Tuesday, March 24, 2009

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

So, none of you will probably be surprised to see that a running book finally made it onto my short list. This was a gift from my friend, Karen, and from the moment I read the title I was hooked. Since I realize I'm quickly alienating at least half of the blog readership here who could really care less about what I or anyone else talks about while running, I should say that you don't have to be a runner to appreciate this book. While all of the stories (written more like diary entries than short stories or one, fluid text) have running at the center (or at least as a supporting character), I read it as more of a life journey that happened to include a lot of intense running (this dude would wipe the floor with me on his worst day). What I loved, though, since I do happen to be a runner, was the common experience of it all. So much of what he felt, thought, talked about on any given day, in any little or big town, was very relate-able. However, when I read reviews about this book on amazon and elsewhere I found that an overwhelming majority of reviews (both professional and amature) thought that this book would only appeal to a small audience of relatively hard-core runners (a category of which I do not consider myself a part, for what it's worth). So, keep that in mind...
I can say that dad immediately popped into my mind, not only because he and I can go off on tangents about running for 10-20 minutes, but because I think he may enjoy (more than others) the writing style.
This seems to be somewhat of a theme for this and the last review I did, but I've read another book by Murakami and blogged about it as well: "The Wind-up Bird Chronicle." I loved that book and still hold firm to my recommendation on that one to you, too, dad....so, do with that what you will.
Either way, I really enjoyed this - it's a quick read, it's about running, and it was an interesting take on a solitary sport (that I try to turn into a group sport at every opportunity!).

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