The Runner: Four Years Living and Running in the Wilderness

Markus Torgeby. Bloomsbury, $18 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-4729-5497-8
Torgeby recounts his four years living a near-solitary, primitive existence in a Swedish forest in this introspective memoir of a life lived in contrast to the fast-paced modern world. As a teenager the author was an up-and-coming competitive runner with the talent to be a national and even Olympic contender. But unable to deal with the “heaviness” of expectations, the complexities of life and death, and his mother’s multiple sclerosis, the 20-year-old takes up residence in a tent in the wilderness where in the winter temperatures dip below zero. He tries to clear his mind with hard work, running, solitude, and stillness, but at first he says he has no answers for his “restlessness.” He occasionally competes in races and even trains with a team in Tanzania, where he speaks and eats little, but he is still left with the question, “Why am I doing this?” Back in the woods he continues his quest, describing his life with repetitive, self-aware prose: “the battle I am fighting within myself” and “I want to inhabit my body... and know myself.” Finally in his third winter, after finding a rundown cottage to live in, he realizes that he doesn’t have to run from everything; there are things—love, purpose, family—to run toward. This stirring treatise of living (and running) simply will inspire those struggling with finding their place. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/27/2018
Release date: 10/23/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
MP3 CD - 978-1-7213-6433-6
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-4729-7420-4
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