18.6.09

Thursday Book


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

I enjoy walking for long distances, but I hate running for even the shortest amount of time, so I can't actually comment on how much this book is of interest to runners. For die-hard fans of Murakami (such as, you know, me), however, this is at least worth a look, as it's possibly the most autobiographical work we're likely to get from a writer who's notoriously uncomfortable with his fame.

Murakami's been running for as long as he's been writing, an attempt to counteract the sedentary life he was expecting to lead as an author, and he sees these two parts of his life as being closely intertwined. It's a side of the man that I think some of his fans might find surprising, although his general lack of competitiveness (except against himself) seems somewhat more in tune with the thoughtful tone of his books.

Anyway, chances are that if you're a Murakami fan, you've already got this book, or at least added it your list - and if you're unfamiliar with the author, there are probably much better places to start than this. Unless you're a runner, of course.

8 comments:

georgeolivergo said...

That's funny, I think I read somewhere that Murakami also is an avid swimmer.

Pacian said...

He's got into triathlons in fact, although he's not too fond of cycling.

Michelle said...

Oh how I love your reviews! I suspect I may have found a gem here, having never heard of Murakami. I checked him out on Amazon. Norwegian Wood looks good. I love the song so much, so perhaps that's a hint that I should read him...

Bobby said...

I wish I was more of a runner. And an author. This is a must read for me.

Geosomin said...

Hmmm...I'll have to track this down...as a crazy person who actually likes to run (sick I know) and likes Murakami, this looks like a good read. Thanks.

pohanginapete said...

I've read most of Murakami's books and enjoyed them, usually a great deal. I did prefer his earlier books (around the era of A Wild Sheep Chase), but I'd read anything written by him. I used to do a lot of running before injuries put paid to that. I also used to buy books before empoverishment put paid to that. Now I'm hugely grateful for libraries and generous friends. Eventually this book will turn up at the local library or in the post — something to anticipate with delight, I think, even if it differs markedly from his fiction. Thanks for the reminder.

Pacian said...

@Michelle: Thanks. Although I've mentioned Murakami quite frequently, and you've even commented an interest before... :-P

@Geo + Bobby: Always glad to help someone find a book.

@Pete: Nice to see you here. I think Hard Boiled Wonderland is possibly my favourite Murakami book, and it's definitely in his earlier style, but I also really liked Kafka on the Shore.

Murakami seems to have written quite a few non-fiction books that have never been translated into English. It'll be interesting to see if more of them make it to the West... and our libraries. :-)

Michelle said...

So I have an embarrassingly short memory. Better later than never. At any rate, I'm reading The Elephant Vanishes, which I checked out from the library a couple of days ago. It inspires me, actually.