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The Long Run

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,394 ratings  ·  123 reviews
After nearly twenty years of chasing oblivion, a fight in a bar reveals to a newly sober Mishka Shubaly that he is able to run long distances. Despite his best attempts to dodge enlightenment and personal growth, the irreverent young drunk and drug abuser learns to tame his self-destructive tendencies through ultra running. His outrageous sense of humor, however, rages una...more
Kindle Edition, 61 pages
Published October 26th 2011
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E.M. Tippetts
I don't normally read drug memoir essays. I'm tired of long, arrogant ruminations by people who've wrecked their lives and believe that in the process they have learned some deep truth about how existence really is this pointless wasteland (does it ever occur to them that if you destroy anything, it tends to look pointless and wasted afterwards?) and those of us who haven't dared to live on the edge subsist in a fiction of our own making (really, if I want to see truth, I think not taking halluc...more
Sadie Mills
Several years ago, I watched a lady simultaneously puke, pee and defecate right in front of me, all due to alcohol, all at 10 o'clock in the morning. And yes, as I stood there, retching, my poloneck yanked over my nose (I don't do well with bodily fluids, especially other people's (I'll never wear Shalimar perfume again in this lifetime)), I'll admit it: I judged her.

Here was a woman who, in checks and balances, could have had the world... I didn't have two pennies to rub together.

Fast forward a...more
Alex Duncan
I had fun with this one.
Gary Howell
I have to say that this is an above par book. It is both not amazing, but well worth the read. I've read other reviews on this book and was frightened at first to read it, as others have dotted on the fact that the author writes more about his drug addled days than his actual running career, but I thought that even this made sense to me. It was a quick read, read only in a night, so it can be something light to read in between longer books, but that doesn't mean it didn't make me think. His refe...more
Nick Prestel
The first thing that surprised me about this book after reading the first couple chapters was the lack of talk and mention of running. Looking back on it, this book is about 15% about running and 85% other stuff. The other stuff being made up mostly of Mishka's missteps, alcohol/drug hardships, and down right bad luck from his first 30 years. The running stuff doesn't come into play until the last part where Mishka finds and uses it as a constructive escape for his addictive personality. That be...more
A few gems in this breaking open account of an addict turned ultra runner.

"What's the secret to my miraculous recover, you might ask? Well, there is no secret because there has been no miracle. I got better the way everyone gets better: by trial and error and error and error...."

"Better my knees end early from overuse than my life end early from underuse."

'The traditional waster narrative is “I once was lost/ but now I’m found.” I was lost, for sure, but now, well, I’m still lost, just in a mor...more
The Long Run by Mishka Shubaly is a memoir about quitting alcohol. Mostly it drones on and on and on and on about the author's drug and alcohol experience. And then it briefly talks about how he saved himself through running. Basically he just woke up one day and decided to quit drinking and he did. The book doesn't offer much hope, just a sad story of an alcoholic. I was disappointed that he didn't talk more about his running experiences, after all the title is The Long Run. The most powerful p...more
This book I had read a while back and forgot to review it. I had wished this book was going to be about running through your problems. This was not so. Instead this was a pity party with nothing but bad attitude splashed all over the whole book. I get you were an alcoholic, but I did not want to read about how hard core you were. I thought maybe running was going to save him. In a sense, I do not think it did. Yes he may have stopped drinking, but I think he used running as an excuse for a book...more
Started and finished this today. It was a good book, if sometimes a little to obvious, or sarcastic. I found myself relating to the book and becoming inspired by the book the deeper I got into it. There were parts where the writing was simply brilliant, and others where I was rolling my eyes. Overall a good story and some quotes that will stay with me for a long time.
I bought this solely to check out the Kindle app. But it was a good, quick read, more like a magazine piece than a book. Ultras aren't my thing - I don't quite get the appeal - but it's obvious to see how an addict wouldn't be content with half-marathons. The short format helps the piece not be all that triggering, I'd think.
A really great short, quick read about an addict and his road to recovery (no pun intended). Very well-written- great language! And an interesting story! I'm already looking forward to reading more from Shubaly.
George Jensen
This read was somewhat a relief to read as a break from most of my reading interests in the past decades. I found his writing to have an easy flow. At some point in my life I've had a similar fixation with endurance but not with substance abuse. This writ has renewed my love for auto-bios all over again. Even though, I am also gaining a new love for allegories. Lots of harsh spitting language.

Below are my Kindle highlights.

bunch of us were worried you were going to kill yourself last year,” sh...more
Not a bad read, especially for the short length and low price as a Kindle single. Shubaly's story of being "saved" by running is a familiar one, and it's nice to see such a brief and visceral take on that familiar story.

It's quite an obnoxious book at times. Shubaly cuts an unsympathetic character, even admitting as much repeatedly. He calls himself nihilistic but really he's more solipsistic. Obviously he believes only he exists and his life is a manifestation of that selfish view as he acts ou...more
A quick, enjoyable novella. The majority of it details his lengthy and varied substance abuse, and the running only comes in a little at the end. The drug haze has - although more articulately characterized than usual - its strikingly typical appearance: "...I woke up, struggled through the day feeling lousy, started to use, felt somewhat better, used until I passed out, and started all over again." Or some variation on the theme.

Shubaly tripped over running: he'd stopped drinking long enough t...more
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mishka's writing style really captured my attention and kept me wanting more throughout his story. He was brutally honest and wrote, in my opinion, a compelling story. I give him props for opening up about his struggles with addiction and not sugar coating it.
Karol Gajda
I've known about this Kindle Single and Mishka Shubaly's music (via Doug Stanhope's podcast) for a while, but it wasn't until I ran a half marathon a few days ago that I felt compelled to read this. Great hour long read. Especially if you like stories of people at their worst becoming better.
Dani Arribas-bel
"The long run" is a short read. Not only because it's only about 60 digital pages but because once you start the first word, the next one comes natural all the way till the end of the story. Shubaly's account of his journey into alcoholic hell and back as an extreme runner is full of the traditional "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll", but also filled with humiliation, regret and honesty in telling how recovery has come to him.

I found out about the book thanks to his telling of "Shipwrecked" at The Mot...more
Leah Hortin
This novella was basically a stream of consciousness about the authors struggle with drug and alcohol abuse and how he found long distance running after he sobered up. It wasn't particularly well written but the story is powerful, but it could have been more powerful IMO. I did get a little choked up at the end when he was pacing a friend at the end of the Vermont 100-miler. He did make me laugh and seemed to not take himself too seriously. I'm sort of relieved that he didn't have an epic turnin...more
I really enjoyed this Single, but I held off awarding it 5 stars because there seem to be some gaps in the context and also a few imagery/wording clichés that Shubaly didn't need to rely on because he is a good, strong storyteller otherwise. I would have loved to read more about Shubaly's runs and races and how each affected him/helped him cope with his alcohol and drugs issues. Also, it isn't clear to me where he is in his stage of so-called recovery and sobriety. He writes that he doesn't atte...more
Mr Lego
Enjoyed it, however the title is a tad misleading. It is about 60% about booze, 20% about running, and 20% other. Fun short read, but nothing spectacular.
Melissa Bielec
A good story about an alcoholic turned running addict- I can relate (to the running part.) could have had more detail about his runs and successes.
This was a very honest memoir from the point of view of Mishka Shubaly, a recovering alcoholic & drug addict who discovered his destiny as an ultra-marathon runner after being inadvertently involved in a bar brawl. A good portion of the book addresses the author's substance's impact on his life and his ultimate road to recovery. Even though at times I was looking to read more about his ultra-marathon running experiences, I feel that the primary focus of this work is to delves into...more
I don't know if it was my download, but there was a huge jump from his drug use to running without any type of transition. At one point he is writing about drugs and the next page his aunt is buying him sneakers and he is running Ultra Marathons without a how or why.

A good, quick, and interesting read. Inspiring how this man went from super heavy drug use to super heavy running. I just wish it was fleshed out more.

I did worry when he wrote that he does miss drinking because it was fun- honest, y...more
James Fewtrell
Expected this book to be about running but it's so much more. Great story of the struggles of an alcoholic.
I needed a break from my normal reading and this served it's purpose. It gives a little insight into the mind of an addict and what some will do to overcome their addiction.
Jorge Figueroa
Mar 11, 2012 Jorge Figueroa rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Hay cretinos que tienen más suerte de la que se merecen, y luego está este patán que hasta hace unos tres años vivía alcoholizado, acostandose con cuanta tía quisiera y drogandose, de algún modo sobrevivía, un buen día deja de tomar, lo que me gusta de este single es que no lo glorifica, no hubo una Epifanía o una decisión, las cosas se arreglaron y su vida no se convirtió en un lecho de rosas, sus amigos alcohólicos no le soportan, encuentra a los abstemios aburridos y pues sólo corriendo ha en...more
Kris Madaus
Maybe I didn't read the description well enough and made assumptions, but this book was more about a fight with addiction than it was about running. I felt like I read through 3/4 of the book before running was even mentioned. And even then, there wasn't much running. If you are interested in a story about addiction and the need to pick up long distance running to get away from it, this book is fine. Just don't expect to read much about running. I am not particularly interested in addiction, so...more
Shubaly moves from being a person who compulsively uses substances to being a compulsive runner. There is definitely more substance abuse than running, I have always said, I can see how running could be used to replace alcohol, and you can see how it happens to one man in this short piece. There is also some stuff here about the crazy things you do when you run and the people you end up being friends with because of it. Overall I enjoyed it, but I don't know that it would be the best reading mat...more
As the title is about running and a shoes signifies jog shoes, more than 50% of this book talking about addiction, alcoholism and drug and lil bit about running. i'm not happy how Mishka told the story, i think i miss a lot of detail, it's so superficial. I've read about running from Haruki Murakami, what i talk about when i talk about running, is the best of the best. it's really influence me, the music he likes when he jogs, self discipline, and how running have the the deepest effect in becom...more
Kasey Jane
In this Kindle Single, Shubaly replaces an addiction to alcohol and pills with ultramarathoning.

I always enjoy a story about someone overcoming obstacles, learning to trace the patterns of their life, and developing an appreciation for the subtleties of self-nourishment. This Single doesn't really have any of those things. However, Shubaly is an engaging writer and this work isn't any worse for failing to follow the After School Special formula of addiction recovery memoirs.
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After receiving an expensive MFA from Columbia University, Mishka Shubaly promptly quit writing to play music. He lived out of a Toyota minivan for a year, touring nonstop, and has shared the stage with artists like The Strokes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Decemberists.

His Kindle Singles for Amazon have all been bestsellers. He writes true stories about drink, drugs, disasters, desire, deception a...more
More about Mishka Shubaly...
Are You Lonesome Tonight? Shipwrecked Of Mice and Me (Kindle Single) Bachelor Number One Beat The Devil (Kindle Single)

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“Never make the mistake of thinking that alcoholics are weak, because it took an incredible amount of internal strength and conviction in order for me to keep drinking despite the growing mountain of evidence against it.” 10 likes
“If you talk to little kids about drugs, they tell you that drugs make you feel weird and act crazy and hang around with strange people. Getting sober and running long distances has been deeply bizarre, weirder than any drug or combination of drugs I’ve tried. I do things now that my friends find crazier than doing drugs I’ve found on the floor or sleeping in the street.” 5 likes
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