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One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey | [Sam Keith, Richard Proenneke]

One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey

To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world but content with one's own thoughts and company. Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them.
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Publisher's Summary

To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world but content with one's own thoughts and company.

Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. He found a place, built a cabin, and stayed to become part of the country. One Man's Wilderness is a simple account of the day-to-day explorations and activities he carried out alone, and the constant chain of nature's events that kept him company. From Proenneke's journals, and with first-hand knowledge of his subject and the setting, Sam Keith has woven a tribute to a man who carved his masterpiece out of the beyond.

©1999 Alaska Northwest Books (P)2010 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Though few will follow Proenneke's lead, his story can be quite inspiring." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (226 )
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4.3 (192 )
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4.2 (190 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Reuben 03-09-13
    Reuben 03-09-13 Member Since 2015

    Loving the time saving, knowledge gaining audiobook. There's nothing like a good listen. Currently enjoying genres of survival/adventure, economics, politics, history and religion.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fantastic"

    There's little to say, listen for yourself, probably the most enjoyable book I have listened to. The book is well written, the story brilliant, and the narration excellent.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HS mom Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada 02-19-13
    HS mom Pitt Meadows, BC, Canada 02-19-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Favorite listen. Gifted it to a friend to enjoy!"

    My husband and I loved this one so much we gifted it to our friends to enjoy. Listening was like going on a retreat!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-10-14
    Pamela M. Southern California 10-10-14 Member Since 2012

    A book can get you out of your house, your town, even out of the country. I'm an avid reader believing reviews help find the good ones.

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    "Wonderful Alaskan Read!"

    A couple years ago I watched a PBS documentary on Richard Proenneke and was blown away by his story. He followed his dream by giving it all up to live in the Alaskan Bush.

    The book is written as a journal, yet very captivating. I enjoyed his outlook on nature and found it interesting how he built his cabin with hand tools. He was a true adventurer.

    I fell in love with this man as well as his book, story and lifestyle. I know I will revisited this book many times in years to come. A true classic, must read!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 07-28-13
    Jan 07-28-13 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Thank you Richard Proenneke"

    This was offered as a bonus buy book for me... so glad I gave it a try. In 1998 at age 50 Richard Proenneke retired to the solitude of Twin Lakes in Alaska. This book follows his first 18 months living there alone... as he builds his $40 cabin. His work ethic, creativity and true love of nature is revealed in the journal entries. I love his voice, descriptions and point of view. There is no plot... just daily accomplishments, interactions with the animals and joy in a handful of blueberries or pot of beans. So if you are looking for an amazing Alaskan adventure book this isn't it... if you truly love nature and are content to let the rabbits eat the pea plants in your garden because they were here first. You will love it!. He lived in the cabin for 30 years and it is now a Park Service historic monument... his nature films have been combined to make two PBS specials. I loved the pictures of his cabin I found on the internet. My only complaint was - it's way too short, I wanted more and first introduction chapter is kinda boring... his voice and journal starts in chapter 2.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Warren 07-26-13

    Say something about yourself!

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    "I just couldn't get into it"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Norman Dietz?

    Not sure. I just couldn't listen long to the narrator without daydreaming about something else. I think it was delivery more than substance but cant be sure. Maybe this book just wasn't for me.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arthur Simi Valley, CA, United States 01-29-13
    Arthur Simi Valley, CA, United States 01-29-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Slow moving"

    Found it a bit of a chore to make it through this one - though I hung in until the end. Essentially, working one's way through a diary - about as exciting and interesting (may be to some) of going through someone's daily entries. Mostly disappointed in the lack of good story elements. Could be someone else's cup of tea, but not so much for me.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Xina Uhl California 11-25-12
    Xina Uhl California 11-25-12 Listener Since 2005

    Author of NECROPOLIS

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    "Couldn't get into it"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I couldn't get into this book - the narrator was fine, a stentorian voiced man who performed some voices with varying degrees of success although overall he was a fine reader - but the story just didn't grab me. The prologue and opening chapters waxed rhapsodic about Alaska's beauty, but it was a bit TOO much. I wanted to hear more about the author's day to day adventures, not purple prose about gorgeous landscape. I know it's gorgeous - that's why I want to hear about it.


    What about Norman Dietz’s performance did you like?

    Clear and well-paced.


    Any additional comments?

    This one will be returned, unfortunately.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey 08-20-13
    Joey 08-20-13
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    "Makes you want to build your own cabin"

    I enjoyed this story very much. I love to listen to stories about people carving their own place in nature and their adventures, successes, and problems. The story made me want to move to Alaska and try my own hand at building a cabin... until I remembered I'm more a car-camping type of person. I have two criticisms: 1. I didn't love the narrator, but he was okay, it's not something that detracted from my enjoyment, I just think there could be someone better. 2. I'd like to see ALL Audible books that have photo sections come with a pdf of the photos the way Bossypants and some others do. It's frustrating to know there are photos out there, but have to search on the web and hope you're finding the right ones.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "a great story"

    this is one of those audible books that a person could sit and listen to over and over again. need I day more than thank you?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa South Africa 03-03-15
    Lisa South Africa 03-03-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Transported to Alaska"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I'd most definitely recommend this audiobook - and I have. This is a diary-style story that had me captivated from the start. The story is simple and back-to-nature. It tells of building, making and creating a home in the Alaskan wilderness - that's something few of us have the skills to do nor the opportunity. In our world of mostly rush-rush-rush and internet and tv and non-stop communication, this story is about a place and time where nature sets the pace. I found the content to be interesting, informative and, mostly, peaceful.


    What did you like best about this story?

    From listening to accounts of number of logs chopped to tools being sharpened, berries picked, wolves and caribou and sheep spotted to thickness of the ice as winter set in and groceries delivered by his friend in the plane... Writing this review, these things seem so boring and mundane but it so isn't. The narration is spot-on and the voice transported me to Alaska. I felt involved in the Richard Proenneke's daily tasks of building his cabin, paddling on the lake, changing seasons, watching the wildlife and trekking around the area. If you're into the outdoors, nature, wilderness and living off the land - you'll enjoy this story.


    What about Norman Dietz’s performance did you like?

    Norman's voice, tone and accent so suited the author that, for me, he became Richard Proenneke. Norman beautifully brought through Richard's feelings of achievement and self satisfaction with tasks completed as well as wonder for the environment, sensitivity and fascination for the wildlife and the pleasure and appreciation of having had this opportunity to spend more than a year living in the Alaskan wilds.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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