Running Is a Kind of Dreaming: A Memoir

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Reading about J.M. Thompson’s accomplishments and present life, you’d think he has plenty to brag about. He’s a well-educated psychologist, a physically fit ultramarathon runner, and an ordained Zen practitioner. He’s also married and has two children. He doesn’t do any bragging in this book, though.

Running Is a Kind of Dreaming explores the cosmic range of human emotion. Thompson drags the reader through the depths of trauma, depression, addiction, and suicidal thought. He tells us the reality that prefaced his return to the lighter side of life, with his own happily ever after.

This memoir is so well written that it’s hard to read through the passages about drug use. It’s vivid in each moment. Thompson refuses to hold back. He paints an intricate image of the highs and lows of the human experience—the mundane, cosmic joys felt after emerging from the unbearable, imploding depressions. Distance running is both a refuge from and a metaphor for this human struggle: “The trick is to abandon any attachment to getting anywhere and just put your head down and march up the mountain, grunting.”

By the end, Thompson comes across as a revolutionary force in clinical psychology.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher HarperOne
Publish Date 05-Oct-2021
ISBN 9780062947079 Buy this Book
Issue October 2021
Category Biographies & Memoirs