This would make an excellent book for discussion groups; there is a lot to talk about here! I liked parts of it, and I hated parts of it. First, I'm not sure I like Eustace. He is presented as arrogant, intolerant, and condescending. Then again, I don't have to like the subject of a biography. His message is not without merit, and my heart ached for Eustace the little boy.
Elizabeth Gilbert is not so much a biographer as a publicist! Good grief. Talk about a complete lack of objectivity. I would call this a haggiography. She also inserts herself into this story to an alarmingly distasteful degree. But...her writing flows and is incredibly readable.
Ack. I don't know if I liked this or hated this.
Last complaint: Gilbert is offensively condescending toward the people of Appalachia. Complete stereotypes, each and every time she mentioned someone from the region.
I think that one of the descriptions on the back cover of the book said that this was a clear-eyed view of the man of the title. Clear-eyed is a good description. I wanted to buy into some fantasy of a hard-working, back-to-nature, let's-all-save-the-planet myth. And Eustace provides all of that. But he's also a real--um--I guess "turd" is the first word that comes to mind. He's not always nice to people. The book is really good at presenting both sides of this guy. You feel sorry for him, you want to run away with him, and you want to kick him all at the same time. Elizabeth Gilbert's multi-dimensional portrait of Eustace makes for a much better (though less idealistic) portrait of Eustace.
Great, fascinating book. The ending however is somewhat discouraging.
A very balanced bio of a remarkable man, Eustace Conway. I guess the shortest synopsis of this book could be: You WILL become your parents. Don't even try not to!
Everyone should read this book! It will, hopefully, change your outlook. This is one man who has a vision and seems to know his short-comings and his strengths.