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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the best seller Eat and Run, a thrilling new memoir about his grueling, exhilarating, and immensely inspiring 46 day run to break the speed record for the Appalachian Trail.

Scott Jurek is one of the world's best known and most beloved ultrarunners. Renowned for his remarkable endurance and speed, accomplished on a vegan diet, he's finished first in nearly all of ultrarunning's elite events over the course of his career. But after two decades of racing, training, speaking, and touring, Jurek felt an urgent need to discover something new about himself. He embarked on a wholly unique challenge, one that would force him to grow as a person and as an athlete: breaking the speed record for the Appalachian Trail. North is the story of the 2,189 mile journey that nearly shattered him.

When he set out in the spring of 2015, Jurek anticipated punishing terrain, forbidding weather, and inevitable injuries. He would have to run nearly 50 miles a day, every day, for almost seven weeks. He knew he would be pushing himself to the limit, that comfort and rest would be in short supply - but he couldn't have imagined the physical and emotional toll the trip would exact, nor the rewards it would offer.

With his wife, Jenny, friends, and the kindness of strangers supporting him, Jurek ran, hiked, and stumbled his way north, one white blaze at a time. A stunning narrative of perseverance and personal transformation, North is a portrait of a man stripped bare on the most demanding and transcendent effort of his life. It will inspire runners and non-runners alike to keep striving for their personal best.
 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Scott Jurek, Jenny Jurek (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"When Scott first shared with me that the AT would be his next record setting challenge, I was in awe at the stamina it would require and the precision in planning and preparation that it would ultimately entail. Scott, and Jenny, are both living proof that what you dream you can also make manifest. Read this book and redefine your own personal limits." (Christy Turlington Burns, founder & CEO, Every Mother Counts)

"Scott Jurek's record-setting journey on the Appalachian Trail was the most punishing, most demanding, most grueling feat I've ever personally witnessed. By mile 2,000, he was a hollowed-out, broken-down carapace of a person. And unless he found something, some way not just to keep going but to speed up, he was going to miss the record. Over those final 200 miles, I watched him dig deeper than I thought humanly possible: he not only claimed the fastest known time, but - most impressively - never failed to greet a fellow blaze-hiker with a smile and a cheery, 'How far ya' going?' Now, reading his immersive and engaging book, where he asks and pushes himself to find the answers to all of the 'whys,' I almost don't want his suffering to end, just so I can enjoy another chapter." Aron Ralston, adventurer and author of 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place)

"Pure suspense, adventure, and inspiration. When Scott Jurek went into the woods to create his masterpiece, no one knew if he would make it back out again. He was America's greatest ultra athlete, a runner whose brains and singular intensity led him to years of extraordinary victories. But this time, Jurek was pushing himself into realms more dangerous than Death Valley, more treacherous than Mexican canyons, and only slightly less crazy than the time he chased after a wild bear. His story of plunging into the wilderness in pursuit of a dream is both heartwrenching and spellbinding." (Christopher McDougall, author of Born to Run and Natural Born Heroes)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing journey diminished by off putting profiles

Jerkers grit and incredible spirit comes together in this amazing culminating accomplishment. His athleticism partnered with her undying support created an epic true life journey worth reading about.

One thing that turned me completely off and almost made me stop listening was her comments about southerners. Jenny makes several awful assumptions based on her ignorant idea of race and the culture of the south that disappointed me. I’m not even from the south and I took offense. I really expect more from educated people, as we all should. It’s a complete shame that she feels that way about an entire group of people, yet will champion her and her husband’s own causes and expect everyone to do the same. That being said, Scott is an amazing human being.

Oh, and it was Frodo that went to Mordor lol. Yeah, I’m a nerd.

117 of 119 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

I Hated Them Both by the End

I know I'm in the minority here, but nope, didn't like it. I thought this was an incredibly self-indulgent ramble, devoid of much actual information. I went in genuinely wanting to like this book. The first time Jenny narrated, I thought, "OK, I guess I can deal with this." By the end, I was so over her and her absurd little-girl voice and affected enunciation. I finished the book, but much like "Jerker" on his way up Katadhin, I'm not sure why I bothered. I no longer cared about him or his sleeping arrangements or his veganism. His self-congratulatory epilogue was just painful and dripping with feigned humility. Spoiler alert: "I was tired, I was hungry, I got skinnier, fans annoyed me, and I thought about my life." I just saved you a credit.

And just by the way, Bilbo Baggins never went to Mordor. Frodo did. I'm fully aware that pointing out this error says more about me than about the book, but still. If you're gonna compare yourself to a Hobbit, make sure you've got the right one.

366 of 378 people found this review helpful

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Love Scott and story but spank the monkey?

Love Scott and Jenny, amazing accomplishment but from a book perspective this tale belongs more as a long blog post than a book. Spanking the money and red wedding periods while almost amusing just didn't fit and gave Scott and Jenny an immaturish tone when they are not at all. The main portion I couldn't get past was the constant whining about local people and how racist everyone who wasn't an ultra trail runner is. I go to the west coast being from the east and I don't wander around going oh my I hope I don't get murderered or raped because I'm from the east coast and these bumbles have never seen anyone of diversity before... Granted the at is dangerous but the way the story is read makes Jenny sound like an ignorant racist and. Scott a pussy wiped ego tripping has been. Totally not the case but those impressions the book tough to get thru. Top notch reading to Scott and Jenny though.

51 of 52 people found this review helpful

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Big fan of Jurek but prejudiced and insulting to Southerners

Great runner and great guy by all accounts, but this book depicts rural southerners as boogeymen was reminiscent of stereotypes given to blacks 100 years ago. These offenses usually take place in Jenny Jurek’s voice (who absurdly wondered in Virginia if locals had ever seen an Asian person before). Very insulting to anyone who has hiked the trail or lives near it and know the generosity of spirit and tangible goods that people in the south provide. Her imagination runs wild in the south with mythical tales and preconceived notions about southern folk. She felt unsafe-many women do-but attributing that to a specific group was off putting.

On the good side, Jurek’s struggles in New Hampshire and much of Maine make me feel better about my thruhike.

39 of 40 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Not interesting

I found this to be utterly boring except when Jenny narrated, and it became torture.

36 of 38 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • M. Bissett
  • Bridgewater, MA United States
  • 08-27-18

Couldn’t take Jenny

I tried, but just couldn’t get past Jenny’s narration. It’s like listening to a middle schooler reading a term paper.

68 of 73 people found this review helpful

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The wife's voice will make you cringe

A gratifying diary of Jurek's attempt at the Appalachian Trail FKT record and a realistic, inspiring story for any hardcore trail runner, long-distance hiker, or vegan. (Yeah, WE GET IT, they're vegan.) Scott narrates just fine. Jenny on the other hand stumbles over pronunciation. Did she herself not write those words she audibly butchers? Whose idea was it for her to narrate? Her whiney voice drones on like a 13-year-old and her man-voice impression of Karl Meltzer is just ridiculous. Her anti-social attitude is a theme which I can relate to, but gradually all the misanthropy and tiger-wifing becomes unpleasant to hear. I do like the book overall and often find that autobiographical writing is best read by the author, not so in the case of Jenny Jurek.

26 of 28 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Dennis
  • Huntsville, OH USA
  • 07-26-18

Cry me a river

Just listen to your spouse bitch about work for 8 hours straight and save yourself from this misery. Thousands of people would give anything to have this opportunity, the author and his wife do nothing but complain, blah.

52 of 58 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Awesome story poorly told

An incredible story by an amazing athlete. Unfortunately his writing skills are rough.
Found myself muting through the horrid descriptions of his feelings.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very enjoyable book

I enjoyed listening to the Jurek's narration of this book. Great for runners, hikers or anyone that loves outdoor adventures.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful