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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  54,998 Ratings  ·  5,496 Reviews
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, not to mention triathlons and a dozen critically acclaimed books, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and--even more important--on his writing. E ...more
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published October 15th 2007)
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Saurabh Sharma It is an inspirational book. It encourages you to challenge yourself, to overcome pain and fear and yet also underlines the importance of facing and…moreIt is an inspirational book. It encourages you to challenge yourself, to overcome pain and fear and yet also underlines the importance of facing and accepting reality. The reality that nothing shall ever remain the same and pain is a certainity of life, however suffering is a choice that one makes.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 11, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: writing runners; running writers; probably no one else, really
Shelves: phys-ed
I'm a bit baffled by how anyone who's not a distance runner could possibly be interested in this book, but I personally got a lot out of it. This is in spite of the fact that I'm not a Murakami girl, and honestly didn't enjoy the style of this book at all. I always feel when I'm reading him that I've somehow wound up with a crappy translation, but then I realize that I'm reading the same version as all the English-only Murakami lovers out there, so apparently I just don't like the way he writes. ...more
Apr 29, 2010 Ben rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010

"Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness."

Murakami's mind has always fascinated me; that he transcends the normal and dull, spreading them into a realistic, dreamlike, colorful, soulful reality, amazes me. And I think when most of us read someone that fascinates and/or amazes us, we want to know what that person is like -- what makes him or her tick. And obviously we're almost always disappointed: an amazing mind doesn't equal an amazing
Hannah Messler
Dec 04, 2013 Hannah Messler rated it it was amazing
This was great! But I was kind of hoping it would make me want to quit smoking and start being a runner. It did not. If anything, it solidified my already-pretty-solid hatred of the idea of running. God damn stupid healthy Haruki.
Riku Sayuj
Oct 02, 2011 Riku Sayuj rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I must say that I am very thankful to this book for getting me back into the habit of running and giving me a ready made excuse to spend 45 minutes of my time thus.
Aug 13, 2008 Lee rated it really liked it
An ideal book for writer runners (or running writers), but also probably worth it for non-running/non-writing readers as there's enough straight talk and suggestion about serious themes: enduring pain, aging, the importance of routine, self-awareness/alertness. Quick, lean, honest, at times amazing, occasionally mundane, definitely worthwhile. BUT WAIT! The really cool thing about this book is that it's also about authority. Murukami has run +25 marathons (including a +62-mile supermarathon) and ...more
Serena.. Sery-ously?
Murakami è riuscito a farmi andare a correre la mattina. (EDIT 13/3/2016: Ho partecipato alla Euroma2run, 5 km! Sì,ok, la non competitiva di 5 km.. Ma grande traguardo! EDIT 10/1/2016: é più di un mese che alle sei vado a correre, pioggia, Natale e capodanno compresi :3) (Comunque c'è gente più sciroccata di me che domenica alle sei va a lavare la macchina, parliamone!)
Affinché sia chiara la profondità di questa cosa, io sono di quelle persone che in inverno andrebbe in letargo, che alla frase
Aug 09, 2008 RandomAnthony rated it really liked it
Shelves: murakami
Spare and meditative. I'm not a runner (more of an elliptical guy) but this book is as much about aging, creativity, acceptance, and finding your own peace with who you are (ok, that sounds way more new agey than I mean) as marathons. Murakami fans will recognize the author's lean, simple prose and new readers may find an easy introduction to Murakami's work. Don't be fooled by the slim nature of this volume; you can tell Murakami put a lot of soul into What I Talk About When I Talk About Runnin ...more
Apr 29, 2013 Zenmoon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Murakami, or sports fans
Shelves: memoir, murakami

As a non-runner, this is likely to be the one and only book I’ll ever read about running so it’s just as well it’s written by Murakami. This is my second read of it (yes really … non-runner) and it’s a lot less about writing than I remember it. Until he writes a memoir dedicated to an analysis of his life and his work though (if ever), barring discussing it in articles, this is probably the closest I’ll get. Reading this is proof positive that I’ll read anything written by this man, though I’d h
Oct 27, 2015 Osric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
پاییز باشه، هوا سرد باشه، اتاق گرم و شومینه روشن باشه، فنجانی چایی باشه و صدای نم نم بارون پاییزی باشه، در کنار همه اینها کتابی از موراکامی باشه، اونم کتابی که بیشتر از هر نوشته ی دیگه ی این نویسنده احساس صمیمیت و همصحبتی رو به خواننده انتقال بده... تموم اینا، دست به دست هم دادن و شب زیبایی برام ساختن.

کتاب یجور صحبت صمیمی بین نویسنده و خواننده اس که توش نویسنده داره از تاثیرات رشته ورزشی خودش (دو) در نویسندگی و زندگی شخصیش میگه ولی نمی دونم چرا احساس صمیمی بودن نوشته ها رو بهم داد کتاب، انگار ی
Glenn Sumi
Apr 20, 2015 Glenn Sumi rated it really liked it

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Writer

In this slim but not slight memoir, the best-selling and prolific Japanese novelist chronicles why and how he took up long-distance running, which coincided with selling his jazz bar in the early 80s to write full time.

In clear, deceptively simple prose (occasionally hampered by cliché), Murakami touches on intriguing themes like aging and perseverence, making a solid case comparing running to novel-writing. The book, of course, takes its title from Raym
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hashiru koto ni tsuite kataru toki ni boku no kataru koto=What I Talk About When I Talk About Running , Haruki Murakami
عنوان: از دو (دویدن) که حرف میزنم از چه حرف میزنم؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی؛ مترجم: مجتبی ویسی؛ تهران، چشمه، 1388؛ در 183 ص؛ شابک: 9789643627553؛ چاپ سوم 1389؛ چاپ چهارم 1390؛ در 179 ص؛ چاپ ششم 1394؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ژاپنی قرن 21 م
عنوان: وقتی از دویدن صحبت میکنم در چه مورد صحبت میکنم؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی؛ مترجم: علی حاجی قاسم؛ تهران، نگاه، 1390؛ در 160 ص؛ شابک: 9
Megan Baxter
May 25, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it liked it
This is, I think, the second book I've read about distance running. I am wondering what my fascination with that is, although truly, I've read both because they came up on various lists. I, myself, am a walker. I love to go for long walks in the morning. Running does not as much appeal.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasboo
K.D. Absolutely
I bought this book almost two years ago after reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore (4 stars) and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (4 stars). I liked those novels a lot so I purchased and read most of his other books right away like Sputnik Sweetheart (3 stars), After Dark (4 stars), Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman (3 stars), After the Quake (1 star - this used to be 3 stars until I saw my brother's review) and even his biography, Haruki Murakami and the Music of Words (3 stars). A couple of month ...more
May 26, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Oh Murakami. You know how to make me happy in the simplest of ways.

I'm not a runner. I enjoy running now and again but I wouldn't term myself a runner. And ordinarily I wouldn't pick up books that are classified in the 'sport - non-fiction' genre - I didn't even know that was a genre but hey, that's what it is on the back of my copy! But Murakami doesn't just write about running, he also talks about writing and his life and I find him endlessly fascinating even when he is talking about what coul
Sep 23, 2011 Anh rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Đây không phải là một bài review, chỉ là mình viết lảm nhảm về những suy nghĩ của mình sau khi đọc hơn một nửa cuốn sách này. Mình thấy thật là hay vì mình đọc cuốn này ngay sau khi đọc lại lần thứ 2 cuốn" Tuổi trẻ, Tình yêu, Lý tưởng" của Thích Nhất Hạnh. Đọc 2,3 cuốn sách của Thích Nhất Hạnh có thể thấy ông là một người cổ súy cho lối sống chậm rãi, ung dung, nhàn nhã : "Giấc mơ Việt Nam là dân tộc Việt Nam biết để thì giờ ra để đi chơi, ngồi chơi, leo núi, đi biển, sống với cảnh đẹp thiên nhi ...more
I selected this book from the library simply because it was one of the few books that were readily available. Being a Murakami book, I thought that it would definitely be a nice read and so I borrowed it. Little did I know that this small book packed a punch within its covers, whose pages were bursting with some wonderful philosophies and some really interesting insights into Murakami’s mind and thought process.

What I talk about when I talk about running – The title itself is interesting and ple
Sara Kamjou
اولش خیلی خوب داشت پیش میرفت و من حسابی داشتم کیف میکردم که چه قدر خوب تجارب شخصیش رو بدون اینکه حالت نصیحت یا باید داشته باشه با ما به اشتراک گذاشته. اما به نیمههای کتاب که رسیدم واقعا برام خسته کننده بود و تبدیل به تکرار مکررات شد. البته قطعا این نظر شخصی منه.
با این حال نیمه اولش اونقدری خوب بود که بهش سه امتیاز رو بدم. به پشتکارش پنج میدم!
بخشهای ماندگار کتاب:
برای ادامه کار باید ریتم را حفظ کرد.
وقتی جوانتر بودم آنچنان که میخواستم وقت آزاد زیادی نداشتم، اما
Nov 29, 2012 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As close to a Murakami memoir as we're likely to receive for quite some time.

I'm not making any secret of it, I am two weeks shy of my 30th birthday (original text written previously, obviously because I just wrote my brithday blogpost) and my health and fitness levels have been at all time lows in the past twelve months. I think back to when I was a younger man and wonder about the transition from athletic
Nov 20, 2015 Helle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
(3.5 stars) My timing is about as wrong as it can be when it comes to reading a motivational book about running in the month of November. After all, I live in Scandinavia – not in the darkest corners of it perhaps, but still. As a Danish poet once said, there are 15 months to a year, 3 of which are November, November, November. Trying to sustain a modicum of motivation is thus an effort worthy of Sisyphus and other masochists. When, at regular intervals during the book, Murakami would complain a ...more
Leo Robertson
Jul 12, 2016 Leo Robertson rated it really liked it
Recommended by Paul :)

Ran 14k yesterday without stopping once! I didn't know this was possible/ healthy. Best run I ever did done. And I would do again today if I wasn't achey :D

This was thanks to Murakami's running mania. He also gave me permission not to think about anything in particular and listen to mediocre music. Before, my head sounded like that anxious stream that visits you at night if you've forgotten to place a notepad on your nightstand. But the running is strenuous enough without a
May 27, 2015 Ümit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Koşmak istiyorum ben de. Vallahi yahu, bunu okudum diye değil, dipnot olsun diye belirtiyorum. Bu ise okuduğum ilk Murakami oldu, güzelmiş. Ayrıca kendisi sanki Japon Paul Auster'mış. Üslup aynı üslup. Bak bir de ne demiş koşmak üzerine:

Birilerinin nedensiz (en azından ben bazen öyle düşünüyorum) eleştirilerine maruz kaldığımda ya da beni doğallıkla kabul edeceğini düşündüğüm biri tarafından kabul edilmediğimde, her zamankinden biraz daha uzun mesafe koşarım. Her zamankinden daha uzun mesafe koş
Maryam Hosseini
Jan 11, 2015 Maryam Hosseini rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
مـهـم ترین نـکـته ای کـه در مـدرسـه یاد مـی گـیریـم آن اسـت که مـهـم تـرین نـکـته ها را در مدرسـه نمـی تـوان یاد گـرفـت
هاروکی موراکامی
( نویسـنده و ( دونده
...کـسـی که تا توانـسـت راه نرفـت
May 26, 2009 Bonnie rated it liked it
3 stars

Haruki Murakami is new to me, but evidently not to many: he has quite a number of fans on Goodreads. I decided that by way of introduction, I would begin with reading his Memoir because the title suggests it’s about running, and I like to think of myself as a runner. The book jacket goes further, telling us that Murakami reflects upon the influence running has had on, not only his life, but, more importantly, on his writing. He runs; I run. He writes novels; I’m writing a novel. Why would
Greta tra le righe
Sono una persona che ha una profonda ed appassionata relazione con il proprio divano: tutte quelle attività che comportano della fatica fisica, il sudore, lo spingersi almeno un pochino oltre il proprio punto di massimo sforzo non hanno mai fatto per me; mi sento goffa, mi sento scoppiare il cuore dopo un paio di rampe di scale, la mia costanza e determinazione sono pari a zero.
Non impazzisco per Murakami, ho apprezzato qualcosa di suo, ma gli ultimi approcci mi hanno a dire il vero piuttosto i
Naeem Nedaee
مهمترین نکتهای که در مدرسه یاد میگیریم آن است که مهمترین نکتهها را نمیتوان در مدرسه یاد گرفت.

ص. 56

من چنینم و کاری از دست کسی برنمیآید؛ مانند عقربی که کارش نیش زدن است، زنجرهای که وابسته به درخت است، قزلآلا که مخالف جریان آب شنا میکند تا به محل تولدش برسد و اردکهای وحشی که در سرتاسر عمر فقط یک جفت برای خود اختیار میکنند.

ص. 149.
Jul 06, 2014 Jareed rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Long Distance Runners, those Looking for a good playlist while running
Reading this was like buying a new pair running shoes, not only did it got me really giddy and excited to run, it actually helped me to go on a run!
Jun 18, 2016 Trin rated it really liked it
This is an example of (re)reading a book at the perfect time: I've been struggling with my writing lately, and I've taken up running. Obviously, this memoir has a relevance to me that it lacked before (hence the rating increase). I found this really inspirational, in Murakami's typically quiet, understated way. (I hadn't read anything by him in a while and I just felt so soothed from page 1.) I hope I can take it to heart, both when I run and when I write.

***Original Review***

Yet another way in
Giọng văn của cuốn sách này tạo cho mình một cảm giác thường trực là tác giả đang… khoe khoang. Rằng bác đã cần cù ra làm sao; bác có tinh thần thép, kỷ luật cao độ như thế nào; bác hài lòng vì có một cuộc sống theo đúng ý mình "làm một tiểu thuyết gia, chạy bộ mỗi sáng thay vì chen chúc trong tàu điện ngầm để vội vã đi làm như bao người khác" ra sao. Thật ra, bác hoàn toàn có quyền tự hào về những điều đó, chẳng sao cả. Nhưng bác cứ nhai đi nhai lại hoài mấy chuyện đó đâm ra thấy nhàm.

Bên cạnh
Kali Srikanth
May 02, 2015 Kali Srikanth rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all Men, all woman running-writers/writing-runners & Murakami fans.
This world doesn't belong to those who can run faster, but to those who can run longer, an Extra Mile

There was this time, on these wintry mornings, I used to get up early which is kind of bad-idea to a Night-hawk like me. I run for 40 minutes or so starting from my home into these awe-inspiring landscapes which would run into subsequent villages, and then I would walk all the way back home. I abdicated whole of this idea of running once summer’s scorching temperatures arrived.

Eighteen months la
Rosie Nguyễn
Sep 25, 2014 Rosie Nguyễn rated it it was amazing
It is as if the book were written for me. Love it, for very personal reasons, naturally because I love writing and like running. Actually thinking when will be my first marathon before reading this book.

I bassically try to avoid Murakami's novels as I want to be positive and I don't like the sorrow in his stories, it rottens my heart and stings my head. But this book is excellent. There are a mild sadness and deep philosophy typical of him, but it gives me practical lessons and strength to act,
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Haruki Murakami (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'. He can be located on Facebook at:

Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by Am
More about Haruki Murakami...

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“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” 6631 likes
“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school.” 863 likes
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