May 232019

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami
Philip Gabriel (Translator)
Ray Porter (Narrator)

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 4 hours and 23 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc. Release Date: July 29, 2008
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English

Equal parts training log, travelogue, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon. Settings range from Tokyo, 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 cornucopia of memories and insights: the eureka moment when he decided to become a writer, his triumphs and disappointments, his passion for vintage LPs, and the experience, after fifty, of having seen his race times improve and then fall back.

This was the first book by this author that I’ve read and I’m so glad I decided to try it. It let me into his life and where his mind goes when he’s running. This was a short book at almost 4 1/2 hours, but it seems like a much longer audio (in a good way) because of all the information and descriptions that make you feel as if you are there with him. He travels to a few different places/races and I loved going with him to all of them.

I’m not a runner or a writer, but I loved this book. It lets you into the mindset of Murakami when he’s on a run or writing. It shows how dedicated to both he is. It made me feel like I could do more than I ever thought I could, if I just make up my mind, 100%, to do it.

I’m very glad I listened to. this book. I haven’t quite decided which of his books I’ll choose next, but I will choose one. I may even re-listen to this one in the future. It has a very positive message, with some humor thrown in.

 Posted by at 2:38 PM

  20 Responses to “Audiobook Review:
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami”

  1. I actually thought I could be a runner after reading this book.

    Okay, for his fiction books, they are way, way, out there. You’ve heard me say that before, I’m sure but they are so interesting and all of his protagonists are these quite, plain characters which makes the weirdness surrounding them even more interesting. My two faves of his are The Wind=Up Bird Chronicle and Kafka on the Shore.

  2. I’ve never read this author but am interested in this book because I am a runner. I’m glad you liked it.

    • I didn’t know you were a runner Kathy! I used to be but hurt my left knee a few years ago and don’t want to chance messing it up again.

  3. You’ve convinced me! My daughter loved this book, but I’m not a runner and thought it wouldn’t be for me despite her encouragement. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. This book sounds good. I used to run when I was younger but not marathons. I would be interested in what he talks about. Thanks!

  5. Vicki, I’m glad you enjoyed this memoir in audio book form. I read it recently, and also enjoyed it a great deal. The author is humble, funny, and intelligent. I am a runner, but you certainly don’t need to be one to find this fascinating. I think it would be great to listen to this as well. I hope you will try his fiction next.

  6. I’m not a runner but you’ve made me think I’d enjoy this audio!

  7. Ok, I too passed this by because I’m not a runner. But maybe I should listen!

  8. I haven’t tried this author yet but you give such a positive review of his work. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  9. Oh I like the sound of this one. I used to run but my health has made it impossible so I figured this wouldn’t be for me but this sounds wonderful. Definitely adding to my TBR.

  10. I don’t run, but this sounds like a good book.

  11. Not a book I would usually be drawn to, but your description makes it sound appealing! I’ll be checking the library for it. I read the first in what I think was a trilogy by him-1Q84. I opted not to continue after that one. It was definitely strange.

    • 1Q84 and the other books in the series don’t sound like my kind of books, but I do want to read his book South of the Border, West of the Sun.

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