Brett Popplewell is a bestselling author and associate professor of journalism at Carleton University in Ottawa. He has written for Bloomberg Businessweek, Mother Jones, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Sportsnet, Maclean’s and The Walrus, among other publications. A winner of multiple National Magazine Awards in Canada, his work has also appeared in The Best American Sports Writing and The Best Canadian Essays.
Outsider: An Old Man, a Mountain and the Search for a Hidden Past
By Brett Popplewell
Published by Collins (HarperCollins Canada)
Into the Wild meets Born to Run meets The Stranger in the Woods in a fascinating true story of a marathon-running hermit and a journalist’s quest to solve the mystery at the core of the enigmatic man’s existence.
When journalist Brett Popplewell first heard about Dag Aabye, an aging former stuntman who lived alone inside a school bus on a mountain, running day and night through blizzards and heat waves, he was intrigued and bewildered. Captivated by the seemingly implausible tale of a wild super-athlete aging more slowly than the rest of us, he was determined to meet the apocryphal white-haired man who was pushing the boundaries of the human mind and body beyond what anyone could dream was possible.
What Popplewell witnessed on a secluded mountain perch led him on a six-year odyssey to uncover the true story of the 81-year-old man.
Outsider takes readers on a remarkable journey from Nazi-occupied Norway to Argentina and British Columbia. The book chronicles how a child born under mysterious circumstances during World War II finds his way onto the big screen in Goldfinger, is heralded as the world’s first extreme skier, and is later driven into the wilderness. Both joyful and tragic, Outsider presents a bold challenge to our notions of aging, belonging and human accomplishment.