Genre: non fiction, memoir
Rating: 3,5/5 stars
In this memoir Mark Boyle tells about a year he spend living without money. He talks about his reasons behind this, the challenges he faces and gives tips to start living off-grid.
The book started out pretty good. In the first chapter Mark talks about why money isn't necessarily a good thing and he did so very vividly. It was very easy to get into the book, but I have to say it got a little less easy to read when I got further into the book. The ending was again as good as the beginning, which is why I still felt very pleased with this read after finishing it. The beginning and end of the book are stronger than the middle because it really shows why he decides to start living without money for a year and especially the end of the book is very positive and enthusiastic. The middle of the book felt a little different. Eventhough I agree with a lot of his ideas, such as that people should put in more effort to try to reduce their carbon footprint and also try to prevent the enhanced greenhouse effect from getting worse, I found it a little depressing to read the middle of the book. Mark seems to focus a lot on what is wrong with our world instead of focusing on what we can do to improve it. For me personally what has always inspired me about people who live self sustainable is their enthusiasm, the love they have for nature and the amazing things they acomplish. Constantly being told what is wrong about my current lifestyle makes me less inclined to change it.
On some fronts I understand where Mark was coming from. I do agree that money makes that we are very distant from the production process of everything we consume and because of that don't always see the concequences of the way we live. On the other hand I felt like he romanticised living off grid a bit.
The book was actually pretty good, but it wasn't what I was expecting. I was hoping to read more indepth information on how he actually managed to live moneyless for a year, instead I read a of of things I was already familiar with and a big part of the book focuses on how the media reacted to Marks project, which wasn't necesarily something I was interested in. However, if you are not too familiar with self sufficiency I think this is a good place to start reading.
The book includes some tips on how to become more self sufficient and allthough I was allready familiar with most of them, I was really surprised by the explanation on how to make your own paper and ink from mushrooms, since I didn't know this was possible.