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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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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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!

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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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!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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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.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Get it. Listen to it.

You won't regret it. If you want to be transported to Alaska and live vicariously through one man's gratifying story of carving a life in the bush, get this book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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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?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Auzboy
  • United States
  • 07-19-14

Wonderful story. Exquisite narration.

Would you listen to One Man's Wilderness again? Why?

Absolutely. In fact, I have already listened to this audiobook three times.

What other book might you compare One Man's Wilderness to and why?

I am still raking through Audible books to find similar real-life stories.

Which scene was your favorite?

Just about every scene energised my soul and refreshed my senses. Notwithstanding this is a true story of a man who wanted to be close to nature and live his life to fullness, the vivid descriptions of this pristine wilderness, perhaps the last few places on earth, is a shot in the arm for anyone who is a bit tired of city life and yearn for something different.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I have never felt a greater contrast between what I see and observe during my commuting hours in a major modern city and what I hear through my earbuds! It's certainly left me with awe and a ting of jealousy!

Any additional comments?

This man's story is mesmerising, captivating, stimulating, and food for soul for nature lovers. Life is short and it's worth living it out like Richard Proenneke. For me, this may well be as close getting to these spectacular places as I ever can. I hope not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • Auckland, New Zealand
  • 12-23-13

An Absolute Gem

If you love stories about escaping to the wilderness and living a totally self-sufficient life with only the wildlife for company, you'll love this.
But what I loved most was Richards' unfailing cheerful, practical, philosophical attitude to everything that happened to him and everything he had to do. This is a guy who gets dropped off in the middle of nowhere and cheerfully sets about building a log cabin from scratch, making every piece of furniture; hunting, fishing and growing food, exploring the surrounding mountains - all of it with no help or company, except for the occasional supply drop and the local friendly wildlife.
There's no angst or hardship, no preachy-ness, just a genuine appreciation and love for his surroundings, and uncomplaining embracing of the fact that anything you want done, you've got to work out a way to do it yourself.
It's entertaining, moves at a steady pace, and the overall effect is totally uplifting and inspiring. Makes you want to go live in the mountains and build a log cabin yourself, even if you'd never thought about it before.
Hard to avoid the cliché - they don't make many like Richard anymore but you so wish they did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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He lived the dream I wanted as a young man

I was in the Navy and had purchased a rifle suitable for Kodiak Island hunting. I was trying everything to get duty at the Kodiak Naval facility. Ended up back in Vietnam and retired from the Navy.... When Dick was in the canoe.. so was I. His journal was wonderful. Got
the weather update daily and the ice depth.. I felt I was right there with him. I toiled with him
during his cabin build. His daily adventures (no matter the temperature of -51F) were amazing. He was a tough as any grizzly on the mountain. I was right along side him during this amazing book. I just could not get enough of it and was almost sad as it ended. This
book really was so very realistic. As tough as the terrain and living conditions were... it was
also peaceful and fulfilling. His life was free and uncomplicated ...and so filled with love of
nature. Bless this man and his wonderful story. I am so pleased to know that Alaska has
preserved his cabin as well. T.Miller USN retired.. 74 years old now.

I also want to note that the narrator was incredibly good. He breathed such realism into this
wonderful story. Well done Mr. Dietz ! Your nice crisp voice was wonderful as I have very
poor hearing even with the aid of hearing aids.

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  • Bike buyer
  • 09-04-16

Quit now?

Within a couple of chapters I was wondering whether the simple clean life experienced by Proenneke out there in Alaska might be more appealing in the big scheme of things than chasing promotions and worrying over pension pots.

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  • robert houghton
  • 03-04-16

Wonderful Book

A quiet simple story about an extraordinary man. Just a pleasant read and if you look for photos on google it all makes sense.