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The Long Run (Kindle Single) by [Shubaly, Mishka]
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The Long Run (Kindle Single) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 416 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

What happens when an out-of-shape, drug-addled, 30-year-old alcoholic goes running for the first time? Read on. In the Kindle Single, The Long Run, Mishka Shubaly chronicles his misspent twenties with intoxicating language. "Alcohol," he says, "is a great aggregator: when you are drinking to excess, every problem seems to fall under that umbrella." And Shubaly had problems aplenty, including self-loathing, an appetite for self-destruction, and a disdain for sobriety (which he experienced as relentless anxiety, agony, and amplified boredom). When the author accidentally discovers that running puts his demons at bay better than top-shelf bourbon, he begins to shed his old life and becomes something he never wanted to be: a runner, an ultra-distance runner at that. If running is a substitute addiction, Shubaly says, it's "the dreariest, most painful, least thrilling addiction I have ever experienced." The charms of Shubaly's writing are many: his adoring metaphors for drinking reveal it as his true unrequited love; his self-examination has Thoreau-like depth; and his exposition transforms the pedestrian into the sublime. What's more, Shubaly is earnestly obstinate, yet capable of change; a nihilist, and yet he seeks meaning; a walking contradiction and a joy to spend time with on paper. --Paul Diamond

Product Details

  • File Size: 157 KB
  • Print Length: 61 pages
  • Publication Date: October 26, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0060ANFPG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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The Long Run written by Mishka Shubaly is a shocking book that describes his addiction to alcohol and drugs and the inevitable tailspin he finds himself falling into. It initially describes some of the lows he eventually fell to, "One Sunday, we ran dry and made screwdrivers with rubbing alcohol." (Shubaly, 2011 pg. 8) but then what transpires as he realizes he needs to give that life up and start running is what makes the book interesting.
The book begins; describing his drinking troubles and various moves from Massachusetts to Colorado and eventually back to New York by way of Colorado again. Shubaly finally got his undergraduate degree. It wasn't easy for him though, as he describes "More than once, I woke in the middle of the night, crying uncontrollably.....I got straight A's." So even though he was barely functioning alcohol, he still did well at school. Later his plan was to either go to rehab or grad school. He moved back to Manhattan with $300. He applied to one school, saving his last $75 for the application, which ironically he had to use to pay for an open container ticket. He paid it and then borrowed the application fee and lo and behold was accepted to Columbia University. It is amazing that someone as screwed up as he is, was able to graduate with an undergraduate degree, let alone a Master's.
Shubaly's darkest period came about at this time. He moved onto songwriting and made a name for himself (sort of) and proceeded to up his addiction to various drugs - Oxycontin, Vicodin and Opana (a narcotic made famous by the movie "Drug store Cowboy's.) The downward spiral continued.
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Maybe I was hoping for something different. I don't think I was expecting something as inspiring as Dean Karnazes' "Run," but I also wasn't expecting something as depressing as this book turned out to be. Percentage-wise, 80% of this book is about the author's adventures and exploits as an alcoholic and drug-addict, and about 20% of the book is about running. I do appreciate the author's honesty--he's every bit as nihilistic as he claims to be. I'm giving it two stars because the author can at times be humorous, and the ending story about helping Luis on his 100-miler was a great story to end with. Other than that, the book is somewhat choppy (there's really not a flow that the reader can easily piece together), and was over the top with profanity at times. The author has talent and potential as a writer, and I would encourage him to keep writing and honing his skill. I would consider buying his material again in the future, but would hope that he would title the book in accordance with the primary subject of the book. Just being honest; and as honest as Mishka seems, I'd think he would understand and appreciate my honesty. :)
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I hoped this book would be more about running through your problems, but 90% of it is the author working on how many ways that he can convince you that he was the hardest core druggie/alcoholic ever. He's good at it, and he's eloquent, but it's a book about self hate more than running as a metaphor.
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Running may have saved Mishka from addiction, but this book isn't about running. There's a half marathon then a jump to ultras and 100 milers without reflection on the path to that level of running and its day-to-day effects. Indeed, it seems one addiction has replaced another.
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By LL on February 5, 2012
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Most of the single is a description about the author's drug days. It's a well-written and easy read but nothing new or terribly interesting here if you're familiar with addiction at all... He's a smart guy who doesn't care, blah blah blah, uses drugs, blah blah, "Strong" enough to just quit drugs cold-turkey--no program, counseling not helpful, blah... Running ultra-long distances "saved" him.

In purchasing this single I was more interested in the running-redemption connection than anything else, as in how running made him feel or how it changed his perspective or how it helped him confront issues of his past. I didn't get any of that in this book. I saw no real growth in the author-- only the discovery that pushing himself to his utmost physical limit distracted him enough to allow him to be able to hold back his drug addiction. If he were to be injured again for a long period of time it seems there'd be a high potential for falling back on old behaviors.
It's not that I expected him to emerge at the end a totally cured, perfect human being, I just expected more of a delve into the personal and philosophical connection between running and recovering rather than a mere description of how he started running.
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I'm all about recovery and survival books. But I found myself wondering if he wrote this just so he could tell us all his negative thoughts. Kept looking for some conclusion, something cheerful, no he died, what was the point? Just because he was a doper drunk and became a runner does not make his story good to read. The story is what it is but I did not like his attitude or the tempo of the book or the way it was written or how it ended. Thankfully I read fast so for me the story ended quickly.
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