The Man Who Lived Alone Review

The Man Who Lived Alone
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I love four things about this book. First, this great contemporary poet wrote it. It also reminds me of Fisherman Simms, a book from my childhood featuring a similar character and pastoral setting. I love the simple but elegant black and white pen and ink illustrations.
I also love the story. The nameless man built a camp on Ragged Mountain and lived alone collecting things, thousands of rusty nails, deer pelts, old newspapers and clocks, and "wasps nests hanging from railroad spike." He built a shed for his mule, who does have a name--Old Beauty. He survived a terrible childhood, a house fire, and when he was 14 left home and tramped around until he returned home to visit his cousins, who made a few years of his youth happy. He liked eating vegetables because "that is what the woodchuck ate." He made friends with an owl named Grover Cleveland. He worked as a carpenter and could do everything else too.
Not much happens here. But this story offers an intense tranquility that others lack. In our harried age, children need this kind of peace. Alyssa A. Lappen

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A man who had been unhappy as a child finds after he has grown up that he is happy living alone in his cabin in the New England woods.

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