Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional A compelling mediation on the power of running and a fascinating insight into the life of this internationally bestselling writer. In 1982, having sold his jazz bar to devote himself to writing, Murakami began running to keep fit. A year later, hed completed a solo course from Athens to Marathon, and now, after dozens of such races, he reflects upon the influence the sport has had on his life and on his writing. Equal parts travelogue, training log and reminiscence, this revealing memoir covers his four-month preparation for the 2005 New York City Marathon and settings ranging from Tokyos Jingu Gaien gardens, where he once shared the course with an Olympian, to the Charles River in Boston. By turns funny and sobering, playful and philosophical, this is a must-read for fans of this masterful yet private writer as well as for the exploding population of athletes who find similar satisfaction in distance running. There can never have been a book quite like this memoir of running and writing before. In its self-contained way, its nothing less than an inspiration Evening Standard Hugely enjoyable…You dont have to have run a marathon to be captivated Sunday Telegraph Comical, charming and philosophical…an excellent memoir GQ