Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range:

Read Review
<back to archive

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

Release date: 20th December, 2009
Publisher: Vintage

List Price: £7.99
Our Price: £4.69
You Save: £3.3 (41%)
Buy Now

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
By Haruki Murakami price: £4.69, saving 40% on rrp

We're slap bang in the middle of the 'I must get fit' season, when the familiar sound of newly kitted-out joggers and runners pounding and wheezing their way through parks and along footpaths resonates across the land. It's a time when regular runners are joined, for a while at least, by new year resolutionists, many of whom will discard their colourful tracksuits and expensive running shoes before the end of March.

Your reviewer is a regular (if slow) runner, a man whose knees can ache for hours after a relatively short run around the local park. Like most people, I find the first kilometre the worst, a time when you must continually push yourself to reach the next landmark, though once you've passed it, matters become a little easier.

However, I discovered very early on that the last thing I want to think about when I'm running isÖerÖrunning. Tackling a hill and being conscious that there's still another 3km to run can be disheartening if you're struggling, so from the 'off', I transfer my thought process and start thinking of anything other than the process of running.

For runners who experience something similar (or even for those who simply enjoy a well-written book with sport at its core), Haruki Murakami's What I Talk About offers an ample supply of topics and ideas for when they're next staring at a seemingly unforgiving obstacle.

Murakami was already an established novelist when he realised that his rather sedentary existence was making him fat. His response was to take up running and he has since tackled more than twenty-five marathons, too many half-marathons to mention and one particularly gruelling 100 kilometre ultra-marathon, the peculiar spiritual benefits of which are described here in satisfying detail.

Most runners have an objective when they set out on their first tentative steps to building an Adonis-like body. Most aspire to attain a level of fitness last experienced some years ago; others, like Murakami, realise that being sat down all day does little for the girth, while many start in order to eventually tackle a specific challenge.

Murakami clearly considers running a means to achieving fitness, but he also appreciates that it can stir something altogether more spiritual and meaningful. He hits the nail on the head when talking about how running requires purpose, determination, and a willingness to make the mind and body do things they don't really want to do.

Conversely, (and most runners will associate with this), there is an espirit des corps evident amongst those people so determined to get out and run, even in the foulest weather. Murakami notes this and the inclination of attractive young girls to smile at him as he tackles his regular circuit, of fellow runners to simply nod their head in recognition of what he's doing. It's enough to encourage most runners and, most importantly, ensures they return to do it all again the following day.

This is a delightful accompaniment to any runners' library, though even if you're not one to don lycra and strap an iPod to your arm, you will not be disappointed at Murakami's wonderfully-written prose.

<back to archive


SBOTM Current Top 10

Berlin 1936 By Oliver Hilmes
Bodley Head
Read Review Buy Now
Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket By Stephen Fay and David Kynaston
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
401: The Extraordinary Story of the Man Who Ran 401 Marathons in 401 Days and Changed His Life Forever By Ben Smith
Bloomsbury Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
One Goal A Coach, A Team and the Game That Brought a Divided Town Together By Amy Bass
Hachette Books
Read Review Buy Now
Stuck In A Moment The Ballad of Paul Vaessen By Stewart Taylor
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Maradona Once Upon A Time In Naples (2018 Edition) By John Ludden
Read Review Buy Now
Chasing Points A Season on the Pro Tennis Circuit By Gregory Howe
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Iron Ambition Lessons I’ve Learned from the Man Who made Me a Champion By Mike Tyson with Larry Sloman
Read Review Buy Now
Fifty Cup Finals My Life in Football By Nick Collins
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Range Bucket List: The Golf Adventure of a Lifetime By James Dodson
Simon & Schuster
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.