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The Last American Man Paperback – 1 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (1 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408801167
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408801161
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 114,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. In 2002, she published The Last American Man, which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics' Circle Award. She is best known for her 2006 memoir Eat, Pray, Love, which was published in over thirty languages and sold more than seven million copies worldwide. The film, released in 2010, stars Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem. Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage, a follow-up to Eat, Pray, Love, was published in 2010. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey, USA.

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Product Description


'It is almost impossible not to fall under the spell of Eustace Conway his accomplishments, his joy and vigor, seem almost miraculous' New York Times Review of Books 'A vigorous, engaging book Elizabeth Gilbert presents a warts-and-all portrait of Mr. Conway and a sophisticated understanding of why those warts are only natural' The New York Times 'A vivid, nuanced portrait of an endlessly complicated man' San Francisco Chronicle 'Gilbert artfully taps into this unique life to create a fascinating, deeply-thought-out and enthralling narrative' Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is the author of a short story collection, Pilgrims (a finalist for the Pen/Hemingway Award), a novel, Stern Men and a book of non fiction, The Last American Man (nominated for the National Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book for 2002). She is a writer-at-large for American GQ where she has received two National Magazine Award nominations for feature writing. Her most recent book, Eat, Pray, Love is an international bestseller. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in Philadelphia.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Cyberella on 5 Sep 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read 'Eat, Pray, Love' from Elizabeth Gilbert twice and adored her witty, endearing ways of describing a very emotional time in her life (having been through a painful divorce myself, I could really relate!). I was therefore very eager to read another of her offerings and as I am an American (living in the UK but from the deep south originally), it made sense that the next book should be 'The Last American Man'. I can not praise this book highly enough.

Eustace Conway is one of the most fascinating real-life characters I have read in a non-fiction work in a VERY long time. Although compared to Davey Crockett, Daniel Boone and even a young Roosevelt, he is definitely a unique individual who's charismatic ways pull you in from the first few pages. It's especially interesting to witness an almost 'evolution of man' in the last several hundred years spread out before you in between the covers of the book.

Elizabeth Gilbert has captured his very essence and has told his story brilliantly (at least to this point in his life, as he's only 48 and I doubt his exciting adventuring around the world is over). After reading it I am ready to start planning a summer camp trip to Turtle Island for my youngest 2 sons when they are a bit older. My eldest son (who's 20) was an active member of the Scouts growing up and has pretty good survivalist skills, but having a summer camp like the one Eustace organises would have been invaluable in his education.

If you only read one non-fiction book this year, this should be the one :) 10/10
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. Kramer on 14 July 2010
Format: Paperback
Like a previous reviewer I have been reading Eat, Pray & Love, which my wife also loved. Looking for a birthday present for her, I came across this one. It is certainly not easy to give books, but I am convinced she is going to like it.
Elisabeth Gilbert style of writing is very fluid and focused, so I was neither bored nor distracted reading her account of the life of an extraordinary man, Eustace Conway and his many adventures in Americas wilderness. Here is somebody who has taken self sufficiency to an extreme, not a mere dreamer but a survivor. Very inspiring.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok - a "real man" but my goodness how insensitive and macho - God bless him! It certainly does take all sorts. I am often taken aback by the variety of creatures in the long story of evolution. Maybe the title is telling us that this species is dying out ...
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By Cloggie Downunder TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 May 2012
Format: Paperback
The Last American Man is the first non-fiction book by Elizabeth Gilbert, written four years before her highly-successful memoir, Eat, Pray, Love. It tells the story of Eustace Conway, an American Man who believes his mission in life is to show the American population that they can be strong and resourceful, grow their own food, fabricate their own clothes, make fire with 2 sticks, and save the planet. Eustace was taught and encouraged to learn the survival skills he needed to be able to live in the woods by his supportive mother whilst being constantly denigrated and ridiculed by his cruel and mentally abusive father. It is therefore a great wonder that he survived these opposing influences, that he was self-assured enough to become the living metaphor: the rugged frontiersman, explorer, pioneer that Americans could idolise. Gilbert describes a man who is passionate about what he believes to the point of having an uncompromising personality that fails to appreciate and encourage the efforts of good people around him. She does this with humour and insight, and the book is quite fascinating in places, even if the end is a bit light on. This is certainly a much better read than her later, hugely self-indulgent Eat, Pray, Love.
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