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For his Ph.D. dissertation, Kull built a cabin in the Patagonian wilderness with the intention of studying "the effect of deep wilderness solitude on a human being," and this account chronicles the tortures and gifts of a year spent in near-total isolation. Kull intersperses methodological and contextual chapters between the journal's month-by-month entries, and while these chapters are informative (describing a 'tradition' of solitaries and hermits, surveys of the various cultural understandings of solitude), they do little to alleviate the sound of one man worrying. Only when the author refrains from taking his mental, emotional and spiritual temperature, writing instead about his physical explorations and observations of the surrounding area, does the narrative achieves a sense of spaciousness and relief. Kull writes that he wants to "encourage others... to welcome the darkness, difficulty, and fear," but it is when he himself does this that the resultant journal entries become relaxed, expansive and enlightening. He studies ducks that defend territory outside his cabin, tracks the slow movements of limpets and explores pristine inlets and a glacier; these episodes and the accompanying insights, however, may arrive too late for some readers. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.