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The Pants of Perspective

One Woman's 3,000 Kilometre Running Adventure Through the Wilds of New Zealand
Narrated by: Anna McNuff
Length: 9 hrs and 56 mins
5 out of 5 stars (59 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A thrilling, coming-of-age journey that will make you yearn to go on your own adventures.” (Runner's World)

Anna was never anything like those "real" runners on telly - all spindly limbs, tiny shorts, and split times - but when she read about New Zealand’s 3,000-kilometer-long Te Araroa Trail, she began to wonder...perhaps being a "real" runner was overrated. Maybe she could just run it anyway? 

Travelling alone through New Zealand’s backcountry for 148 days, she scrambled through forests, along ridgelines, over mountain passes, along beaches, and across swollen rivers. Running up to 52 kilometers in a day, she slept wild most nights and was taken into the homes and hearts of the Kiwi people in between. 

The Pants of Perspective is a witty, colorful, and at times painfully raw account of a journey to the edge of what a woman believes herself to be capable of. It is a coming-of-age story that will lead you on a roller-coaster ride through fear, vulnerability, courage, and failure. 

For anyone who has ever dreamt of taking on a great challenge but felt too afraid to begin - this story is for you.

©2017 Anna McNuff (P)2018 Anna McNuff

Critic Reviews

"Beaming with limitless ambition, positivity and enthusiasm." (Women’s Running)

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Average Customer Ratings

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inspired me to start hiking

devoured this book. loved annas narration. brought a desire for adventure in every day life

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Wow

Awesome book , Anna is an awesome narrator. Seems like such a cool person . I’m New Zealander loved hearing her perspective! Highly recommended

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I loved this book so much

I love Anna's writing and loved hearing about her adventures ... and about the world at its most beautiful and people at their kindest. I can't wait to read her other book!

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great retelling of an epic journey

anna's energetic enthusiasm in the narration pulls you into the journey itself - be prepared to be there, first person...

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Great story

Loved it. I want to pack a bag and do a stupidly long hike myself!

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pretty entertaining

struggled to finish it, I felt it just dragged on and on. great narration and a good story but left me feeling sleepy and not inspired

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The book I was waiting for

I admit to a bias from the start - I've done parts of Te Araroa and I'm a big fan of the long distance endurance challenge story and of the New Zealand landscape so finding this was a bonanza. So I was really happy that it turned out to be even better than I hoped it would be. Anna's story and narration and attitude is always relateable, always entertaining and 90% upbeat, although she is brutally honest about the days spent sobbing alone in the bush moments. Loved every minute of it so my simple advice - if you like books about feats of athletic endurance OR adventure travel OR just stories told by an incredibly likeable, adventurous and entertaining woman, get this. You won't regret it. Seriously, I can't imagine why anyone wouldn't enjoy listening to this book.

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Loved this book

I have started running 1000km to raise money (not in one go - but by Christmas 2020) so I looked for inspiration. I listened to Anna retell her story and it helped me so much. I don't need to be perfect, or faster, just do it well enough to make myself proud. I really loved this book.
Ps Well done Anna

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Funny as...

She showcases NZ amazing scenery and people while given a lesson on resilience! The jokes are a plus!

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What an inspiring book!

A great story of courage, adventure & realising how far the human body can be pushed physically and mentally. You have inspired me to hopefully one day check out this trail myself! Anna is real and hilarious and you won’t regret giving this a listen!

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  • Kim
  • 09-12-2018

I loved this book

The author reads the book with such enthusiasm and energy I couldn't stop listening. If you liked North by Scott Jurek you will like this even more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-05-2020

Great listen especially if you are traveling <br />

Good job Anna
Listen to this book now
It is good for body and soul

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  • steps
  • 10-05-2020

Freakin Awesome

Loved every minute, I felt as though I was with Anna on this freakin AWESOME ADVENTURE. I am a thru hiker/ tramper myself and I could see everything she was describing in my mind, her voice inflections and accents (which I thought were fabulous by the way) Anna herself being the narrator made it that much more endearing, emotional, and heck of a ride. Highly recommended.

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  • Suzannah B. Troy
  • 26-04-2020

Uplifting fun Entertaining Running Book Comedy Style

Hi Anna is very upbeat very very tearful at times it's almost like stand-up comedy. If you don't like perky people than this book wouldn't be for you but I loved it she takes you through intense beauty and physical endurance challenge but with such uplift optimism and positivity. It is very perky energetic even the way she reads the book to you and I loved it

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  • CFr
  • 14-03-2020

FANTASTIC performance

You will LOVE Anna. Her reading makes this good story great. Good story for runners or people with an interest in NZ.

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  • Shen-Tat
  • 29-02-2020

Motivation Supreme!

I loved this audio book so much! Every day that I drove on my commute it was like living an adventure. I love running and I love a good challenge and sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. It was so joyous and real to hear of Anna's challenges she faced and made me crave more for myself.

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  • Mills
  • 24-02-2020

Love her!

Anna is such an endearing person, that right from the start of the book you want her to be your friend. In the opening “read by Anna McNuff...*whispers*thats me!!” I was in for the ride.
I’ve already recommended this book to several of my friends and can’t wait to go on an adventure of my own.
But above all else, this book is about doing something you didn’t think you were capable of, but you did it anyways. It is the epitome of “leap and a net will appear” and “be scared and do it anyways”. It has awakened in me a fire to do the things that scare me, either it be adventure or even career related. 10/10 recommend to a friend.

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  • E
  • 08-02-2020

Wonderful!

It was a joy to listen and imagine to your adventure! I felt like I was being carried along the trail with you. Please write again!!

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  • vfoster
  • 31-12-2019

Loved book and Anna

Hilarious. Love her accent and how she made me laugh when she did silly things. Very inspiring.

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  • TR
  • 13-12-2019

Refreshing and very well written

If one should have a nugget of yearning for adventure within, this is the book and audible for you. I started with the audible and then even ordered the book. Why? Not sure but I do know there were a few of Anna's experiences and reactions to those experiences that are worth remembering ... as I ponder what and how this yearning for adventures will manifest. I suspect my running days are over, but I recently purchased a new single racing shell and am about to invest in a second bike ... a gravel bike for bike packing. I recall adventures from my youth (20's in to 30's). Have always loved my fitness to an extreme at times, and will now add Anna's story to my reference library as I identify and embark on ... who knows what ... but adventure for sure. Thanks for sharing your story Anna. You certainly have a talent for writing.
Note, a little bonus for me was your overnight with the Drysdale's. As I return to rowing, I've book marked YouTube video's of Mahe Drysdale at Olympics and Henley. He is a good one to study.

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  • Portia
  • 24-04-2020

High octane guff with a dangerous message

I admit I’m only about a third of the way through, so I’m hoping the key messages change by the end. If the writer is as badly prepared for her long distance wilderness run as she (repeatedly) tells us then surely she will be a lot wiser by the end. Now I don’t mind a bit of feel-good story polish but so far I’ve leant:
1. It’s fine to set out into the wilderness badly prepared.
2. Maybe don’t bother researching the trail you are doing, cos hey, that’s just amusing ditziness and not at all dangerous to you or others
3. Don’t take a GPS, because you not liking the way they ‘look at you funny’ is more important than not getting lost and putting others at risk when they try to find you. Ditto, help your folks back home feel you will be a bit safer if you get lost.
4. It’s fine to start out on something this strenuous and isolated without fully training with all your gear
5. In fact it’s fine to set out when you are injured because - presumably- positive thinking will help you. Putting people at risk to find you because you didn’t listen to your body is, again, fine.

So, the story. A lot of over the top ‘hey awesome’ and very little content or reflection. The descriptions of the landscape sound like they were added by another hand. Maybe they were and the author’s strength is running, not writing. But the disjunct is jarring at times.

I kind of wish I hadn’t paid money to encourage more of this.

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  • Mrs G.
  • 18-10-2019

Awesome listen!

I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in running/ adventures/ challenges.
Read by Anna herself and if you’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting Anna in person it’s great to hear her reading this.
I have been listening to this whilst running and now I’ve finished it I’m eagerly awaiting the next instalment once completed the Barefoot Britain challenge! Go Anna - enjoy your adventures and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-02-2019

Amazing, inspiring, down-right brilliant!

Absolutely LOVED this book! Anna reads aloud in a very animated and enthralling way - love the accents! This book has everything - even a love story!! An inspiring read and just loved listening to it on my commute - don't know what to do now that I've finished it!!

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  • stephen du plessis
  • 15-12-2018

Great story about a great adventure.

Excellent storytelling. Inspiring and funny. I still need to write five more words now though.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-05-2020

Great listen

really enjoyed the tales of this run across New Zealand, honest and heartfelt at all times

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  • Hannah
  • 19-05-2020

Amazing!!

I listened to this on some of my runs during lockdown and it was just what was needed- a joyful adventure and exploration of what makes us grow and develop. Loved it Anna!!

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  • Erin
  • 15-05-2020

An inspiring read

This book kept me hooked even though I wasn't sure at the beginning that it would. It has inspired me to be a little more adventurous.

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  • frances
  • 14-05-2020

Inspiring

loved it, been struggling with motivating and reading/listening to this has helped me get back into running and challenging myself. It's funny, very descriptive and I really want to go to New Zealand now! thanks Anna and well done 👍🏻😀

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  • Becki Dickinson
  • 12-05-2020

Put the perspective back in my pants!

Brilliant listen from start to finish. I only listened to it on my runs and boy did it get me some funny looks from people as I laughed running past them.

I love the personal bits and the personality that shone through.
It’s given me the fire back in my belly to want to challenge myself and not let life slip away before me.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-05-2020

Pantylicous

Entertaining and inspiring from the off. I giggled and cried. Now in my top 10 favourite books