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What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  82,267 ratings  ·  8,086 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, 188 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by Knopf Publishing Group (first published October 15th 2007)
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Andrei His depiction of the act of running is great. How he narrates about a marathon, and his stories about the ultra-marathon are all great. He is an…moreHis depiction of the act of running is great. How he narrates about a marathon, and his stories about the ultra-marathon are all great. He is an extreme sports-maniac, and makes you think running is wonderful ( I don't deny this, but I lack his motivation). The limits breaking and a continuous process of self-overcoming - just WOW. I started again to run just before reading the book, and made me enjoy running more. It's great after all to be in self-motion:)(less)
Tim The title alludes to Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". So yes, the book is about running, but its best passages are not (just)…moreThe title alludes to Carver's "What We Talk About When We Talk About Love". So yes, the book is about running, but its best passages are not (just) about running. (less)

Community Reviews

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3.83  · 
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 ·  82,267 ratings  ·  8,086 reviews

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Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: runners and writers
To get through life some people drink copious amounts of alcohol to de-stress. Others smoke tobacco or cannabis. Some try heavier substances. My drug of choice, my way of clearing my head, calming down and escaping for a few hours, is to run. I am an absolute junkie. Sometimes I feel like I live to run. When I’m not reading, writing or cycling to work, then I’m running. It’s a fantastic experience, blasting my favourite psychedelic rock albums as I lose all my troubles on the road. Anyone who ha ...more
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
*happy sigh*

You know when you read a book and it just speaks to you? Something about the time and place and just all the circumstances match up and you know you read the book at the perfect time? This was that.

My drive to immerse myself in the world of writing keeps growing, and I've found so much fun in collecting books about writers and writing that I can't wait to sink into. I had to start somewhere, so I picked up What I Talk About When I Talk About Running because, back when I bought it a f
Jun 24, 2008 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
Ahmad Sharabiani
Hashiru koto ni tsuite kataru toki ni boku no kataru koto = What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami
عنوانها: از دو (دویدن) که حرف میزنم از چه حرف میزنم؛ وقتی از دویدن صحبت میکنم در چه موردی صحبت میکنم؛ نویسنده: هاروکی موراکامی؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز نخست ماه آوریل سال 2011 میلادی
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
Elyse Walters
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook.... narrated by Haruki Murakami

Listening to Murakami speak about the very universal way our inner voice functions with random thoughts - like clouds in the sky that come and go - was a little taste of heaven for me.

Given that I, too, was a runner for 25 years of my life - running marathons - and hilly trail half marathons - often beginning my training runs in the dark with a flashlight — this was absolutely a lovely delightful Audiobook. I enjoyed it very much.

I’m familiar with the l
Raeleen Lemay
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, nonfiction
Read for Popsugar's 2018 Reading Challenge #19: A book about or involving a sport

This book was fantastic! I have yet to read any of Murakami's novels, but after reading this book I will be sure to pick one up soon (I own six of them, after all.) While I wish he had talked about writing a bit more than he did, I genuinely enjoyed hearing him speak on running and what it means to him. I feel like reading this book and getting to know Murakami a bit better will help me enjoy his novels even more wh
Jan 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.

A collection of personal essays about writing, endurance, and running, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running considers the impact running has had on the author’s life and work. Over the course of nine short essays, Haruki Murakami travels from Tokyo to Boston as he details his training regimen for the 2005 New York City Marathon and reflects on what running means to him. The author argues for approaching runni
It was a rainy evening about seven years ago when I entered a book store. It was the perfect refuge – warm lights, thin crowd, a tea bar and loads of books. I marched to the tea bar, ordered a ginger- mint tea, placed my bag on a chair in the seating area and hopped to the alleys to browse for books while the tea was being brewed. Running my eyes like a squirrel, I was surveying the titles one after another when they came to a halt – they spotted a pristine white cover with a circular swirl in b ...more
Jan 20, 2009 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
Heidi The Reader
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
In What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami doesn't try to convince others that we should all become long distance runners/triathletes like him. He does talk about why he took up running, how it has helped him with his creativity and why he will continue to run as long as he feels the need to do so.

I've never read a book by Murakami, other than this one. But, the interesting way in which he views the world makes me think that I'd probably enjoy his stuff.

I listened to this, r
Michael Finocchiaro
If you are a runner, this book is very inspiring. We learn of why Murakami decided to become a writer, leaving behind his jazz bar and how he also committed to running a marathon every year. It is exhilarating (and encouraging!) to see how he completely (and successfully) changed his life. He has run marathons everywhere including the original Marathon to Athens route (albeit in the wrong season!) and about other long-distance races he ran in. He is a fascinating man (who SO deserves a Nobel!) a ...more
Hannah Garden
Apr 03, 2009 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.
J.L.   Sutton
Apr 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running pairs running and the art of writing (and its demands on focus and endurance). After reading Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage a few weeks ago, I had wanted to read more from this author. Admittedly, What I Talk About has a very different (one might say non-literary) quality which differentiates it from his novel. Still, it was an interesting account in which Murakami describes a nearly lifelong connectio ...more
Riku Sayuj
Oct 01, 2011 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.
Jul 11, 2008 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
Diane S ☔
Jan 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: lor
An easy read but very simplistic and very repetitive. Not a runner myself, prefer walking so didn't really relate to that part. The parts about how he started writing was fairly interesting but all in all was disappointed in this book as a whole. Did quite a bit of skimming.
Jul 12, 2011 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
Omid Majidy Pour
May 06, 2015 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
Jun 10, 2008 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
Maria Bikaki
« Αλλά στην πραγματική ζωή τα πράγματα δεν είναι τοσο εύκολα. Υπάρχουν στιγμές στη ζωή μας που το μόνο που έχουμε πραγματικά ανάγκη είναι μια ξεκάθαρη λύση, κι ο άνθρωπος που χτυπάει την πόρτα είναι, το πιθανότερο, άγγελος κακών ειδήσεων. Αυτό δεν ισχύει πάντα, βέβαια αλλά σύμφωνα με την εμπειρία μου θα λεγα ότι τα απαισιόδοξα παραδείγματα υπερτερούν. Ο αγγελιοφόρος ακουμπάει με το δάχτυλο το καπέλο του και έχει ύφος απολογητικό, όμως αυτό δεν βελτιώνει ούτε στο ελάχιστον το περιεχόμενο του μην ...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
Glenn Sumi
Nov 26, 2014 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
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
"Quanto ao meu tempo, ao lugar que possa obter, aspecto físico, críticas tecidas pelos outros, tudo isso é secundário. Para um corredor como eu, o que verdadeiramente importa é conseguir os objectivos que me proponho, ir até onde as minhas pernas me levam. Dou tudo o que tenho, aguento tudo o que tenho de aguentar, e obtenho, à minha maneira, o que para mim conta." (p. 179)

Já perdi a conta aos Murakamis que li. Não me canso da sua escrita agradável e desataviada.
Este livro de memórias, de ensaio
Camille Stein
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Haruki Murakami -
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
این کتاب در واقع یک زندگی نامه یا بیوگرافی از زندگی موراکامی به زبان خودش است. کتابی بسیار تاثیرگذار که میشه خیلی چیزا ازش یاد گرفت و به عنوان الگو تو زندگی پیادش کرد. نکته مهمی که تو زندگی موراکامی تقریبا تو همه کاراش بوده این بوده که هرکاری که کرده از روی علاقه انجامش داده و نه از روی اجبار و اینکه خودشم تا جایی که میتونسته کسی رو به انجام کاری تشویق نکرده حتی نویسندگی و دویدن.
Ian "Marvin" Graye
What I Talk about When I Talk about Walking

I was originally more of a sportsman (or a sportsboy) than an athlete.

As a schoolboy, I absolutely hated running any distance over 100 meters. I was the second fastest in my year at the 100 meter sprint (there were two able males in my grade!), and for a while I could even do the 100 meters hurdles. Although I loved surfing and body surfing, I was hopeless at swimming anything but across the pool. I just wasn't made out for anything but team sports (whe
Matthew Quann
Apr 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Matthew by: Lisa Bacque
My running companion over the past two and a half weeks has been Haruki Murakami; at least, narrator Ray Porter channeling Murakami. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is more empathetic memoir than self-help book, but I have no doubt in my mind that Murakami helped to boost my running game. After a few runs I began to think of the audiobook as a philosophical coach. I’d recommend this memoir to seasoned runners as well as relative newbies like myself!

I decided to only listen to the au
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this book Haruki Murakami writes about his running life, doing marathons and triathlons. He writes about the successes and failures, the effect of ageing and his reasons why he runs and keeps running. For me, I felt the first half of the book was more clear and easy read than later, a bit like running a marathon can be. The mood throughout shows the author's general character, and the text never gets boring. It's an easy read, not too long.

Although I know I will never pick up running - love
Andrew Smith
I read this book some years ago but didn’t get around to capturing my thoughts on it. At the time I was deep into my midlife crisis period which, for me, included a desire to prove that I could still compete with the younger generations at something – for this enterprise I chose long distance running. I’d run the London Marathon in 1982 (the second year it was held) and I’d pretty much not run since, albeit I’d been active playing football, tennis and just about everything else through the remai ...more
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
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Murakami Haruki (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
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” 7525 likes
“The most important thing we learn at school is the fact that the most important things can't be learned at school.” 1043 likes
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