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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Written by: Haruki Murakami
Narrated by: Ray Porter
Length: 4 hrs and 23 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (27 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In 1982 Murakami began running to keep fit. Here he reflects on his running experiences. Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-listen for fans of this masterful author and for the increasing number of people who find a similar satisfaction in running.

©2007 Haruki Murakami (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc

Critic Reviews

"Hugely enjoyable.... You don’t have to run a marathon to be captivated." ( Sunday Telegraph)
"This is my most recent inspirational find.... Murakami makes me want to write hard and run far and fast." ( Easy Living)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Bible for runners

As an amateur half marathoner, who hopes to run triathlons and marathons one day, I think I will keep coming back to this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Good read while running.

Tried this out as my first audiobooks while running and it turned out quite well. The narration was calm and clear and easy to understand and helped keep my focus while running. Its an easy read, don't expect more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kasper
  • 27-01-18

Like listening to a friend

For what it is, it's perfect. Want to hear a man talk about running and how it has been an intricate part of his daily life as a writer? If yes this is the book for you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sólveig
  • 21-05-17

Fantastic book!!!! Could not stop listening to it!

Fantastic book!!! Could not stop listening to it!! The storyteller does a good job!! I will now look at other books from this writer :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • shannagen
  • 29-12-16

Very natural and real

Loved this book.. the author kept it so real.. loved his approach and honest view about everything in this book.. it inspires me to define my own goals n not be disturbed/distracted about the general notion of "success"


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Filipe Pereira
  • 12-02-19

he is a natural. his way is so fluid ! I

he is a natural. his way is so fluid ! i saw myself in each word! became a fan!

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  • James
  • 18-11-18

Great! Especially the narration.

Great narration. Just the right tone of pride, engagement and introspection. Similar to the book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • mahabibi
  • 12-04-17

Always worth reading

Murakami is one of today's best writers, with great insight and ability to relay it on.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Suswati
  • 05-04-17

Surprising little gem

I was a little apprehensive at first to listen to a book about running especially for someone who doesn't run but once again Haruki Murukami brings the subject to life through wonderful little anecdotes, takes and philosophies. Only he can do such a thing. It actually inspired me to take up running some day.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Deme
  • 05-04-17

A book for runners, a book for everyone.

I have found listening to this book has beautifully encapsulated so much of what I've learnt about myself and other people through running. Murakami doesn't tell you about running, he shows you.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Indranil Sarkar
  • 03-04-17

An inspirational memoir

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely. "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running" is a story which captures a quintessential aspect of human life. It reminds us that the joy of achievement is not only in outrunning the competition but it's also in the small improvements you bring into your performance every day. It gives you a sense of purpose and makes your life experience worthwhile.

This memoir captures Murakami's experience between the year 2005 and 2006. Although the author had primarily summarised his experience from sports and writing novels, his philosophy could be equally be applied in any domain.

In short words, this memoir is a simple yet profound experience. You should definitely read this if you love running and also read this if you don't, you will not be disappointed.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Maybe, I enjoyed this book and perhaps I may return back to it in future seeking for inspiration again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Phil D
  • 24-01-19

A beautiful book beautifully narrated

This is an absolutely wonderful book. I love how it is both about running and also nothing to do with running whatsoever. It is in no way a self help book or a manual on exercise, but more Murakami's autobiography told through the act of running.
You can see how the structure of the book was conceived as it could easily be the passing thoughts and memories thought up by someone during a run.
The book's themes run very deep. I suppose overall it is about life and its deep complexities. Health, longevity, tenacity, achieving your goals, mortality.
Murakami's clean Japanese prose style is beautiful to read and this performance is beautifully narrated without any embellishment or unnecessary drama. I've already listened to it twice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • fahad
  • 21-03-17

A simple, yet great memoir

Here you will know more about Murakami San
It is not only book about running, it is also about life, and the will to keep on going.
After finishing many of his novels, Honestly i didn't expect Mr. Murakami to have this peaceful view about life!

If you love his novels, then this is definitely a book for you, and you will find interesting things about them :)

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • LC
  • 15-05-17

Very poor narration

What disappointed you about What I Talk About When I Talk About Running?

Its about the worst narration of a book I have ever heard. The reader keeps giving exaggerated emphasis in all the wrong places, completely changing or distorting the meaning.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

As above - I have listened to over 300 audio-books so far, and this is the worst narration of them all

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Ross
  • 21-03-17

Worth a listen if you're a runner

Any additional comments?

A reasonably interesting listen if you're a runner. Worth the price as it is a slightly cheaper audiobook, but nothing to write home about necessarily. It's more like having a chat with a fellow runner than a book that is going to blow you away. Having said that, I don't regret the purchase.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 22-04-17

I don't know of a better book about running

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is the best book about being a runner rather than telling you how to be a better runner.

What other book might you compare What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to, and why?

Feet in the Clouds

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He captures the rhythmn of being a runner. His narration is perfectly suited to long runs.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Wras
  • 21-04-17

A fascinating monolog about life.


I am a walker never liked running or competing in events, not my thing, but this is a book about so much more than running or competing, it is about what you get from doing something you enjoy, about growing old, the pleasure of enduring, strugling and achieving not some great goal but a personal triumph that only you understand.

This is my favourite Haruki Murakami book it is honest and beautiful, full of insight and humanity, it is a pleasure that gives you a way to find joy in your own very personal achievements.

8 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Shauna
  • 03-04-18

Murakami x Porter - dream collaboration

A new side of Murakami that makes him all the more wonderful. And the best narrator to tell the tale. shut up and take my money.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful