by Haruki Murakami

Reviewer Rating:
5

Review

I first picked up this book a couple of years ago when I had gotten back into running, but for one reason or another I didn’t get past the first couple of chapters. This time around, I was stuck on an interminable bus ride, and had no choice but to read (listen to) the whole thing. And then I wondered what was wrong with me that I didn’t appreciate it as much as it deserved to be appreciated the first time around. Maybe this book was waiting for this precise moment in my life. I just loved it. I got teary at passages that weren’t remotely sad or sentimental simply because it felt like Murakami had taken a walk through my brain. His observations about his running life track the trajectory of his writing life. He starts by talking about running, but in talking about running, he then is talking about his life and about his writing and about identity, and it’s just sublime. Murakami is fairly shy about talking directly about anything personal, but you can glean quite a bit from this indirect approach. I would even say that his reticence is all the more moving. This sort-of-memoir is self-deprecating and gentle, while at the same time incisive and wise. I would recommend this book to anyone who is a runner or a writer or who is interested in biographies.

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