"A short, laugh-out-loud graphic book about the promises and perils of exercise.The hilarious and the profound are often only inches apart, and Inman (Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, 2013, etc.) consistently nails the space between them. Sure to delight Inman's fans and probably win him some new ones.”
"This graphic novel of sorts is for those of us who run so that we can have a guilt-free donut or five; those of us battling our inner fat kids. Writer and illustrator Matthew Inman, aka The Oatmeal (from his blog), chronicles his arc from a chubby sometimes jogger to a ultramarathoner who runs until his toenails fall off. You can’t help but conclude: If The Oatmeal and his inner Blerch (the ultimate self-underminer) can do it, you can, too." (New York Post)
"Finally! A voice that sings with the blerches of angels!" (Christopher McDougall, author of "Born to Run")
"He runs so hard his toenails fall off. He asks himself, why? Why do I do this? Here, gorgeously, bravely, hilariously, is Matt's deeply honest answer." (Robert Krulwich, NPR)
"All runners wonder, at some point or another, why we do what we do. Mr. Inman's explanation is the best I've ever seen. And the funniest. Because he is clinically insane." (Mark Remy, Editor at Large, Runner's World and author of "The Runner's Rule Book")
"You will have seen many of these cartoons on his website, The Oatmeal, but there is so much more in this book, and the price is well worth the extra content. Not only that, there is no excuse to not have this if you are a runner. I cannot express how many times I put this down and cried laughing." (Joe Hempel, Top of the Heap Reviews)
A short, laugh-out-loud graphic book about the promises and perils of exercise.The hilarious and the profound are often only inches apart, and Inman (Why Grizzly Bears Should Wear Underpants, 2013, etc.) consistently nails the space between them. Better known as The Oatmeal, the author's irreverent and peculiar webcomics resonate with millions of cult followers who identify with his self-deprecating musings on life. Part confessional, part commentary, the book has enough humor and satire to qualify as comedy but also just enough honesty to strike resonance and possibly even provide inspiration. Why does Inman run? He likes to eat junk food. Running helps with his depression. It helps him keep ahead of both his personal demons and The Blerch, a pudgy little cherub who follows him around and "represents all forms of gluttony, apathy and indifference" that continually vex him. Inman's caricatures of his own inner battles will be vaguely familiar to most. While running, for example, the Blerch floats behind him, offering nonstop suggestions: "Slow down, Captain SpeedyPants! Let's go home! We've got gravy to eat and naps to conquer. Also, the Robocop trilogy on Netflix isn't gonna watch itself." Inman's witty parodies and droll cartoon illustrations deftly penetrate defenses, proving to be oddly reassuring. When an ultramarathon runner portrays himself chugging Skittles and consuming Nutella through a straw, it raises the possibility that progress—whatever the endeavor may be—is possible. Make no mistake, however: Inman is in, but not of, a fitness culture fixated on physical and nutritional perfection. He pokes fun at hypervain gym culture and scoffs at culinary purity and restraint. Exercise is simply a means to an end for him. Running temporarily dials down the volume of his fears and insecurities and keeps him from becoming a fat kid again. That appears to be reason enough to keep him pounding the pavement. Sure to delight Inman's fans and probably win him some new ones.