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The Long Run

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3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  137 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
Christy
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
Cheree
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
Topazriver
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.
Jackie
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
Haley
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.
adrienna
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.
Jamie
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.
Richard
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
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
Greg
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
Leslie
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
Ami Pack
Inspiring

The realism of Mishka's alcoholic trials and tribulations is bone shivering. I felt sick right along with him. I ran with him, almost as if he was trying to run away from himself. If you have ever felt what it's like to be in the black hole of depression, you can relate to this.
Debbie
After not enjoying my last book so much, I thought I'd read a short one. I've had my eye on this one for a while now (as I'm interested in what drives people). I really enjoyed the last third of this book and whilst I realise that the first part of the book is necessary, I think it could have been shorter.
Lindsay
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
Shawn Boyle
I really enjoyed Mishka's prose. It's well paced, short, simple (in a complimentary sense of the word), sincere and yet you never felt like he was sparing many details. Just try the sample, it hooked me right away and it doesn't try be more than what it is.

I will be reading more of his writing.
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
Diane
Sad Story

I enjoyed this book. Seems true and real but very sad.

I run long distance races. It makes me feel free. Most people don't understand what it feels like. He does a great job explaining how it feels.
Sofia Sanchez
Personal development book

Ebook about how we could take courage and overpass passthrough difficult situations. Personal development and that their is always a solution for problems
Lucille
I really enjoyed the style of writing. The experiences he had were foreign to me, so I can't judge if they were true to type or overblown for effect (affect, whatever!)
Arun
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.
Julia Katic
Quick and easy read. Certainly a remarkable man. Amazing that he survived .... it is just not worth getting into any addictive substances.
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4805000
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? Of Mice and Me (Kindle Single) Shipwrecked 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.” 6 likes
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