Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review of: The Last American Man {Eustace Conway}

I have mentioned in the past about how much I like Elizabeth Gilbert's writing.  She wrote Eat, Pray, Love, for example.  I really enjoy her outlook on life and her sense of adventure.  I find she writes with her heart and I love to read about her experiences from that perspective. 

I also love the show Mountain Men on History.  I have had a major crush on Eustace for quite a while now. 

Um...How the heck do those two intersect? 

When reading her books, three so far, I've noticed in her credits that she wrote a book called The Last American Man, which happens to be written about Eustace.  Weird, right?  I had to have it.  So my hubby surprised me with the book after realizing I wasn't going to let up about it. 

I read through the book pretty quickly, fascinated by her own past and HER fascination with Eustace.  She tells biographical tales about Eustace growing up, involving conversations with his family, and time spent with Eustace over the years.  Their relationship of phone calls and letter writing over many years is quite interesting.

Eustace has always struggled with his relationships.  It started with his father, and eventually affected his relationships with women.  He is a passionate man in all aspects of his life, who finds it hard to have someone on the same level as him.  Someone who will see the need to build an entire dwelling in one day just because he feels it is necessary, oh and without really talking.  Everything he does is done quickly, cheaply, and efficiently.  There is no time for experiencing things, only accomplishing things. 

I don't know that Eustace is someone that can share his life.  When he was a teen, he threw himself in to learning primitive methods of living.  He lived in a teepee for many years.  He traveled abroad with no plans other than "where is the nearest village" to learn more about life.  He really is a one-of-a-kind character.  I find him to be very captivating, but I know if I were ever to meet him, my shiny bubble around him would be burst in an instant. 

There are lots of people out there, some that have even worked for him, that say he is a fraud.  That he doesn't live as primitively as is portrayed, and that he succumbs to the modern world like everyone else.  Well, DUH.  He lives in America.  As much as one tries, it is hard to really live "off the grid", especially when you have some amount of fame due to setting records, teaching many classes and having done speaking tours, and being on TV. 

No matter what anyone says, I'm going to keep Eustace in my shiny bubble. 

If you want to hear more about his childhood, his intense relationships with women, his ride across the country on horseback, how he procured his land, Turtle Island Preserve, and a bit more of the real Eustace, I definitely recommend reading this book.  Note that it was written in 2003, and I'm sure many things have changed in his life since then.  Being on TV, for instance.

If you don't have an interest in nature, people's relationships, or enjoy biographies, you can probably skip this one. 

Welp, there's a little something different for you for today.

Let me know what you think!

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