The Urban Hermit

A Memoir

Sam Macdonald

St. Martin's Press

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Faced with the truth that his debts and his waistline had both ballooned out of control, Sam MacDonald devised a plan to change his life.

When Sam graduated from Yale in 1995, he watched a classmate make inroads as a head-office guy in professional baseball, another become a day-trading millionaire, and another develop connections at the Playboy Mansion. Struggling to make ends meet, he shrugged his shoulders at their success and raised a tall one to them.

It wasn't until April 2000 that Sam got his wake-up call. He weighed 340 lbs. He was flat broke. And the IRS had caught up with him.

In a desperate attempt to save himself, Sam decided to limit himself to a budget of $8 a week and 800 calories a day. He called it "The Urban Hermit Plan."

He thought he would do it for a month. Instead, he embarked on a bizarre year-long journey. He lost 160 pounds in the process, befriended rent-dodging trailer-park denizens, flew to Bosnia on assignment, traveled to a peace festival in a hippie van, had a run-in with Cooter from the Dukes of Hazzard, and met the woman who would later become his wife.

The Urban Hermit is a wildly hilarious story about backwoods living, as told by a man who should have known better.

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Reviews

Praise for The Urban Hermit

"Hilarious and truly bizarre....like a weight-loss manual written by Hunter Thompson or financial planning advice from Charles Bukowski."
 
--Neal Pollack, author of Alternadad.  
 
"Sam MacDonald is a strong new voice in the field of creative nonfiction. His book tells the compelling story of a man, obsessed with weight loss, haunted by demons, overcoming all obstacles and achieving a significant goal.  It is powerful reading in direct and down-to-earth prose." --Lee Gutkind author, ALMOST HUMAN: Making Robots Think
 
"Raw and brutally honest, Sam McDonald has a way of grabbing you by the throat and demanding that you stay with him on his wild and hilarious romp of self-reinvention.  Read this book for the powerful storytelling, read it for the laughs, read it for the privilege of getting to know a charming new voice--read it for the quiet rumble of hope McDonald so masterfully imbeds within these pages." – Jeanne Marie Laskas, author of Growing Girls: The Mother of All Adventures

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About the Author

Sam Macdonald

Sam MacDonald graduated from Yale University in 1995. He teaches Creative Nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh. 

Sam Macdonald

Sam Macdonald

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Urban Hermit
A Memoir
Sam Macdonald

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
St. Martin's Press
November 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429982771
ISBN10: 1429982772
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 304 pages
$7.99
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St. Martin's Press

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