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The Runner: Four Years Living and Running in the Wilderness

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  872 ratings  ·  71 reviews
Markus Torgeby was just 20 years old when he headed off into the remote Swedish forest to live as a recluse and dedicate himself to his one true passion, running… He lived in a tent in the wilderness, braving the harsh Swedish winters - for four years. This is his story. A bestseller in Sweden, the book is a powerful exploration of running and personal wellbeing.

During
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Kindle Edition, 192 pages
Published August 23rd 2018 by Bloomsbury Sport (first published 2015)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  872 ratings  ·  71 reviews


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Suzanne
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book. It promises a true life story of a man from Sweden who finds solace and peace in running, especially in the Swedish wilderness. It begins in childhood with the author starting out on his blossoming running career. The book deals with his struggles at home due to his mother being diagnosed with MS, and continues towards his loss and grief at finally losing her, and how he finds peace in his sport.

I expected more from this book based on the description. Instead of
...more
Ron S
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful. Something like a modern day Walden, written by an athletic, Scandinavian, mentally distressed Thoreau. The running is incidental: this is about confronting demons and finding one's way in the world. Written in simple, declarative language that would make this well suited for reluctant readers. ...more
Izwan Zakaria
A fast read memoir about a 20 year old Swedish runner who decided to live in a forest for four years. During this period, Markus explains in detail his life experience living in cold (below -15 C) as he shares the reader his challenges affecting his family, friends and his own understanding of the world. Great read.
Debbie
Aug 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It only took me a day to read this (very short!) and even though I am no runner (I've tried!) I thought there was a lot to think about in this man's story. Its not just about the running; the book is definitely about life and the lessons to be learned especially if you are a bit "different" as the author obviously is/was. ...more
Jason Keane
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really nice read. Markus Torgeby teaches the importance of stripping life back, feeling restlessness, making your basic needs your key focus on a daily basis. It’s an inspiring read and is comforting to think of a potentially different way of life that is available to anybody if you feel so inclined
Antsy Plantsy
Apr 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book makes me want to simplify my life.
Iliyana Kondareva
Intriguing, honest, and raw. Torgeby's memoir is simple, yet touching, he doesn't try to be over-poetic and I enjoyed that. The only thing is, at times I did not like Markus and the way he treated the people around him, which put me off the book a bit.

“I put all my restlessness and anxiety into running and I run until my legs scream and my lungs hurt. In my running there are no thoughts, only deep breaths and my legs and a rhythm that calms me down.”
...more
Suzanne
Jun 20, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book. It promises a true life story of a man from Sweden who finds solace and peace in running, especially in the Swedish wilderness. It begins in childhood with the author starting out on his blossoming running career. The book deals with his struggles at home due to his mother being diagnosed with MS, and continues towards his loss and grief at finally losing her, and how he finds peace in his sport.

I expected more from this book based on the description. Instead of
...more
Elainedav
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
This is an autobiographical account written by a man who likes to run and spent his teenage years and early twenties doing just that. But it's also about his home life, including the difficulty of growing up watching your mother's health deteriorate and not being able to do anything about it. Markus is very open about the mental stuggles he faced and how running and isolation helped to ease or clear his mind. To live alone in the woods in Sweden, for four years, is an unusual and fascinating pro ...more
Brooks
Dec 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Quote...”If I have to keep exposing myself to ever greater challenges in order to achieve the same emotions, then I must be doing something wrong”. Autobiographical tale of a young Swedish distance runner who trains great but has trouble in completions. With a mother sick with MS, a feeling of failure in running, and no desire to fit into society, he sets up a tent in the woods near his former university. He lives for four years there including three winters. A modern Walden story, with a call t ...more
Bec O'Neill
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a Christmas gift from my mother - who doesn't really read books. I can absolutely see her thought process here 'oh it's about a runner. It looks like an _inspirational_ read...for my daughter...who is a runner'. I was able to finish it, if only out of respect for my mother - but my god this could do with a good edit - it's truly all over the place. If you're an introvert who dreams of packing it all in to go live in a log cabin whilst retaining your fitness levels then this might be for ...more
Sherry Seymour
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cam
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I read the book, not the audiobook!
Grommit
Sep 23, 2020 rated it liked it
As a former competitive runner in my younger years, and a recreational runner since then, I really wanted to enjoy this book.
Runners, like most athletes, like to daydream about winning major competitions. We also dream about running for long stretches, on warm, sunny days, through forests and along beaches.
Young, tan, strong, injury-free, fast.
But, alas, this is not such a book.
Rather, it tells the real-life story of Markus Torgeby who was struggling with his contemporary world: school, athle
...more
Bjørn
Apr 17, 2021 rated it liked it
I don't like rating memoirs, because it feels like looking at someone's life and decide "nah, your life bored me," so I'll immediately say – this is a fascinating life described badly.

The blurb is misleading. Markus spent quite some time travelling, including time in Tanzania, being accompanied by friends or documentary makers. Obviously I'm not saying "and he had the duty to be alone in the forest!!! FAKE NEWS!!!" – but that's not the book the blurb promised I'd be reading. (From the blurb I ex
...more
Martin Samuelsson
Jan 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is unfiltered, reading it is like being inside the authors head. No fancy explanations, just an endless stream of thoughts and ideas. It is not a romantic book, painting long vivid and poetic images of the nature. The language is short and direct, and I like it. As a person who grew up in the same environment - I know exactly what the authors means when he shortly explains the texture of the snow e.g. I like this book because of it rawness and how genuine he is. There is no suger-coati ...more
Ciaran Mills
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't know what compelled me to pick this book up from a book share scheme, but what followed was an interesting, and sometimes emotional, read.

Markus Torgeby's writing style is easy to digest, with short paragraphs helping with the lengthy chapters. Despite this, I do feel that this book drags at times, particularly towards the end of the Ockero chapter.

Perhaps the most thought provoking part in this book is the very end where Torgeby provides his views on life in general and what he has lear
...more
Lee Belbin
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A wonderful insight into someone like me, in some ways of course. 'Born to run' would be a a fair alternate title. His teenage angst was honest and sad. His desire to be alone in the forest and dependent on a few vital things (warmth, food) aligned with me as I am happiest alone in the bush. I have run and walked in northern Sweden and Norway in summer and winter so have some small idea of his experiences. I followed some of his runs with Google Earth: A recommendation! ...more
Irene Minkina
Jan 30, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I knew nothing of this book; I discovered it while perusing the shelves at my local library. In this case, my spontaneous approach did not pay off. The book reads as if the author picked out select daily activities and musings without very much editing and called it good. He is clearly very self-assured about his ridiculously one-track minded approach to life through running. For example, he describes observing a tragic accident while running (a cyclist getting killed in a collision with a truck ...more
Ian K
Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the title of this book is The Runner; 4 years Living in the Wilderness, this is a bit deceptive. Really this is about a man wanting to live a relatively simple lifestyle and not the one we are told to live by a capitalist and consumerist society. His story is told first person and in a simple, present tense which is in keeping with the messages he is conveying. That is, it is possible to live a simple life, unencumbered by unnecessary ‘stuff’ and focusing on the here and now.
Raquel Coelho
Apr 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful book! He writes in a no-no sense, practical, witty way. There are a few delicious build ups with a twist to then.
Some good medicine to remind us to sit in the silence of solace and listen to the sounds and needs that truly come from within. A reminder to take time to live the life we truly align with. Thank you Markus, for opening up your tent and your heart to us,and may you continue to see your truth and love in love with your family.
Julie
Oct 17, 2019 rated it liked it
2.5 stars. Parts of this were interesting, but I mostly found the writing style very bland and hard to get engaged with. I liked to read about living in the wilderness, but it got a bit repetitive towards the end.
Sarah
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Incredibly interesting and enjoyable to read. The writing is simple so this book is accessible to read. I loved reading about Markus Togeby’s experiences and how he came to find himself and discovered what made him happy. Highly enjoyable and I recommend!
Mark
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not just for people who like to run. Some basic, wonderful wisdom.
Lauren
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The last chapter is the best, beautiful advice contained within
Lucia
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing.
How freedom, courage, persistence and determination can be encapsulated in few pages. A liberating and inspiring read.
Alan
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Switch off your phone and put on your running shoes, you know it makes sense....
stuart harpin
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great thoughtful book

Enjoyed reading this book,like a breath of pine scented forest air on a hectic dull day would definitely recommend this for a relaxing mindful read
Leonie Lewis-Hall
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant, this book will stay with me for a long time.
Alice Hatter
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful meditation on the rewards and redemption in running and living simply

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTkws...
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Markus Torgeby was a promising, elite runner until an injury ended his career and triggered a life crisis. Four years of self-selected loneliness in a hut in the Jamtland forest returned a calm to his body and new sense of direction. Today, Markus lectures on "what is really important" and builds houses and outdoor beds. ...more

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