Running Man: A Memoir

Charlie Engle. Scribner, $26 (236p) ISBN 978-1-4767-8578-3
First-time author Engle’s fascinating account of the high and low points of his life as an ultramarathon runner is written with cinematic quality. Starting with a bleak depiction of himself as “a middle-aged white guy who ran laps alone” in a prison’s recreation yard, Engle flashes back to life as a 29-year-old drug addict at the end of a 10-year addiction to cocaine, “sitting in a gutter, in filthy clothes, my fingers black and blistered.” What saves him is a love of running, and he becomes an amazing marathon runner. His career peaks with a record-breaking 4,500-mile run across the Sahara Desert, captured in a Matt Damon–produced documentary, Running the Sahara. But a subsequent investigation by the IRS, focusing on income reported on a home loan application, leads to a 16-month stint in a West Virginia jail in 2011, a conviction that New York Times writer Joe Nocera publicized as unfair. Engle’s story has an uplifting and inspirational ending: he decides to spend his time in prison training for a 135-mile race that he successfully runs after his release, which reinvigorates his career as a runner. Agent: Deborah Grosvenor, Deborah Grosvenor Literary. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/04/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-1-4767-8580-6
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-4767-8579-0
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-2258-3
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-4711-3952-9
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