Thursday, 29 January 2009

[134] Morning Roundup, Haruki Murakami, Xbox 360

Things have been busy the last couple of days. The Finnish girl is having some friends staying over, so we've been cleaning. I've also been distracted by Other Things.

Such as, well, buying an Xbox 360.

This now opens me up to new avenues of distraction and procrastination, although hopefully I'll be able to turn some if not all of it into interesting blog posts in the future. I've started a game of my own in Fallout 3, so maybe expect some of that soon. Also, playing Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (which I bought second hand for £2.99 over the summer), which is very fun and getting me geared up for Street Fighter IV. I'm hoping to get one or two good multiplayer games and try out Xbox Live at some point, too.


I recently read Haruki Murakami's Things I Talk About When I Talk About Running, which is a collection of essays released last year. In reality it's more of a mish-mash of memoir and exercise diary, as Murakami goes through is regime in preparation for running the New York Marathon in 2005, and participating in a Japanese triathlon event not long after.

The story goes that, after selling his Jazz Bar to dedicate his life to writing, Murakami started running to keep fit. The title suggests that this is one of those slabs of writing which encompass more than the topic at hand, that, in talking about his running habits, Murakami imparts life lessons and autobiography. This is semi-true, and in the first half of the book especially, there is a great deal of insight into his past, his ambitions and his drive. Running is shown to be a manifestation of his dedication and discipline, and his adventures and experiences are used as springboards for an interesting recounting of his transition from bar owner to writer. However, once that is out of the way, Murakami's focus shifts to marathons, triathlons and running. The second half of the novel, written in anticipation of the New York Marathon, becomes very staid in its discussion of sports regimes and the looming deterioration of old age.

This harms the resonance of the book somewhat, although it is still a pleasant read. Its short, sub-200 page length helps to keep the book from getting too sluggish. However, Things I Talk About When I Talk About Running provokes a nagging, daunting suspicion that the man who wrote such smart, stylish books as Norwegian Wood and Dance Dance Dance may be, in reality, quite mundane, quite boring.


And, well, to finish up, as per usual...

The Morning Roundup: Tomb Raider Reboot, 1066: The Film, Neil Gaiman wins Newberry, more adaptations

This morning we've got news about newly-announced reboots, adaptations and dramatisations, as well as new G.I. Joe and Hobbit images.

Read the full story here.

1 comment:

Robbie Tulips said...

First time reader--I'd just like to say you're soggy cunt!

Cheers, Boss!