What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki MurakamiIn 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 distance running.
After a friend mentioned that Murakami has written a nonfiction book on running, I just had to read it right away! Turns out, in addition to being a very successful novelist, Murakami has also been running about two marathons a year for all of his adult life. As you may have guessed from the title of the book, he tries to give his best shot to describe what running means to runners. Here are a few excerpts:. I believe he can write about anything in the world and it will turn out to be absolutely great. For instance, this excerpt starts about swinging ponytails that every runner has followed at some point, but ends up about being excessive Harvard hubris. This is the kind of writing that inspires you to write!
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Review: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami. Alastair Campbell takes a fellow novelist's views on life and running in his stride. Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and.
my night runs into morning all the time
I seem to have developed a fondness for approaching great writers via the road less traveled. Martin Amis? Oh well. So the terms of the test are clear. Murakami began running seriously when he was 33, in In recent years he has covered an average of six miles a day, six days a week and has competed in more than 20 marathons.
Whatever respect I had for Haruki Murakami as a writer - which is considerable - it is as nothing to the depth of my bow down before the Japanese novelist on discovering that he has run an ultramarathon. His description of the physical and mental agonies as he struggled to complete the mile course, followed by the near-religious experience of the last few miles, when he knew he was going to finish, is one of the highlights of what he calls "a kind of memoir". Non-running readers of his novels will probably ask: "Why on earth did he run 62 miles when he knew it would hurt so much? I did have a plan to run 50 miles on my 50th birthday last year but a cycling injury to my calf - like Murakami, I also do triathlon - grounded me. Now, also like him, my running is accompanied by constant worries about ageing, reflected in ever slower times. He is in a different class to me, as runner and novelist, and throughout he gives the sense that he cannot be one without being the other. He has done 25 marathons and written 11 novels.