What I Talk About When I Talk About Running (走ることについて語るときに僕の語ること) is the penultimate Haruki Murakami book published in Japan; the last one is 1Q84. It is not a novel, it is a book written in first person by Haruki Murakami about his experience running marathons, triathlons and even a 100 km ultra marathon.
The book is quite entertaining and can be read easily in some hours without stopping; when you finish reading it you feel like going out and start running. Haruki Murakami never tells the reader to go running, he simply tells how he combines his life as a writer with his love of running. The writing style is informal, enjoyable and not very structured; it reminded me a lot of the travel diaries of Haruki Murakami (3 books that haven’t been translated to English).
Now I would like to share with you some passages of the book that grabbed my attention:
Sometimes when I run, I listen to jazz, but usually It’s rock, since its beat is the best accompaniment to the rhythm of running. I prefer the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gorillaz, and Beck, and olides like Creedence Clearwater Revival and Beach Boys.
I don’t have an iPod, I use MD. At this point I don’t want to mix music and computers. Just like it’s not good to mix friends and work, and sex.
The most important things we ever learn at school is the fact that the most important things can’t be learned at school.
Nothing in the real world is as beautiful as the illusions of a person about to lose consciousness.
I think certain types of processes don’t allow for any variation. If you have to be part of that process, all you can do is transform – or perhaps distort- yourself through that persistent repetition, and make that process a part of your own personality.
English book cover
Japanese book cover. Japanese book covers are usually pretty dull.
Haruki Murakami training to run a marathon
You can grab What I Talk About When I Talk About Running at Amazon.com.
Indispensable for Murakami fans!
Other Haruki Murakami books: