An unforgettable look at a truly pioneering, but thoroughly modern, American hero.Finalist for the National Book Award 2002In this rousing examination of contemporary American male identity, acclaimed author and journalist Elizabeth Gilbert explores the fascinating true story of Eustace Conway. In 1977, at the age of seventeen, Conway left his family's comfortable suburban home to move to the Appalachian Mountains. For more than two decades he has lived there, making fire with sticks, wearing skins from animals he has trapped, and trying to convince Americans to give up their materialistic lifestyles and return with him back to nature. To Gilbert, Conway's mythical character challenges all our assumptions about what it is to be a modern man in America; he is a symbol of much we feel how our men should be, but rarely are.
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. I occasionally pass a book on to someone close to me, and very rarely, as I did this book, purchase more copies to mail to several of them. Especially male friends and family who forever chase, or know someone who is chasing, a hard-driving and disapproving father, accomplishing epic things but always running, haunted by that perpetual internalized disapproval. I like Gilbert inserting herself into the story as friend who beautifully portrays Eustice's attributes and flaws with admiration and acceptance. Thoroughly researched; Gilbert talked to everyone, past and present, to give a fuller picture of this unique man. Her writing reminded me of John Krakauer's, particularly Into The Wild.
Hire a new narrator
I never write reviews for these things but only a hour into the audiobook, I want to mark it as read and move on. The accents of the narrator are the stuff of nightmares. Save your money or buy the actual book.
Save your money. The author has a love affair with the main character. When I say love affair I mean she gushes about this guy like he was the second coming. Living in a teepee and living off the land is nothing new. The book almost seems cult like. In short the book was a disappointment.
I gave the book a second read. It's a throw back to the 1960's. One can enjoy our world without trying to imitate mountain men. Why did we event log cabins .... Because they were warm dry and you didn't sleep on the ground like a cave man. This book is by far the worst book I have read in 30 years. Buy Alaskan Wilderness which is the life of Dick Preneke He built a log cabin with hand tools and didn't have the hippie type lifestyle of this nut job. What a waste of money.