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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Quit Money
If you've not heard of Daniel Shinabarger, known as Daniel Suelo, or just Suelo (apparently Spanish for "earth"), this will be an eye opener. After a couple of false starts, this man, Suelo, an American, has completely eschewed money. He feeds himself from food dumped by restaurants and supermarkets, which is still perfectly edible, but at the end of the day is...
Published 22 months ago by S N Cowan

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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Quit Living
I had very much looked forward to reading this book. I have an abiding interest in simplifying life, downshifting, living for 'free', doing without 'stuff' - in short anything that offers more quality of life and less soul-destroying 'labour'. I tell you this so that you know I wanted this book to work. I'm already a convert.

How, then, writing about someone...
Published 17 months ago by Chancery Stone


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Quit Money, 16 April 2013
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If you've not heard of Daniel Shinabarger, known as Daniel Suelo, or just Suelo (apparently Spanish for "earth"), this will be an eye opener. After a couple of false starts, this man, Suelo, an American, has completely eschewed money. He feeds himself from food dumped by restaurants and supermarkets, which is still perfectly edible, but at the end of the day is left over and is therefore dumped in "dumpsters". If you're into minimalism, as I am, this man is the ultimate minimalist, although few of us would go this far. He grew up in a very religious Christian family, which has affected his outlook on life, and made him somewhat anticommercialist. He has been living in the wild for more than twelve years. He has his own website, which he accesses in public libraries at no cost to himself. He occasionally works, but refuses any payment for his work. An altogether remarkable man. The book is written with Suelo's permission and co-operation by a journalist who made his acquaintance. It is on the whole well written, although there are passages, which for me were a bit tedious.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful, 27 July 2012
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This review is from: The Man Who Quit Money (Paperback)
An absolutely beautiful book.
Life changing, I could quote from so many pages, I treasure my copy of this book and urge everyone to buy their own.
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4.0 out of 5 stars it's so good, 10 Feb. 2014
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I thought it would be rubbish but it's was quite good you should read it. If you read it it's the best book.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Quit Living, 7 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Man Who Quit Money (Paperback)
I had very much looked forward to reading this book. I have an abiding interest in simplifying life, downshifting, living for 'free', doing without 'stuff' - in short anything that offers more quality of life and less soul-destroying 'labour'. I tell you this so that you know I wanted this book to work. I'm already a convert.

How, then, writing about someone who has stepped almost entirely out of the mainstream can be made into a profoundly dull, up-its-own-wazoo book, I do not know, but that it is the wonderful job Mark Sundeen has made of Daniel Suelo's life story.

It has barely begun before you start to see the cracks. Epic cracks. Long screeds on the spiritual life, and mere minutes before the word ashram pops up. 'Oh, no,' you feel your heart sinking, 'Please tell me this book is about someone who stepped away from materialism and isn't really and endless me, me, me whine.'

No such luck. It's not even that. Instead, it's a circumlocutory, obfuscated meander through nothing. Absolutely nothing. Daniel Suelo is a big fat coward. You can meet a hundred of him, in different guises, any given week in any given place. People who are so afraid of doing the 'wrong' thing they do nothing at all. The only difference is Daniel is a bigger coward than the rest of us. Daniel is running away from EVERYTHING. Not only the obvious stuff, but his family, his religion, his gender, his sexuality - even his own name. His given name is Shellabargar. Of course, when Daniel kitted himself out with a new one it had to be something mystical - native American Indian, I seem to recall (forgive me, there was so much verbiage to plough through I've forgotten which mystic experience belongs to who) - not Smith for him.

Daniels's parents were religious. Deeply religious. Nutcase evangelical religious. When Daniel 'came out' his parents wanted him committed - that kind of religious. When Daniel was young, and for a good part of his youth (into his thirties) he ran around doing "good deeds", which, of course, always involves going abroad - preferably to somewhere really obscure with terrible diseases and abject poverty. After all, if you're going to do good deeds you might as well do them with a hat on. He also did bible study. LOTS of bible study, with endless meetings and soul-searchings accompanied by handsome young male friends that he 'bonded' with. It's all about the soul, don't you know?

Of course this led to disenchantment when all the gorgeous young things left him - that is, when he finally got around to having sex - and all those meaningful discussions round campfires lost their 'mystic' appeal. Then there was the obligatory suicide attempts. Not just wrist-cutting or overdoses for him, though. Oh no, Daniel had to drive a car off a cliff, while admiring God's fabulous scenery. No need to become materialistic at the last minute.

He survives, of course. Simply finding himself "at the side of the road". IT'S A MIRACLE! (Which, of course, is never explained. That would doubtless debase it.)

The whole book's like this. Sundeen gazing in wonder at the spectacular failure that is Suelo's life, as if his latest stupidity is something profoundly spiritual. To give just one example, he accidentally eats 'death' berries while out picking blueberries, with friends, who do warn him, albeit after the event. Does he do anything about it? No. Instead, he goes home and lies on the floor, writhing in pain and delirium, convinced he's dying, but never, of course, actually seeking medical help. Or, indeed, anyone's help, although he's met at least two people and discussed it with them, before going home to die alone. Apparently, although God has given man the gift of deep philosophical thinking, and all that endless bible study, it's far too mundane to actually take CARE of the body he went to all that bother to create. That's for brainless, materialistic sheep.

I only made it two-thirds of the way through the book before I got too angry to stomach any more of this mock-religious drivel. Daniel Suelo is afraid of his own shadow. In spite of his alleged casting off of his parents' religiosity he has lived EXACTLY the life they cut out for him. Celibate, alone, spurning all things materialistic and spending all his time, monk-like, in a cave, like some kind of vagrant Jesus, but without the intellectual rigour or, indeed, any rigour at all.

If you want to believe that you are a special little snowflake because everything frightens you and you can't cope, or if you want to play-act casting off your parents' lifestyle while backhandedly doing everything they expect of you, you will love this book. If, on the other hand, you find specious arguments about humans only being able to 'grow' through 'enlightenment', i.e. religion a new way - which equates with living in Ecuador without washing facilities - then this book will only annoy the hell out of you. The only thing you will learn about living without money is that your teeth will rot, but you can just plug up the holes with pine pitch.

This book, like low-energy light bulbs, is so busy yelling about its profound worthiness that it forgets that quality of life means exactly that, some quality should be involved. And, just like low-energy light bulbs, it is making all the right noises while completely failing to deliver on its promise.

In short, it's uninventing the wheel at its finest.

Nein danke.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 5 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: The Man Who Quit Money (Paperback)
Great book - read if you have any interest in alternate ways of living
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The Man Who Quit Money
The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen (Paperback - 31 Jan. 2013)
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