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The Moneyless Man

A Year of Freeconomic Living
Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
4 out of 5 stars (107 ratings)

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Summary

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

Critic reviews

"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)

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

the moneyless man

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 .

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Lots of food for thought

Excellent narration of issues poignant for our generation. Pushes you to rethink your lifestyle and seriously toy with alternatives. Touches on the subject of co-dependence rather than independence as the key for survival of our species. Mark did the extreme to eloquently make his point and push us to question, why we don't use our gifts of thinking, giving and compassion. Is there an alternative to capitalism, read on and formulate your own answer

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful, life challenging listen

The Moneyless Man is narrated beautifully and I found it a compelling listen. It is creative non-fiction at its best; a well written real life tale, which holds your interest from beginning to end. I learned so much, and it challenged so many aspects of my life and living. Rather than an 'all or nothing' call to live without money, (though that is certainly a vision the author maintains), this work provides so many ways that each of us can reduce our impact on the world in terms of considering alternatives to buying things, replacing things unnecessarily and creating less waste. A fabulous book that captured my heart and imagination... capable of changing us if we let it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Interesting view point

Any additional comments?

I cannot say that I agree with everything in this book but it is a very interesting view point and he does raise many valid points about the problems of capitalism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • J
  • 30-06-13

An interesting concept in todays world.

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

An attempt to picnic in Eden

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?

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing listen

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!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • R
  • 16-09-19

Interesting concept

Some interesting concepts, I admire the authors sense of adventure and bravery but ultimately the book was a bit to preachy for me.

He over generalises and simplifies. Spends lots of time saying he should not judge others but then goes right ahead and does anyway.

Some of the rules that he set himself seemed a bizarre, he could accept a ferry ticket home but could not use his parents shower?

Also who is going to run the internet, his prime publicity tool in him moneyless vegan organic utopia??

There are definitely things that can be taken away from this book, we could all do with having a good long look at our impact on the world. But am not sure I am ready to jump on this particular band waggon.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring

So good, almost as good as the way home. Mark Boyle truly changes how one thinks, for the better. Narration really good too but would have preferred someone who sounds more like the author and less like a diy ad.

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very affirming

Would you listen to The Moneyless Man again? Why?

tbh this review comes after listening to this book about 7 times and yes i would still listening again

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Moneyless Man?

some of the statistics were awful, but in all it was the honesty and humour that was most memorable

Have you listened to any of David Thorpe’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but i would, his voice is clear and easily enjoyable to listen along to

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

peoples generosity

Any additional comments?

Is it possible to live without money and consumer ego mentality - i think so - especially after reading Mark Doyle's "The Moneyless Man"

Excellent book innovative and inspiring - well written x

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  • Terra
  • 06-08-12

A Mature, Healthy Exploration of Money's effect

What did you love best about The Moneyless Man?

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.

What does David Thorpe bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He chuckles at the right spots in the reading. It keeps it light hearted.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily. It requires thought and contemplation.

Any additional comments?

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Bob
  • 27-05-19

In a word, preachy

While this book began with and had some sections I found enjoyable, they were quickly ruined by the constant lifestyle preaching. Vegan, organic, stop using oil, consumerism is bad. After a while it just got annoying.

I found that most of his “ingenious” methods for living without money simply involved relying on the waste and/or the kindness of others. It’s a catch 22 that if the author actually achieved his utopia of a society without money and rampant consumerism, he probably wouldn’t be able to continue sustaining his lifestyle the way he did.

While there were good messages peppered throughout, they were overshadowed by the delivery. Boyle even days himself, it wasn’t until he stopped preaching about how horrible his parents lifestyle was and started simply providing information, that they finally became receptive of his message. It’s a shame he didn’t keep that lesson in mind when writing this book.

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  • Elvin Torres
  • 24-10-18

amazing

I'm glad, mark had the courage to do what I wont but want to do. I'm inspired to make changes in my own life. I started to give away things, take showers with no soap and less water. I'm becoming a little more mindful. I hope I can contribute to the world like mark is, in my own way.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-07-18

very enjoyable. springboard to moneyless living.

great ideas for moneyless living. it's about community. the advocates a kind of native american (early) lifestyle (but doesn't say this explicitly).

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MISSCHRISTY
  • 30-07-17

Not as extreme as I thought it would be.

More money = more stress and less liberty. I was disappointed that he became a squatter on someone else's farm and offered his free labor as compensation. Another factor was the use of items people would freely give away for various reasons. Lastly, his large dependance for food waste from grocery stores, and less on what he was able to cultivate.

Honestly figured the guy would live off of a portable mini greenhouse and camp along the way. Something along that scenario. However, I did realize how comfortable I could live financially with a smaller income after reading this book. Not to say I didn't figure out the numbers years prior to this book. Less money is doable. However, money does make living easier in some aspects. We humans don't need as much money we think we do. Only man made money "necessary", because plants and animals grow without it every day :)

One thing I can agree with the author is the fact that education can be free. The student just has to be willing to look in the right places.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie
  • 26-02-16

Entertaining and informative

So many things I hadn't have thought of before listening! Inspiring and entertaining although it took a few chapters to 'take off' which I find happens in similar themed books. Highly recommend it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful