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Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living Paperback – March 24, 2009

4.4 out of 5 stars 80 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this memoir of mishaps and lessons learned, Fine shares his yearlong trek to turn his newly bought New Mexico ranch into a green and sustainable environment with as little carbon fuel as possible. From using two very lovable goats for his organic food production to transitioning into a biofuel engine for his truck and even installing solar panels, Fine balances the troubling decisions Americans must consider while also revealing a host of unexpected benefits. He advocates that a gradual process, despite having to deal with moments of hypocrisy, is essential for it to work. Fine's wry narration blends well with his often humorous and sarcastic tone. The energy and enthusiasm of his reading indicates that Fine not only relished the events but is happy to share his experience with listeners. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 7).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

DOUG FINE, a contributor to NPR and Public Radio International, has reported from remote perches in Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala, and Tajikistan. He is the author of Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man, and lives in southern New Mexico.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Villard; Later printing edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812977890
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812977899
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Timothy Cleves on March 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I started Doug Fine's fun book at about 5:00 PM yesterday and finished it by bedtime while also cooking supper, bathing two children and having several meaningful conversations with my wife. It's a quick read, and better for it. I have read a couple of other books in the "What I did for year to help mother earth" genre of books and this one ranks up with Barbara Kingsolvers "Animal, Vegetable and Miracle."

Doug settles down in an isolated valley in New Mexico and begins his adventures in sustainable living by purchasing some goats on Craig's List, replacing the said Subaru of the title with a F250 vegetable oil powered diesel truck, and going substantially off-grid.

On the way we meet some interesting characters, hear a bit too much about Doug's libido and get some practical advice on living the good life. But don't buy this book if you are looking for a step-by-step instruction on how to set up a eco-friendly homestead. Instead Farewell, My Subaru offers a few recipes, some web site links to get more information, and a good deal of evidence that going through life with good karma really pays off.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was so entertaining and motivational that I ended up purchasing the audio book as well to accompany me on my morning commute. I finished it in a little less than 3 days and was sad to have it end. Much of what Doug spoke about are things I've thought about trying or things I've been putting off, but hearing his experiences and the hurdles he went through and the obstacles he overcame made me a little more confident and has motivated me to continue trying to increase the green in my life. Not only is this a good introduction of how to add more green into your life and perspective, it's a hilarious story that will keep you smiling throughout.
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Format: Hardcover
I just read Fine's book in an evening, the first time in my life I've read a book straight through without closing it once. FANTASTIC stuff. An informative and entertaining read -- Fine's eco-lifestyle spreads it's influence far and wide!!
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Format: Hardcover
I think this is a great book. It touches on many ideas and all in a humorous way. He pulls not punches and he discusses his success and failures. Hopefully everyone that has the chance to read this book will make one small change. We don't have to go whole hog like Doug. But every little step Helps.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Was excited to read this book. Also purchased the book on his Alaskan adventure. Having just powered through this one today have to say I am not really excited about reading the next. As a chick, also not so interested in his romantic conquests.

And while he is no doubt a gifted story teller, his not so-hidden political leanings come across as smug to this reader. Would be interested to see if he wrote this book today if he would substitute President Obama's name for Bush, or if he would still seem to think Bush is the locus for pretty much all evil in the world- along with Dick Cheney and to some extent conservatives in general.

A good narrative loses depth and bass notes and becomes two dimensional and tinny with the constant droning about Bush. Wish I'd counted the number of times his name came up. Book's not good enough to read it through again to count. Bummer. I want to launch on a similar path and hoped to find helpful insights. Instead there's a narrative baby trying to swim in poopy political bathwater. Wonder if he's realized by now the feces come from all the bums in DC, not just the ones with a R by their name.
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Format: Hardcover
Like many of the others who have posted reviews, I was unable to stop reading this book once I opened it (even with three kids running around the house). Doug communicates his successes and failures at turning his ranch into a "carbon-neutral location" very well, often injecting humor into the whole process. The book is not a "how to" for becoming "self-sustaining" but provides factual information, on-line resources, as well as some great recipes to try out...I would highly recommend this book as well as Doug's previous book (Not Really An Alaskan Mountain Man).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had such a great time reading this- Doug Fine's adventures were relateable even to someone a little far removed from the world he lived in. He has a very conversational style of writing that made this book a breeze to read, and read again, and read again. I recommend this to a lot of my friends!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fine paints a less-than-romantic picture of moving off the grid, but truly revels in the joy of the accomplishment and emphasizes the importance of more of us to attempt to move in the same direction. Wish he had been a little less political in his banter.
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