Sam Macdonald The Urban Hermit: A Memoir

ISBN 13: 9780312429157

The Urban Hermit: A Memoir

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9780312429157: The Urban Hermit: A Memoir

Sam MacDonald successfully endures a bizarre (and dangerous) plan for self improvement--living on $8 a week and 800 calories a day--in this harrowing, hilarious memoir

When Sam graduated from Yale in 1995, his next stop was a bar stool. But after five years of drinking and hard living, he weighed 340 pounds, 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 eight dollars a week and eight hundred calories a day. He called it the Urban Hermit Plan. He thought he would do it for a month. Instead, he embarked on a demented year-long journey, lost 160 pounds, got a career as a reporter, flew to Bosnia on assignment, and met the woman who would later become his wife. The Urban Hermit is a funny, irreverent story about desperate living, as told by a man who should have known better.

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About the Author:

SAM MACDONALD teaches creative nonfiction at the University of Pittsburgh.

From Booklist:

His diet plan wouldn't make it on Oprah, his lifestyle change wouldn’t be touted by Dr. Phil, and Alan Greenspan wouldn’t touch his financial solvency plan with a 10-foot pole. But for MacDonald, the need to retire a mountain of debt and lose a massive amount of weight were essentially one and the same problem. Reasoning that by solving one, he could fix the other, MacDonald decided to eat less and, more importantly, drink less, taking the money he saved on food and alcohol to pay off his creditors. He traded in his shots and beers for boiled lentils and canned tuna. Instead of partying with his college buddies, he paid more attention to his journalism career, traveling around the world and across the country in pursuit of plum, often quirky, assignments. One hundred sixty pounds later, MacDonald found he suddenly had grown up once he stopped going, and growing, out. Outrageous, offbeat, with an infectious can-do optimism, MacDonald offers a dedicated, if slightly demented, approach to self-improvement. --Carol Haggas

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