Imagine a year without spending - or even touching - money. Former businessman Mark Boyle did just that and here is his extraordinary story. Going back to basics and following his own strict rules, Mark learned ingenious ways to eliminate his bills and discovered that good friends are all the riches you need.
Encountering seasonal foods, solar panels, skill-swapping schemes, cuttlefish toothpaste, compost toilets, and - the unthinkable - a cash-free Christmas, Boyle puts the fun into frugality and offers some great tips for economical (and environmentally friendly) living. A testament to Mark's astounding determination, this witty and heart-warming book will make you re-evaluate your relationship to your wallet.
©2010 Mark Boyle (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"Essential and enjoyable reading. The fascinating story of an important social experiment, told with humility, insight, and great humour." (Chris Cleave, Sunday Times best-selling author of The Other Hand and Guardian columnist)
I really loved this book and enjoyed listening to it , Mark is a really inspirational guy, the only gripe i had was that he didnt read it himself as the english accent didnt sound right sometimes especially in the pronunciation of grainne " seoige" (sheoga) he pronounced it sai- oga which made it sound like a chinese name, which drove me crazy, but that was only a smal part of the book. I liked his ideas and that he had the guts to live them, but did think he took things to extremes at times such as allowing himself a laptop and a mobile but having to make ink from mushrooms?? ? but all in all i really enjoyed it and must get it in paperback soon. would reccommend to anyone interested in living more sustainably and environmentally friendly, Mark Boyle shows us we can do it .
It has taken me 32 years to start to understand myself. I have now started a new journey and enjoying every step.
This is an amazing book, written by Mark Boyle, who lived moneyless for a year on a farm in Bristol. Mark is an inspiration to us all and how we live our lives. Do we really need all these possessions? Do we really need all the food we buy or are there alternatives? In a craze that is sweeping the nation, in living cheaper and getting something for nothing, this book gives a real insight in how we can all reduce our outgoing costs.
Full of useful information and anecdotes from the ups and downs of living without money, this book is a must read/listen. You won't be disappointed.
One's liking or disliking of this book will largely be decided by one's attitude to man-made climate-change, capitalism, and a conventional agriculture. No prizes for guessing that he is against all three. This book could well have been called 'THE MONEY-LESS VEGAN' If you find that a turn-off then do not buy.
I quickly found myself a non-believer and believed less and less as the 6 hours dragged on.
Firstly, Boyle's analysis of 'what money is' struck me as tremendously biased and rather unimaginative. For him money is entrapping, it is debt and it is a method of enslavement. Possibly this is true, but personally I have always found it very useful for storing the value of my labour and ensuring the cooperation of those around me.
The cooperation of those around him is what Boyle depends heavily upon- 'security from Community not from Money.', 'Cooperation not competition.' No one could disagree that this is broadly a good thing- but on a large scale it's not human nature- What happens when someone wants more than their fair share? How do we cooperate with the non-cooperative? Mark Boyle hopes for a moneyless Eden, with no Original Sin.
In the meantime who is going to fund the Nuclear deterent, the cure for cancer... or the internet? The internet is particually key because if there is one thing that Mr Boyle believes in it is Publicity- not, we are to understand, for reasons of egoism but to 'get the message across' and to promote his ideas of 'Freeconomy' Hence a rather tiresome theme running through the book is a blow-by-blow account of his dealings with the Media and his excitement at the interest they take in his experiment. The internet is to the 'Freeconomic' community, more or less, what oil is to the transport industry- but any suggestion of the way computer production or internet access can be sustainably managed without money is not given by Mark Boyle.
Space is running out- but why such an English narrator for such an Irish writer?
Yes, to be honest. I have read a few, and this doesn't convince me to read more.
I am a left-leaning, mainly vegan, socialist simplicity seeker who loves reading books about environmental issues, 'downsizing' and philosophy around the way the current materialistic and capitalist system is shaping everything from the built environment to human happiness. So surely this is the book for me, right?
I have the audiobook, and my heart started to sink as I heard the author (who also narrates) start with his little simplified explanation of how in the past everyone happily bartered, and then someone came along and invented money, and debt, and then things went pear shaped. Sorry, but this is just totally inaccurate, especially the whole 'everyone used to barter' idea. Perhaps the author should have read a book such as 'Debt: The First 5,000 Years' by David Graeber, which explains why this is just simply untrue (and is a much better book about the effects of debt and money).
There are also some other philosophical and historical ideas that really rubbed me the wrong way - Boyle falls in to the 'noble savage' fallacy idea at times that primitive tribes that weren't as materialistic didn't have theft or crime or whatever - and he can be very, very judgemental of other people's choices, alternating his 'my way or the highway' standpoint with some really naive viewpoints such as that you don't notice the changing of the seasons if you live in a city (speak for yourself), or that everyone except those that live in isolated country can connect with nature.
I really wanted to like this book. And I think his experiment, and many of the ideas behind it, are valuable. But his philosophy, writing style and frank naivety were off-putting for me.
I came across this book by total accident. I am very glad i did. It is a great listen but also makes you think a lot, about the way we live our lives. Many things have changed in my home since i listened to this. Brilliant!!
This book started with a fairly dull twenty minutes of basically explaining what money is and why it is bad, it then grew in to something that really sounded like it was going to be interesting. An experiment not only in economics but in sociology. How would someone cope if they reject the basic premise of modern life? How would it affect friendships and life in general?
However Boyle then becomes repetitive, tedious and at several points comes across as just out right preachy. After two hours or so you're left wondering really what the narrative of the book is, for example at one point he decides to show how his meals are made from foraged, bartered or scavenged food, this is fine when he covers the 10 or 12 things that go in to breakfast, he then however goes on to lunch snacks and dinner listing for a good 3 minutes just names of food and how he acquired them, it is dry at best.
Largely you're enjoyment of this book will be based on personal philosophy but I can some it up quickly; Vegans good, everyone else bad. People who eschew all modern forms of commerece good, everyone else bad. Mark Boyle good, everyone else bad.
And if you bought this book on here or have a subscription and used credits to get it you are very, very bad. Amazon own Audible and you don't get much bigger than them. You should have bartered a day of labour for it.
I love the idea behind this book. A man lives one year without money. Fascinating. Intruiging. How did he do it? Well, all that is explained. So why wasn't I more taken by the story? Well, part of it is that the book isn't written very well. It also brings with it not just the idea of a moneyless society but also a whole range of other unrelated ideas, such as veganism etc, which the author pushed for very strongly and for which I deduct starts. Not that I don't like veganism, but it didn't belong in this book.
"A Mature, Healthy Exploration of Money's effect"
That he wasn't hateful or unrealistic about our economy's need to realize the effect of money and debt. He was straight forward but optomistic, emphathetic, and empowering.
He chuckles at the right spots in the reading. It keeps it light hearted.
Not necessarily. It requires thought and contemplation.
A great overview of the effects of money and debt and an empowering guide to beginning a life of strength in community instead of dependancy on money.
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