Synopses & Reviews
The monikers drunk
, and boozehound
were Caleb Daniloffandrsquo;s for fifteen years. Now, the introduction that fits him best is My name is Caleb and I am a runner
In Running Ransom Road, Daniloff, many years sober, confronts his past by setting out, over the course of eighteen months, to run marathons in the cities where he once lived and wreaked havoc. Competing from Boston to New York, Vermont to Moscow, Daniloff explores the sobering and inspiring effects of running as he traverses the trails of his former self, lined with dark bars, ratty apartments, lost loves, and lost chances. With each race he comes to understand who he is, and by extension who he was, and he finds he is not alone. There are countless souls in sneakers running away from something, or better, running past and through whatever it is that haunts them.
In this powerful story of ruin, running, and redemption, Daniloff illuminates the connection between running and addiction and shows that the road to recovery is an arduous but conquerable one. Strapping on a pair of Nikes won't banish all your demons, but it can play an important role in maintaining a clean life. For Daniloff, sweat, strained lungs, and searing muscles are among the paving stones of empowerment, and, if he's lucky, perhaps even self-forgiveness.
"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." Booklist
"[R]evelatory...can provide tools for readers to examine and improve their own lives....Highly recommended." Library Journal (Starred Review)
"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." Time Out New York
"A genuine memoir, filled with gentle minutiae that truly communicates the rhythm of Murakami's daily life and work....Murakami actually offers himself 'whole.'" Paste Magazine
"A vital, honest, and arresting account of one flawed runnerand#8217;s emotional and spiritual renewal with each step toward the finish line."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly "Daniloffand#8217;s raw descriptions of his alcohol and drug abuse...are some of the most compelling parts of the book. They harshly illustrate the destruction of addiction and the courage it takes to walk away and build a new life."
and#8212;Booklist "In an engaging voice, the author brings the courses alive for readers. He replicates the physical demands of running such courses and the barriers, mental and physical, that need to be broken through to get to the finishing line. He interweaves the story of each race with memories and dialogue from the past, and he is candid about his childhood problems and his competition with his marathon-running father. Confidence in the future lends appeal to this deeply personal memoir."
and#8212;Kirkus Reviews "Daniloffand#8217;s unblinking, ultimately triumphant account of his journey from mean, hopeless drunk back to humanity and himselfand#8212;through distance running. Itand#8217;s a searing tale of spiritual redemptionand#8212;one marathon, one mile, one brave, difficult step at a time."
and#8212;Steve Friedman, co-author of New York Times bestseller, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Path to Ultramarathon Greatness "Caleb Daniloff once poured everything he had into his drinking, and it nearly killed him. Then he poured everything into his running, and he was saved. Now he pours everything into writing about both, and we are graced by the result. Running Ransom Road is a brave, necessary, and uncompromising book."
and#8212;John Brant, author of Duel in the Sun: Alberto Salazar, Dick Beardsley, and Americaand#8217;s Greatest Marathon
In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, hed completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and—even more important—on his writing.
Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and takes us to places ranging from Tokyos Jingu Gaien gardens, 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 panorama of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his greatest triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of seeing his race times improve and then fall back.
By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is rich and revelatory, both for fans of this masterful yet guardedly private writer and for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in running.
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.
In this searing and inspiring memoir, a runner, now 13 years sober, confronts his past in a bib number and pair of running shoes, completing seven marathons in a year's time
About the Author
Haruki Murakami was born in Kyoto in 1949 and now lives near Tokyo. His work has been translated into forty-two languages. The most recent of his many honors is the Franz Kafka Prize.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Longfellow Bridge Loopand#8195;xiii
Cambridge, Massachusetts and#8226; March 2008
1. 113th Boston Marathonand#8195;3
Boston, Massachusetts and#8226; Monday, April 20, 2009
2. 21st KeyBank Vermont City Marathon
and Marathon Relayand#8195;35
Burlington, Vermont and#8226; Sunday, May 24, 2009
3. 29th Asics Moscow International
Peace Marathon and 10Kand#8195;61
Moscow, Russia and#8226; Sunday, September 13, 2009
4. 119th Bemis-Forslund Pie Race (4.3 Miles)and#8195;119
Gill, Massachusetts and#8226; Sunday, October 18, 2009
5. 40th ING New York City Marathonand#8195;145
New York, New York and#8226; Sunday, November 1, 2009
6. 2nd Middlebury Maple Run (Half Marathon)and#8195;173
Middlebury, Vermont and#8226; Sunday, April 25, 2010
7. 35th Marine Corps Marathonand#8195;201
Washington, DC and#8226; Sunday, October 31, 2010
Epilogue: Arsenal Bridge Routeand#8195;225
Cambridge, Massachusetts and#8226; June 24, 2011