Alastair Campbell (The Guardian, July 2008):
"Whatever respect I had for Haruki Murakami as a writer - which is considerable - it is as nothing to the depth of my bow down before the Japanese novelist on discovering that he has run an ultramarathon. His description of the physical and mental agonies as he struggled to complete the 62-mile course, followed by the near-religious experience of the last few miles, when he knew he was going to finish, is one of the highlights of what he calls "a kind of memoir". Non-running readers of his novels will probably ask: "Why on earth did he run 62 miles when he knew it would hurt so much?" Runners ask a different question: "Why have I never done that?"
The style is very clipped, many of the sentences short, so you feel the pace of the runner skipping through the text."