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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 listeners say about What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

Average Customer Ratings
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional

I‘m not a runner. So this book was an insight into the unknown . It was a captivating glimpse which made me realize that I lived like a sprinter while it takes a different kind of being to be a marathoner. Enjoyed the narration. Definitely worth a hear!

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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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 person found this helpful

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Running and I can grow old together

Title: What I Talk About, When I talk about running
Authors: Haruki Murakami
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️

The running memoir by the established and loved Japanese Author, Haruki Murakami gives an insight of his writing career and its relation to long distance running and not just running.

The book talks about how long distance learning has made the novelist he is today. Let’s decode that:

1. Each stride is as important as the long range vision: This strategy not only helps one while running, but in every facet of life.

2. Rigour has no escape: Each activity requires persistent rigour, otherwise achievements will be like a dream, short lived.

3. Moving forward is a state of mind: In long distance running, everybody does physical training, but it’s the mental strength that takes you over the tape. Believing in breaking your own ceiling is what makes you better.

4. Make the best of your life: I like how he puts it. I choose running because it’s the only sport where you only compete with yourself and not others on a regular basis.

I would like to end this review with a quote from this book, like Murakami, as a fellow runner, I would like Running and I to grow old together :)

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Loved listening to this audiobook

Murakami brings out his love for the discipline of running very authentically. As someone who recently got started on their fitness journey and aspires to be a writer, this is a wonderful book, almost like one is having a conversation with the author himself.

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a thoroughly enjoyable work of writing

one very inspiring thought out of this book is that there is no point running if you are actually walking (which I used to do quite a lot on long runs prior to this). has kept me running instead of easily quitting and breaking into a walk frequently. loved several parts of the book and the narration in particular was done beautifully

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book just like title

love it,,,,,. , , , , , , , , ,,, book just like title

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Love coming back to this one

I listened to it while I ran. Being a runner myself, I realised the experiences of Murakami were universal. The pain, the victories, the ageing, the agility. It continues to be mind over matter. I loved his description of the smells, sounds and sights of the places he went running. I especially enjoyed the Athens chapter. Mostly my big runs are supported by the narration of this book.

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My first encounter with Haruki Murakami

This is a kind of book which leaves you introspective, thoughtful and blissful by the end of it. Coming across this book, during a phase of me trying to restart running was a great coincidence. This book doesn't give any tips on physical training for running but largely covers the most important aspect of it, the mind / will power. To have run for a quarter of a century and to participate in over 23 races is no small feat and Haruki Murakami makes it look a lot more easy, just like his life. A book worth going back to for tapping into an unrestrained source of energy pool. Audible version with Ray Porter's narration is brilliant.

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such a brilliant book!! I'm so glad I bought the.

I'm a big fan of Murakami n this was a treat. the narrator has done a fabulous job of reading. very well done.

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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 person found this 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 person found this 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"


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  • 04-01-21

Easy short read

As a runner I really enjoyed this book. It left me feeling and wishing he had a part two of this story. He definitely helped me realise alot of runners think and feel alot of similar things. And our competitive behavior is very similar. live it. Will definitely read it again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-05-20

10/10

Such an amazing book, made my runs so much more enjoyable. One of the best books i have ever read.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-01-20

What he talks about when he talk about himself

What he talks about when he talk about himself -is running.

Mixed bag this one, annoying lack of insight at times but there are lessons to be learned from this book for sure.

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  • Cari Batenburg
  • 08-01-20

Didn't know if I would like this but...

I loved it so much! Who would have imagined that listening to a person's thoughts and experiences of running would be so enjoyable and thought-provoking.

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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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  • 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.

10 people found this 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • 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 people found this 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 people found this 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.

3 people found this 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 :)

6 people found this 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.

10 people found this 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 people found this 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 people found this 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 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Steve
  • 30-12-20

Damned Narration

My background is acting. I enjoy narrating. There are a couple of styles of narration that I find lazy, irksome and distracting. One of them is the traditional ‘forced breathy- ‘centred’ voice of ABC and some BBC poetry readers. ( not poets- they can have the worst vocal range in the world and stay connected to their craft). This narrator lacks a connection to the work. He sounds miserable, appears to miss irony and mistake dark humour for sadness.There is a lack of storytelling and some intonation patterns that are way too obvious so this book has the feel of the narrator working rather than the author telling his story. I’m also not entirely sure what story the author is telling.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-10-20

Okay. Easy listen

I didn’t love the book. It was a nice light easy listen, got a bit boring and slow at times. Not an inspiring book, more like a journal of thoughts while running.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-07-20

Superbly simple, inspiring and a fond warmth!

A fervent fan of Murakami's work, I never knew much about the man himself. This was a fascinating and demystifying insight into a modest man with a brilliant gift at story telling.

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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 person found this helpful