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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, he’d completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing.

Equal parts travelogue, training log, and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyo’s Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston.

By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running.


Murakami gives me a reason. It might seem romantic, but it's true. I had to run?but I didn't enjoy running. I do enjoy, however, running with Murakami.

- Ioan Marc Jones - Huffington Post UK

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Murakami distils his own process of writing fiction in this layered and meditative memoir.

- Big Issue

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A wonderful exploration of work, place and life?s meanders.

- Geographical

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Hugely enjoyable... You don't have to have run a marathon to be captivated

- Sunday Telegraph

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Comical, charming and excellent memoir

- GQ

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Murakami manages to set a course that takes in views of all literature, sport and the uphill journey of ageing, all with a modest fluency that covers the ground without raising a sweat

- Independent

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There can never have been a book quite like this memoir of running and writing, taken together, before. In its self-contained way, it's nothing less than an inspiration

- Evening Standard

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An inspiration...Murakami describes the feeling of pushing one's body to the limit better than anyone

- Scotsman

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The biggest hitter of the year

- Observer Sport Monthly

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A short, thoughtful book worth several shelves of self-help titles

- Scotland on Sunday

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The closest thing to a memoir that Haruki Murakami will ever write

- Sunday Herald

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A gentle, meditative memoir

- Grazia

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This is my most recent inspirational find...Murakami makes me want to write hard and run far and fast

- Easy Living

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An inspiration...Murakami describes the feeling of pushing one's body to the limit better than anyone.

- The Scotsman

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This book is in some ways the story of the workings of Murakami's mind ... He is a fine writer, and an interesting man. As I closed this slim volume, I was left wanting to know more about him.

- Alastair Campbell - Guardian

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