Feb 08, 12
Read in January, 2012
I would be comfortable stating that this book is the best work of non-fiction I've ever read. I've recommended it to everyone regardless of if they run or not. In the past four years I've taken up running and even my paltry knowledge and enjoyment of the sport was greatly enlarged by reading this book. By the end of it I desperately wanted to be able to run an ultra-marathon. Unfortunately my body isn't really capable of that, and I think after 4 miles I might just give up.
I loved McDougall's narrative style and how he wrote about the larger-than-life people he met along his journey (and more often than not I would forget I was reading non-fiction since it read so much like fiction because of these crazy characters). I really enjoyed the smattering of science, history, food, and culture he wove into the story that all supported this amazing journey. I know a book is good when I desperately want to share all the cool facts and stories with anyone who will listen to me; on that scale, this book is seriously good.
I would recommend this book unabashedly to pretty much anyone. There are a few swears close to the beginning, but it's nothing gratuitous. Overall assessment: awesome, awesome book.