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Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich Paperback – 15 Jan 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 2 Revised edition (15 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061779261
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061779268
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 164,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Duane Elgin is an internationally recognized speaker and author. His books include The Living Universe, Promise Ahead, and Awakening Earth. In 2006, he received the international Goi Peace Award in recognition of his contribution to a global "vision, consciousness, and lifestyle" that fosters a "more sustainable and spiritual culture." He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't get it. The book that is. I get Voluntary Simplicity and what its about, which is why I bought the book, wanting to learn more. Unfortunately this book doesn't actually tell you anything useful or interesting about it. He spends most of the book switching between telling us what is wrong with the world (climate change, peak oil, over population), defending voluntary simplicity from imagined critics (it does not mean poverty, it does not mean this, etc), or defining different variations on what "voluntary simplicity" means (compassionate, caring, connected to nature, low impact, being nice to everyone else, etc). But nothing I could find on actually living a life of voluntary simplicity. Lots of WHY VC is important (justifying it and defending it), but nothing on WHAT it really is or HOW to do it for real.

I ended up just skimming through all the chapters looking for anything of substance and finding nothing. It was all just too vague, padding, full of waffle, lots of repetition of the same themes and points, and nothing specific about how to live a life of voluntary simplicity. He quotes other writers quite a lot i.e. cut and paste of other people's material. At one point he just repeats the results of a third party survey on what people think of voluntary simplicity, running over several pages of quotes from random people covering every possible variation on what it might be.

Summary: Waste of my time and money, vague, nothing original, and nothing useful to act upon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I saw this book on the coffee table of a friend whose judgement I valued and thought this would be worth the read. In fact I found it rather boring and saccharine. The idea is fine but as a full time Buddhist priest the ideas here I felt presented nothing new even if the anecdotes reflected laudably on the individuals concerned. I short it didn't challenge me in the way I had hoped.
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Format: Paperback
If only all mankind would live life this way. Intelligent, compelling. Please read it then change your life to what really matters. And tell others to read it too.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent and very updated. The chapter on "Pioneers" is a bit boring. The emphasis on "consciousness" is fundamental in linking "simplicity" with "voluntary".
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