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Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Last American Man by Elizabeth Gilbert


 

Cover of "The Last American Man"

Cover of The Last American Man

 

So I guess you could say that I’m a hesitant fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I read and enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love and Committed and (to a lesser extent) Stern Men, and I adore her TEDTalk, but there’s always been something I’ve found to be…slightly narcissistic and off-putting about her. But I just read her book The Last American Man and it is WONDERFUL. TLAM is a study of modern-day wilderness man Eustace Conway, who left home at seventeen to pursue an authentic life, living solely off the land. In what could have been an overly romanticized portrait of a rapidly dying breed, Gilbert manages to convey all of the complexity and contradictions of Conway – a man both fanatical and charismatic, perfectionistic and deeply flawed. It is a testament to Gilbert’s skills as a writer that Conway is so precisely drawn in his particular eccentricities and manias – even at his most idealistic, he is unmistakably human.

 

 

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