What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
By Haruki Murakami
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307389831, August 2009, 192pp.)
The Short of It:
An interesting peek into the mind of Haruki Murakami.
The Rest Of It:
The first thing that I simply must say about this book, is that you do not need to be a runner to be able to relate to it. Trust me, my body is far from becoming a running machine. In fact, I am pretty sure my body would collapse into a useless heap upon the mere suggestion of it, but even I took something away from this book.
Murakami, author to such books as the very popular 1Q84, Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, and several more decided to write a book about his experiences as a runner. Not so much as a guide on how to become a runner, but more as a personal record of what he thinks about as he does it and how it affects his body and in turn, his writing.
This was fascinating reading. His methodical approach to running is very much how he tackles his writing. He is very regimented in both his running and writing. Running each and every day, regardless of weather and writing for four hours every morning makes you wonder how he can maintain such a hectic pace, but the two are tied together. The running clears his mind and therefore allows him to focus on his writing.
The book includes the obstacles he came up against while training for both the Boston and New York marathons. As usual, Murakami injects his quiet sense of humor here and there and the stories are both interesting and enlightening. I truly enjoyed this book. The easy, conversational tone was comforting and well…wonderful. What did I take away from it? That the writing process does not have to be a complicated. It can be accomplished if you adhere to a routine and make it a part of your life.
As I said earlier, no running required to enjoy this one, but anyone who is trying to attain a goal (no matter what it is) will be inspired by this book. I am seriously thinking about giving it to The Hub (the non-reader) for Christmas. He trained for this year’s marathon and was not able to do it because his routine was affected by a heel injury. However, he’s starting to train for next year’s race and I think this would be good for him to listen to on audio. He is the “non-reader” after all.
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