminiscences and life advice, Murakami crafts a charming little volume notable for its good-natured and intimate tone. While the subject matter is radically different from the fabulous and surreal fiction that Murakami (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) most often produces, longtime readers will recognize the source of the isolated, journeying protagonists of the author's novels in the formative running experiences recounted. Murakami's insistence on focusing almost exclusively on running can grow somewhat tedious over the course of the book, but discrete, absorbing episodes, such as a will-breaking 62-mile 'ultramarathon' and a solo re-creation of the historic first marathon in Greece serve as dynamic and well-rendered highlights. Murakami offers precious little insight into much of his life as a writer, but what he does provide should be of value to those trying to understand the author's long and fruitful career. 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 (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[A] beguiling and generous memoir....[Murakami is] a splendidly creative and compassionate writer who lives a disciplined life in order to infuse his fiction with wildness."
by Library Journal (Starred Review),
"[R]evelatory...can provide tools for readers to examine and improve their own lives....Highly recommended."
by Time Out New York,
"Enthralling....Throughout this quirky, brilliant gem, Murakami's life lessons unfold with plainspoken power that should prove valuable to a broad readership — even those who have no ambitions to write elaborate novels or run grueling races."
by Paste Magazine,
"A genuine memoir, filled with gentle minutiae that truly communicates the rhythm of Murakami's daily life and work....Murakami actually offers himself 'whole.'"
By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this memoir is both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.
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