What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Posted January 26, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Non-Fiction / 0 Comments

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki MurakamiTitle: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (Goodreads)
Author: Haruki Murakami
Translator: Philip Gabriel
Published: Knopf Doubleday, 2007
Pages: 180
Genres: Non-Fiction
My Copy: Library Book

Buy: AmazonBook Depository
(or visit your local Indie bookstore)

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a memoir by Haruki Murakami where he talks about his interest in running. From running for pleasure to competing in over twenty marathons and an ultramarathon. Part training log, travelogue and reminiscence, this is a memoir of Murakami’s passion for running.

Now I’m not a runner and I don’t think I ever will be but I like to read about people being passionate about a topic and although this was brief, the passion was not in short supply. Most people know Haruki Murakami for his postmodern novels which include Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84. This is an unusual memoir, not just because it only focuses on one interest, but because I don’t think any other authors have written something like it.

The book tries to explore why he is so passionate about running and why he runs. For a non runner reading this book for its memoir aspects, it’s just interesting the approach he takes. It’s like seeing Murakami’s thought process on the page; not offering tips or anything, just being nostalgic about past runs or discussing plans for a marathon or just tracking his daily runs.

For me this is nothing special, but for people obsessed with running this would be an interesting read. I read just to see the passion he has towards running, as well as the fact it was mentioned in Metroland and I want to be a book hipster. I was surprised how well this worked, like a stream of conscious of Haruki Murakami’s love of running.


0 responses to “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

  1. Marie Monaghan

    “it was mentioned in Metroland and I want to be a book hipster”

    Ha! I admire your honesty. I quite want to be a book hipster too. This sounds really unusual, I have been thinking about making it my memoir choice for the Literary Exploration Challenge as I’m not really a fan of your average biography.

  2. Tony

    Not sure I’ll be rushing to this one, but maybe at some point (while waiting impatiently for more fiction!).

  3. Sarah @ A Fiction Habit

    I absolutely love this book. I am a runner, although not to Murakami’s extremes, so that might make a difference. It has some excellent little bits of wisdom you can take into other sports or persuits. My favourite is “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” Genius.

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