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One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey [Paperback]

Richard Proenneke , Sam Keith
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 1 2003
To live in a pristine land unchanged by man . . . to roam a wilderness through which few other humans has passed . . . to choose an idyllic site, cut trees by hand, and build a log cabin. . . to be self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials be not at odds with the world, but content with one's own thoughts, dreams and company.   Thousands have had such dreams, but Richard Proenneke lived them. This book is a moving account of the day-to-day explorations and activities Dick carried out alone....alone in the wilderness...and the constant chain of nature's events that kept him company.

Frequently Bought Together

One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey + More Readings From One Man's Wilderness: The Journals of Richard L. Proenneke + Alaska: Into the Wilderness [Import]
Price For All Three: CDN$ 52.59

Product Details

Product Description

From Library Journal

This book made a big splash when it debuted in 1973. Keith based the text on the journals and photography of Richard Proenneke, who, after racking up years of 50-hour work weeks, did what many of us only fantasize about: he chucked it all and went to live in the woods. Now in his 80s, Proenneke still abides in the log cabin he built with his own hands and has become an icon for naturalists. Though few will follow Proenneke's lead, his story can be quite inspiring.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.


""One Man's Wilderness is the best modern piece of prose about Alaska, the one that gives the truest picture of what living in the bush today is like for the lone individual.""  ---Anchorage Daily News

""[Proenneke's] journals froms the text of this handsome book, and his parkling color slides illustrate it with a beauty that tugs at your heart and sets your heels to itching just a little. You owe yourself the pleasure of this book."" ---Biloxi Sun Hearld

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was at Port Alsworth, Alaska, on Lake Clark this July 1999, and bought this book at the Lake Clark Vistor Center. The beauty of this country is awesome and spectacular. The book tells the adventure of a man called back in time. Dick chose to travel into bush country building a comfortable cabin with his two hands at the cost of $40 dollars. Surviving the severe weather with wisdom and common sense. Enjoying and making friends with the wild animals. He had great respect for God's country and the animals. Friendship with Babe Alsworth, a true christian native and bush pilot. I met Babe's son, Glen and his wonderful family, at Port Alsworth. The book is vivid in discribing Dick's many months of survival and adventure in the Alaska bush. The book is very well written and it makes you feel like you are living the adventure with Dick. Pictures of the Alaska country and cabin help to visualize your thoughts. In the busy world of today, it was refreshing to read this book and reflect on how in ages past people lived day by day. I enjoyed reading the book very much.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slightly Faulted Glimpse into a Simpler Life June 7 2009
Like other reviewers, I enjoyed the simple and very personal story about wilderness living told in this journal. The first half of the book is probably fascinating for carpenters and do-it-yourselfers, but left me quick-reading to get to the story. Much of the middle narrative is about the author's meals, which varied little. I had hoped that there would be more about the personal challenges of living in extreme cold and complete solitude during the Alaskan winters, but there was none of that. The best parts concern the brushes with wildlife, and the expression of a simple philosophy about living in a self-sufficient, respectful way with nature. An interesting, but not compelling, read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars beantag Jan. 7 2009
By beantag
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
By choice, my husband has read this book many times. He says it's such an enjoyable book to read. In fact, he enjoyed it so much he bought the related video, 'Alone in the Wilderness' by Bob Swerer Productions. Like the video, the book is based on truth and it is an account of Dick Proenneke's secluded life in the wilderness where, for well over three decades, Dick's soul satisfying life of independent survival evolved into a genuine artform.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome story of life in the Alaskan Bush! March 30 2006
By Curtis
Glad to see this great book getting attention again! I read it years ago during my time in Alaska. I know first hand the splendid wild beauty of the place. I pulled out my copy and reread it the other day and it was like going back to an old friend. Nowadays my time is spent in tropical waters, but this book brings back memories of the Alaskan Bush.
In the 1960's Dick Proenneke chucked his years of the 50 hour work week and headed off into the Alaskan bush. He learned to live off the land, build a cabin with his own hands and simple tools, but more importantly he discovers his true self in the rugged wild country. Sam Keith takes the Journals of Proenneke along with his photographs and turns out a wonderful book of life lived in the wilderness. The first person prose works great here and allows the reader to imagine he his hearing Mr. Proenneke’s voice. I would think this is a must read book for all those who have ever fantasized about leaving everything behind and heading off into the woods. Another must read wilderness adventure I highly recommend is “Across the High Lonesome” set in California’s spectacular Sierra high country!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the great journals of wilderness living Feb. 12 2002
This is a powerful book and has quite a following. I was given the book by one of my best friends, which I consider a wonderful gift. This book has it all, beautiful photos, Richard's journal notes are amazing in their insight to his thinking and how this adventure unfolded. It is a simply wonderful book, and has people traveling to Alaska just to see the setting for such a balanced book. This book lays claim to new territory, and the claim is valid. No wonder it sells well, it is captivating reading and makes you look hard and close at your own life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent perspective on modern society March 10 2009
A very interesting daily jounal and account of someone really roughing it in the bush. This person's self sufficiency is admirable. A good read for all of us who live in a modern, mechanized society. In the end of the book many of us will question the value of all of our wants in relation to our actual needs. The author has a unique style for writing plainly and simply, yet really gets the point accross. I would recommend this book due to its uniqueness and we can all learn a lesson from it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Carpentry Jan. 23 2002
The book is entirely journal entries that for the most part describe how the author builds his wilderness cabin and goes about other day-to-day tasks. This is not the book for those seeking accounts of extraordinary Alaskan adventures but it is an impressive account of craftmanship. It is a story of impressive feats of carpentry and resourcefulness. You do get a few descriptions of encounters with wildlife but I didn't find that to be a strength of the book. Great pictures, too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sam Keith writes from the soul Feb. 23 2005
By A Customer
Few books touches the soul as much as One Man's Wilderness. The late Sam Keith has written a wonderful book which I believe was first published in 1973. Because of PBS, this book is now the talk of the town.
Peppered with photographs, this book will be enjoyable to young and old alike. It is the best book I've ever read -- the dvd is good as well and there's a new dvid out which complements One Man's Wilderness.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoy stories about wilderness survival
This is a wonderful book as well as the video of the same name. If you enjoy stories about living in the wilderness and self reliance, this book will not disappoint you.
Published 4 months ago by Norm Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Wilderness
A really great book! It describes living in the wilderness and gives good insight to living in the far north.
Published 8 months ago by Debbie Bueckert
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking & inspiring
Having watched the PBS movie many many times with my family, it was a joy to learn there were also books. I was excited to read his words & see his photos for myself. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Joelene Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars love it
haven't seen this one yet but watched it already before love this movie . Its a great movie and a learning experience
Published 16 months ago by Delsie L. Laird
5.0 out of 5 stars Great.
I truly enjoy this book and admire the main character of the book. If I could do this once in my life, I would.
Published 22 months ago by Zsolt
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
In an age where virtually everyone is obsessed with technology, One Man's Wilderness is a breath of fresh air. Read more
Published on Aug. 5 2012 by Deacon
5.0 out of 5 stars like i was there....
if you made it this far as to read a review just by the book. what a great read, its better then the show.
Published on March 13 2012 by LEE
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventure story...
When i began reading this book,i didn,t know what to expect but what a good surprise!It reads like a robinson crusoe story in the wilderness. Read more
Published on Jan. 19 2012 by heavybart
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