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A Life Stripped Bare: My Year Trying To Live Ethically Paperback – 2 Jan 2006


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Eden Project Books; New Ed edition (2 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1903919614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1903919613
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.4 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

His account of the year is very entertaining. -- Colchester Evening Gazette

In this witty account of his year, Hickman discusses matters that are of importance to us all -- Glasgow Herald

Refreshing and funny, this book overflows with ideas for a more sustainable everyday life. -- The Ecologist, November 1, 2005

The tone is just right for this book's target market..there is much that is inspiring here. -- Independent on Sunday, January 8, 2006

This is the book you need to kick-start a green and guilt-free lifestyle. -- V Magazine

Very entertaining...full of useful new things to fret about. -- Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4

Book Description

Mass-market edition of the successful trade paperback; given a new look and including new material and Leo's DIY ethical audit for readers to try.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 May 2005
Format: Paperback
I'd enjoyed reading Leo Hickman's columns in the Guardian on his attempts to live a more ethical, environmentally-friendly life, and I was pleased to be able to read more about the changes he made to his life as a response to an"ethical audit".
There are plenty of books out there that will tell you how to live your life the environmental/green/ethical/sustainable way, but this book has a real advantage over all of them - it doesn't just tell you what to do, but shows the impact that the changes have on your life. Leo writes honestly and amusingly about the effect of using washable nappies, getting fruit and veg delivered by an organic box scheme, taking a holiday in Europe by train instead of plane, having a wormery, going for a week without TV or radio, and how it feels when the ethical auditors criticise almost every aspect of your life. It's also interesting to read some of the letters he received while writing the newspaper articles, and the effect they had on his ethical "journey".
The book also mentions how these things had an effect on his family, particularly the times his wife was less enthusiastic about the changes - I think I would have liked to find out a bit more about things from her point of view.
I've found myself considering many of the things he mentions in the book, especially "food miles" in supermarkets while buying fruit and veg, and the book has inspired me to try to make some changes to my lifestyle. A good read for anyone who wants to consider their life and their impact on the world around them.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 May 2005
Format: Paperback
For all would be environmentalists living in the city or suburbia this book is a must! Leo Hickman writes with generous and amusing style, slightly tongue in cheek at times giving the reader the sense that he does indeed have his feet firmly on the ground! With his wife Jane he tackles tough issues about how they and their daughter Esme live in a society where being ethical and environmentally conscious at all times is virtually impossible! I thought he was quite good anyway, not having a car and eating healthily,but after the arrival of their three auditors their lives are turned upside down after being bombarded with sometimes impossible-to-live-by ethical values! However many of the suggestions in his book are easy to put into practice and gives one the hope that even by doing a little, it makes a difference. It's thought-provoking and fun to read. I've been enjoying reading it and thinking about it all week!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 7 Dec 2005
Format: Paperback
I have to admit I was already very interested in living a 'more sustainable life' before I read this book so I knew of quite a few of the issues highlighted very amusingly in this book. However my wife hadn't really taken any interest before I pursueded her to read this book and now she's really interested too, which is great for me! I think the reason the book had an effect on my wife, where my previous attempts had failed, was because it's written in a very readable and amusing style and doesn't put you under any pressure because Leo Hickman isn't saying you must do everything suggested, in fact he compromises all the time. It shows how to do your bit without having to change your life too much.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By S. Wilson on 5 Jan 2006
Format: Paperback
The previous reviews have said all that needs to be said - but I was so taken by this book - and Leo - that I had to add my pennyworth too.
This is a brilliantly honest book which manages to be informative, heartwarming, practical and amusing all at the same time. I speak as a 'three planet woman' who has made small changes bit by bit over the years but who has now had a smack in the face and needs to do sooooooo much more.
Buy it (I would say borrow someone else's but you may find they are reluctant to part with it). Read it. Make an effort to decrease the impact of your lifestyle. Then help others not be so selfish!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Rich Ham on 18 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback
Leo Hickman's year-long effort to steer his life down a more sustainable path was well documented in his Guardian columns, and makes for an excellent and entertaining full-length book. His all-round honesty and enthusiasm make a welcome change from the hectoring of most environmental/ethical writing, and the letters from readers that pepper the book are full of insights, encouragement and good sense. There is a lot to learn from in this book, and a lot to laugh at, too.

But the part I found the most eye-opening was Hickman's account of the trio of 'ethical auditors' who came to his house to interview and assess the family. These were truly horrible people, but horrible in revealingly different ways: the joyless anti-corporatist vegetarian who insisted that the family gave up meat and had no more children expressed entirely predictable, second-hand opinions, and was sour and self-righteous in a peculiarly British way, but the wealthy founder of the Planet Organic chain, who turned up expensively suited in a black cab, was not only astoundingly rude and arrogant, but made it clear from her attitude that 'ethical living' (with all its ostentatious trips to overpriced Farmers' Markets, etc) has its roots in status and class anxiety, rather than in any objective considerations for the health and wellbeing of the planet. There was, of course, a lot of ill-natured disagreement among the auditors, and much outright contradiction, as there always is when a group of people addicted to giving advice attempt to outbid one another.
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