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The Long Run

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3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  2,409 Ratings  ·  175 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 ...more
Kindle Edition, 61 pages
Published October 26th 2011
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George Monical This book helped me to go deeper in my running. I gave up drinking as I took up running. Replacing a bit of a vice with a bit of a virtue. This book…moreThis book helped me to go deeper in my running. I gave up drinking as I took up running. Replacing a bit of a vice with a bit of a virtue. This book helped me to understand that that is what I was doing. (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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E.M. Tippetts
Mar 06, 2012 E.M. Tippetts rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sadie Mills
Oct 12, 2013 Sadie Mills rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2013 Alex Duncan rated it it was amazing
I had fun with this one.
Nick Prestel
Jan 09, 2012 Nick Prestel rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Christy
Jan 08, 2012 Christy rated it really liked it
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
Jackie
Aug 21, 2014 Jackie rated it did not like it
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
Cheree
Mar 17, 2012 Cheree rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Jessica Macri
Aug 25, 2016 Jessica Macri rated it really liked it
Once again, I really enjoy Mishka's stylenof writing. Very descrpitive, I can see so clearly the story he wants to share.

The only issue I have is the writing makes me feel as though this is a true story, and it feels incongruous with Ship Wrecked, where he is a young man working on a sailboat. I just dont see how this drug addled/fighting running man had time to learn to sail. Thhat was my main though the whole book (when does he start sailing?). Though, either they are fiction or non, I do not
...more
Polly Clarke
Jun 13, 2015 Polly Clarke rated it liked it
Shelves: my-kindle-reads
An honest and naked account of addiction. Although this may be uncomfortable for some, I think it added to the style of writing and without its punchy language, it wouldn't be realistic. I enjoyed this directness and at times poetic alliteration. An antidote to your normal choice of reading.
George Jensen
Jan 02, 2012 George Jensen rated it really liked it
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
TJH
May 10, 2012 TJH rated it did not like it
this dude's a jackass
Ronald Keeler
Nov 12, 2016 Ronald Keeler rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The Long Run by Mishka is an inspiring story for addicts. It is hard in this account for the reader to separate alcohol addiction from drug addiction. Mishka seems to have done it all. The “thing” that save him was running. This was running in all its forms, from short distances to ultra- marathons and beyond. It would be inaccurate to say that something like running was an epiphany. First had to come the realization that his “present” life of daily drinking and doping wasn’t working. Then he ...more
Graham cooper
Nov 06, 2016 Graham cooper rated it it was amazing
An amazingly good read.

Being an ex runner I can identify with this character what a challenge, drugs and alcohol abuse how the hell you have to ask yourself, does somebody get into running? I got into running and it does become a drug you want to run further and do better times, the old pb drives one on. What is amazing is how the feeling of not feeling better is in this guy's head. The last couple of pages is brilliant, helping your mate over the line, what could be more heroic? A good book.
Caleb
Nov 01, 2016 Caleb rated it really liked it
Solid read for anyone.

A compelling book, written by a recovered drug and alcohol addict who found his recovery and sense of purpose in running.
Taylor
Nov 19, 2016 Taylor rated it liked it
Good book!

It was an easy to read book and Inspiring. Showed the real challenges of addiction in detailed way. Nice personal story.
Kabrina
Nov 24, 2016 Kabrina rated it really liked it
Wasn't entirely sure what I was getting with this one but I liked it. Gave me inspiration for fighting my own personal demons.
Travis
Oct 30, 2016 Travis rated it really liked it
A tale of an artist finding a new obsession.
Kate
Oct 19, 2016 Kate rated it it was ok
I found the writing to jump around a bit, without smooth transitions. The last story he tells about the 100-Miler is very well-written; I just wish the rest of the book was written so valiantly.
Nicole
Oct 12, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
One of Amazon's free reads

Surprisingly inspiring and makes me feel like if someone like that could run an ultra then maybe I could start running again too.
Greg
Apr 05, 2012 Greg rated it liked it
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
Tameka Mullins
Sep 11, 2016 Tameka Mullins rated it it was amazing
An Abbreviated Wild

This book reminded me a lot of Wild by Cheryl Strayed and of course I loved it because that is one of my favorite books. The voice was totally honest and I could see and feel the things that he was talking about. I love the fact that he shared his addiction experience without making it seem like a magic pill was going to solve his problems. Overcoming any type of challenge takes hard work and it's never pretty. I wonder if they ever found that guy who beat up his friend at the
...more
Brenda Perlin
Dec 03, 2015 Brenda Perlin rated it it was amazing
The Long Run by Mishka Shubaly is raw, honest and completely addictive. This short story was one I couldn't put down until I had turned to the very last page. Mesmerizing and full of true-life emotions. Can't get more real than this and that is what drew me in. Intoxicatingly familiar. Felt it to the core and was moved by the openness the author displays. This is from the gut and it comes across as pure truth. Reality of a self-destructive, alcoholic, drug addict, a real person with life ...more
Leslie
Jan 21, 2012 Leslie rated it liked it
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
Dani Arribas-bel
Oct 15, 2012 Dani Arribas-bel rated it liked it
"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
Damana
Oct 20, 2015 Damana rated it liked it
Book 59 of 2015 is The Long Run by Mishka Shubaly.

This is the first Kindle Single that I've read as part of my Kindle Unlimited subscription. I'm not convinced I'll continue my subscription as the books are limited to a lot of cliche Oprah Book Club type books. This is not one of those though.

As a runner, I do understand this to an extent. Running is meditation. Running is an escape and I guess that is why you are running from whatever you are running from.

I didn't like the main character so his
...more
Leah Hortin
Feb 03, 2012 Leah Hortin rated it it was ok
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 ...more
Justin
Jan 04, 2012 Justin rated it liked it
Shelves: finished-2012
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
Chris
Jun 27, 2016 Chris rated it it was ok
Couldn't get past the second page. Repeating information already stated, or giving info we didn't need. Bogged down in details. Not interested in the main character at all.
If the main character can't hook the audience, the story, no matter how great, won’t ever go anywhere for the audience because no one is interested in sticking around to find out.
You have very little time to hook readers with a story, probably less time with me because I am that demanding with my time.
So I didn't read the whol
...more
Richard
Dec 16, 2014 Richard rated it really liked it
Lucky to be running

Shubaly gives a candid account of his 20-year battle mostly with alcohol but with a fair share of drugs thrown in. Some reviewers have complained that this book is too much about the author's substance abuse and not enough about running. Well, Shubaly is not that old and is relatively new to running. He spent a lot more years wasted and I was okay reading about those battles and his eventual victory. At least I hope he stays sober because it doesn't seem like a sure thing by t
...more
Michael Flanagan
Jun 09, 2016 Michael Flanagan rated it liked it
In the Long Run the author tells the tale of his life as a chronic alcoholic and how running helped him swap one addiction for another. It is fair to say I think running is the better choice of the two.

Mishka does not hold back in when describing his life on alcohol and the self-destructive path he was on. How he managed to live through this destructive stage of his life is beyond me. His transformation into a ultra-marathon runner some might suggest is equally destructive.

A great story of rede
...more
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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
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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.” 12 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.” 6 likes
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