Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read and then worth sharing with others :), 3 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Moneyless Man: A Year of Freeconomic Living (Paperback)
I have just finished reading The Money-Less Man - it is a great read!

The book is interesting and very easy to read. It taught me several new things, reminded me of things I had forgotten and re-iterated things I already do myself. The book is set at the right pace and tone for anyone to pick up and is casual enough to read on holiday (if you so wish), but informative enough that your brain can explode with easily applicable ideas! I intend to go back through and pick out some of the skills shared and use the list of websites at the back.

I found the beginning of the book more informative, passionate and well structured than the end. As I am keen on all topics environmental I am not resistant to any of the ideas suggested so they could be phrased any way and I would consider them. However even my partner (fairly resistant and new to all of this) couldn't resist picking it up and was soon 30 pages in before remarking what a good book it is! I think it's an excellent book to share with others to introduce them to new ways of thinking and it is on the whole appropriate for everyone, I couldn't find anything offensive just thought provoking. :)

I found the book reassuring in it's discussions of how many people were prepared to help with so many different things, you really get a sense of there being lots of like minded people out there. The book also reveals Mark's personal journey of thinking and leads him to a point of being less preachy and more supportive of people who may be living in more consumerist ways. Although it is good to be supportive it's also good to be passionate and determined and not resolve that so long as everyone switches to energy savings bulbs that's good enough, because it's not good enough. Mark doesn't reach such a point but he comes close and could benefit from continuing to be clear about his passions as is highly represented at the beginning of the book.

Mark addresses many of the criticisms thrown at him during the year from readers, journalists, tv presenters, friends and communities with explanation and facts and accepts that he may have made errors along the way. Mark makes it very clear that he is not suggesting we live in a money-less society tomorrow, more that we use our current position (with or without money) to create a more sustainable way of living in the future. Money can have it's place in our current money driven society in making a difference, for example Mark's proposal to use the proceeds of this book to buy land for a freeconomic community, you can't buy land with anything else at the moment to my knowledge and I think Mark is right to keep one foot in a realist camp and suggest that we use our current money position to better the future.

I think a second book would be lovely to come out of this, not a 2nd year of money-less living, please, but perhaps a manual type book done in Mark's style (much as he explains rocket stoves and keeping clean without soap) with additions from his favourite mentors and friends (Fergus I'm looking at you here, and all the others he mentions) as a way of truly sharing skills in detail. I realise Mark's focus, and he is right, is on learning from doing, however a book is a good way for lots of people to begin and is a stepping stone to bigger things. This is not to negate all the brilliant books that are out there already. There's a lot of tips and tricks books and websites, but they don't always get down to the details of dirt, condensation, shoe making, the actual practical ongoing living skills rather than the 'turn your t-shirt into a bag' which certainly has it's place, and is very fun, but there's an abundance of less useful eco-information out there already.

I love Mark's statement "My experience has been that when you give freely, with no thought of what you'll get in return, you receive freely, without fail". This is the way I have strived to live more recently, Mark's book contains hundreds of examples of this working out, and in my experience so far it definitely works out well and makes you happier. On top of all these positives, any communication I have had with Mark he has responded to with kindness so he even seems like a great person!! :)
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Jun 2010 12:17:19 BDT
Chris Ray says:
The freedom of goodwill is really the best in animal instinct.

I'm not sure I'll read this book, I can guess a lot of whats in there. Though I doubt I could live without money but then you suggest Mark doesn't say that (but the title of his book differs..). If you become unwell or ill or need some sort of operation, money suddenly becomes very important. Its easy to say living without something is the best way to be but your health is of up most importance. Although we seldom need tv's, computers, game consoles etc, you think everyone would be able to live in harmony with the natural spaces we live? I doubt it. We need a varied community. I'll look into the free economy sounds very interesting, just as you've put it to live a more sustainable life.

Though I'd hate it if the politicians start taxing everyone who doesn't live a sustainable type of life, I mean who's to say whats right for you is right for everyone else?

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Jun 2010 12:27:30 BDT
Some interesting points. Just thought you'd like to know he places great importance on health, hence his focus on keeping his body in good healthy condition being the best way of staying away from illness. Not that we can control everything at all but a healthier body suffers fewer colds / flu etc.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2010 08:40:52 BDT
L. Percival says:
Maybe it's just me but who wants to "guess" what's been said in a book? Wouldn't you rather read it and find out, and then pass comment? The reason I say that is because your point misses the whole point of the freeconomy movement; money isn't important in a moneyless society. I can't explain the thinking behind this as well as the book will so I urge you to read it - you definitely won't guess most of the things that make up Mark's year of learning to live without money (or his plans for a moneyless community.)
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