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am 5. September 2011
For almost three decades Haruki Murakami has been providing his fans with a steady diet of quirky, imaginative and poignantly intimate novels and short stories. And yet, Murakami himself has written very little about himself, and has tried to keep his own life extremely private. So it is very enjoyable to finally get a glimpse of this author in his own words. Granted, over the years he had woven many elements from his own life into his stories, but it was never too easy to separate facts from fiction. In this book he has finally decided to talk clearly and forthrightly about some aspects of his writing career, but particularly about his passion for running. It turns out that he had picked up running at about the same time when he decided to become a novelist. He needed a physical activity that would compensate for his sudden switch to a more sedentary profession. Over the years, however, running had become a passion in its own right, but not quite an obsession. All the aspiring writers will find his analogies between long-distance running and writing, and novel writing in particular, very revealing and informative. According to Murakami, three indispensible things that any writer needs (in this order) are: talent, focus and endurance. Unsurprisingly talent is the most important of the three, but other two are required as well if one wants to become successful at writing. It is probably no coincidence that these three personal qualities are crucially important for long-distance running. The impression one gets from reading this book is that for Murakami running and writing reinforce each other.

Even if you don't care about either writing or running in its own right, this book offers many interesting stories and reflection. On a very basic level this is a book about life, and how one particular individual managed to find his place in the world. In Murakami's case, we see a kind of life that many of us would be happy to trade our own lives for: living in some of the World's most desirable places (Cambridge, New York, Hawai'i, Tokyo, Greece), doing what you really enjoy doing without any external constraints, being able to indulge in your favorite recreational activity to the fullest. The book manages to elicit a certain level of envy, although I am sure that was not what Murakami intended to convey when he decided to write it. In fact, we get a sense of a person who bears his own success and fame with a remarkable poise and even humility. Murakami may claim that he is not very good at interpersonal skills, but to me at least this book confirms that I would enjoy meeting Murakami the person as much as I enjoy reading his books. An autobiography that achieves this is definitely worth reading.
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am 22. April 2016
I really enjoyed this book.
I am a runner and I have read couple of Murakami's novels before, so I got really curious about this book. But while I was reading it I realized that it might be interesting also for non-runners and for people that are not familiar with the work of the author. Through the prism of the long distance running, Murakami poses some questions that are valid for everyone of us and shares his viewpoint in a very humble, kind and not intruding manner. Finishing the book left me with a warm feeling in my heart.
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The symbolic title 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running', derived from Raymond Carver’s work ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love’, is a unique Murakami's work which will be truly enjoyed by his real fans. Others, that for the first time encounter with Murakami's novels, could feel bored and is therefore advisable before reading this book to get familiar with other works of this great Japanese author.

Haruki Murakami is a writer whose novels are enjoyed by audiences from around the world. This artist, besides with his books, manages to interest readers with his unordinary biography that runs through many of his works.

'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running'' is evidently one of those books which writer, after years of writing for audience and compromises made to the editors and the market, decides to write exclusively for himself. The little things that will not seem important to the general readers will draw his real fans further close to the writer who besides music and writing has a third love – long distance running.

This book is a sort of travelogue and diary jogging which tracks his preparation for the New York marathon, while Murakami introduces us to the world of professional runners noting a number of technical details that at times become annoying to those who expected profound reflections on life, love, art and others which can be found in other Murakami works.

Many will approach to this book expecting an intimate confession of favorite author, but will be surprised by the fact that the author during the run is very little thinking about anything, except on the running.

However, it is worth withstanding a small number of uninteresting information on running to come to the recognizable Murakami writings. The author intermittently expresses his desires, fears and compares the writing with running. Both these activities are sharing solitude. For him, the loneliness is extremely important, both for the writer and for the runners, while he compares its devastating and liberating effect. In the run as well as in writing there is no competition, and it is more important to test own limits and beat yourself than someone else.

Murakami fans will perceive this book as an intimate record of a writer, whose life has been marked by high-quality music, running a jazz club and a host of everyday little things that have significantly impacted his work. Exactly in that way this book should be approached, not expecting another 'Norwegian Wood' or ‘Kafka on the Shore'.

If you still didn’t, but plan to take a peek at Murakami's prodigious literary world, this book should not be first on the list. For true enjoyment in his diary, you should be familiar with the writer, but also to appreciate him, in order to really pull up all the wisdom and beauty that can be found within its covers.
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am 17. Juli 2015
I really enjoyed reading this book. As a fan of Murakami's work and a pretty new runner, this book had it all for me. It reads as a kind of biography mixed with a running journal with the addition of Murakami's philosophy of life. It is a hard book to describe but is just a good, unpretentious look into this great author's mind. I highly recommend it.
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am 4. März 2014
Murakami schreibt darüber, wie er zum Laufen gekommen ist und wie sich sein Tagesablauf und sein Körper dadurch verändert haben. In der für ihn typischen Art - philosophisch und dabei unaufdringlich - lässt er einfließen, was ihn bewegt und auf welche Art er sein Leben meistert.
Ein Muss für Murakami-Fans, für alle anderen vielleicht etwas langatmig.
Als Murakami-Einstieg würde ich andere Bücher empfehlen, zum Beispiel "Kafka On The Shore" oder "A wild Sheep Chase".
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am 11. Oktober 2015
As always, great read!
I would especially recommend it for those who like sports, but not only.
Murakami fans will find it a bit different from other books of HM, the part I have enjoyed.
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am 2. Juni 2014
Von den übertriebenen Anfängen bis zum Marathon-Blues der zum Triathlon führt eine kurzweilige Auseinandersetzung mit einem spannenden Autor der Neuzeit.
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am 11. Februar 2013
Es ist ein sehr schönes Buch. Motiviert zum Nachdenken nicht nur über das Laufen sondern auch über vieles mehr.
Ein echtes Murakami
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am 9. Januar 2016
The book arrived on time. Thank you.
I almost finished it, since it is such a great book.
I recommend it to anyone.
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am 23. April 2015
greatest writer of our times! different to his other books but if you love running and murakami this is a must.
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