I've now read and enjoyed Haruki Murakami's two latest books.
Before hitting his backlist, I wanted to find out more about Murakami himself. His memoir on running & writing seemed a logical choice.
Obviously, the title would suggest a Raymond Carver link. In fact "writer beloved to me" is how Murakami describes the link. He also obtained permission from Carver's widow to use Carver's short story title, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, as he did.
First up, I am not a runner. I am not into marathons, triathalons or intense physical training of any kind! Yet I found this book fascinating from start to finish.
Amongst the training schedules and bodily aches & pains, were lots & lots of interesting insights into Murakami's personality, his thoughts on life, growing old, jazz & writing. It was also a kind of travelogue with snapshots of the places he has lived and raced in, including Hawaii, Boston & Japan.
One can sense the aloneness that imbues his stories in some of his comments:
"Emotional hurt is the price a person has to pay in order to be independent."
"this sense of isolation...as a kind of double-edged sword. It protects me, but at the same time steadily cuts away at me from the inside."
"No matter how much I write, though, I never reach a conclusion. And no matter how much I rewrite, I never reach the destination."
"one of the privileges given to those who've avoided dying young is the blessed right to grow old."
"My own individual, stubborn, uncooperative, often self-centred nature that still doubts itself - that, when trouble occurs, tries to find something funny, or something nearly funny, about the situation. "
"in the final analysis what's most important is what you can't see but can feel in your heart."
I have several friends who enjoy a good marathon or two - this would be a perfect gift for them.
For Murakami lovers - this is a limited, but fascinating insight into the writer they love.