What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Book Review

My Life as a Runner > book review > What I Talk About When I Talk About Running Book Review
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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a memoir, by Haruki Murakami, about his passion toward running and his work. I picked up this book and read it in Japanese and English at separate times, a few years apart. Originally, I wanted to read this book, because I am a big fan of his work and I read it in Japanese first. I was mildly entertained but not anywhere near I was by his other books, such as Norwegian Wood, Kafka On The Shore, or 1Q84. The second time, I started to read it, without really remembering if I had read it or not, and I decided to read, because I wanted to know what he had to say about running. Obviously, the story had not stuck in my mind, and to be honest, it is not much of a story.

Again, I am a big fan of his work, so I wanted to know what he is like, and I am glad I read it and that I was able to see his passion outside his work. I am also happy that I shared the same interest or sport with him. But if one does not know who he is or has not read any of his book, this book might not be very interesting, because, as I said earlier, this is his own memoir about his running and how his work has similarities with running. He goes into details of his training and why he trained certain fashion and how he did in his races. He has run many marathons and done a few triathlons, but he is not an elite runner who goes through grueling training or compete in the high profile races; therefore, there is no nail-biting parts that grabs readers’ attention for a long time. As I turned pages, I remembered I had read it before and the story became less interesting. Perhaps, something was lost in the translation.

[schema type=”book” url=”http://www.amazon.com/What-About-Running-Vintage-International/dp/0307389839/” name=”What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” author=”Haruki Murakami” publisher=”Vintage” pubdate=”2009-08-11″ isbn=”978-0307389831″ ]
  • walkersfirstlines
    August 26, 2011

    Great post- interesting that you read at first in Japanese and then was underwhelmed when you read it in English. Are there many other novels that you have read in both Japanese and English?

    • vodkawilldo
      August 26, 2011

      Thank you! I would not say I have read many books in both languages. Most of the times, I like the original better for obvious reasons. This one in particular is his memoir, so I felt as if I was missing his personal telling of his story, maybe.

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