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Customer Review

18 March 2016
I found this to be a really excellent, thought-provoking book, about a very serious topic but written in a witty, easy-to-read, informal style. As the title suggest, Robert Wringham argues persuasively that we need to very carefully examine how and why we are potentially or actually caught in ‘The Trap’ of unfulfilling work, bureaucracy, rampant consumption and consumerism, debt and, for many, the quiet desperation of various causes of stress, isolation and unfulfilled lives generally.

But Robert does not just focus on the problem; he also offers valuable and actionable thoughts and insights on how we can realistically escape from ‘The Trap’. That said, like me, you may not choose to act on or even totally agree with the extent of all of Robert’s views and opinions, or with his suggestions on ways we can escape ‘The Trap’ – for instance, he doesn’t choose to have a phone, chooses a minimalistic life-style, and chooses to work to earn just enough money to cover his living expenses; choices that won't suit everyone. Though I did think that the 'strength' of his expressed views served, consciously or not on his part, as both a humorous device, as well as a light-hearted way of challenging one's own prevailing situations and ideas, as listening to people with 'extreme' views to one's own usually does. But either way, by reading his thoughts and ideas, you will nevertheless gain some highly valuable and important insights about your own feelings, thoughts and the actions you are prepared to take to escape ‘The Trap’ as he describes it.

Arguably, a significant theme of the book hinges around examining our relationship to and ‘need’ for money. I think Robert does a very good job here, but don’t expect any detailed tools, tips or techniques about managing your personal finances or home-accounting – there’s plenty of other tedious and boring books and financial advisers out there dealing with such things.

Robert Wringham is described in the book as, amongst other things, a humourist, stand-up comic and editor of the New Escapologist magazine. So nobody reading this book should be surprised to hear that the rather serious theme of the book is written in a rather humorous style in many places – I think the title is the give-away clue here. In my view, this does not, however, detract in any way whatsoever from the central thesis of the book. It’s just a lighter-hearted, less-depressing and even an empowering way of thinking about things than all the other books I’ve read to-date on the topic.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed the book; so much so, I fact, that I have already read it twice to stimulate thought, having purchased a Kindle edition and printed hardcover copy for my library, as well as the current and all the back copies of the New Escapologist magazine (which I highly recommend too), and purchased a copy of the printed book for my son to boot. What more can I say? Just buy it, or stay in ‘The Trap’ if you really like it so much.
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4.7 out of 5 stars