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on September 2, 2012
Purchase from Amazon was handled well and in a timely manner. We had not realized people were attempting, albeit successfully, to escape the "grid" I would miss my neighbors and some of the conveniences I now enjoy. I can see the draw as well, it just seems very challenging, especially for seniors! I do admire their spunk!! Thanks for asking my humble opinion.
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on November 8, 2010
I had a fun time reading this book. It was SO good I couldn't put it down for two days and read right through it. It just flowed for me. It's not a how to book at ALL. Do buy it if that's what you're looking for.

He goes around the US looking for people living off the grid and talks to them and learns a little bit about them.

I enjoyed the people he meet and the descriptions he gave for both them AND their environment. I DID want more about their living. How they functioned day by day more. There were a LOT of people put into the book and it was SUCH a fast read that it was hard sometimes to take in how people were actually living off the grid. But i enjoyed the reasoning. They want to be left alone by big business and big government. (A dream of my own.)

A lot of the books that i have read about living on your own and self-sufficiently are book by single people (mainly 20-30 something men) who have no children, wife or family to speak of. That's hard to take that into living when you have a wife and 3 kids.

But here there ARE people with kids and how they live and work. He talks about the very heart of some of the problems. Finding cheap land in order to live a good life and the building codes that get in the way just because you don't want power at your house.

I didn't really notice (as some other reviewers stated) biases in his story telling. I thought he was fair and just told a story not really trying to judge TOO harshly about some people he disagreed with. Or at LEAST getting their side of the story.And that must of been pretty tough to do with a couple of the grid people he talked with. Some people... well they are just pieces of work.

I good read and one I think is worth the time to read if your looking for books about people trying to get big government off their backs and utility companies as well :-) I just wish there was a little more detail on peoples day to day lives.
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on August 9, 2010
The author does a wonderful job of exploring the breadth and depth of the off grid movement. For those of you who have done off grid projects or live off grid you get an appreciation of the challenges and joys.

While not a "how to", the book is more a "how done", going over multiple examples of success stories and less than success stories. If you have dreamed of going off grid this will be a sobering and educational overview of the lower cost options. High end options are mentioned but not profiled in depth as most owners of high end off grid homes want to keep it private.

For thinkers, the idea that the "grid" is the grid that binds vs. the grid that enables is explored. Are we tied down and bound by the "grid", will "smart grids" be benevolent or treacherous? These tough questions are discussed, expanded on in this fun reading and thought provoking book.

For those who want to dip your toe into the water there are many off grid eco resorts. You can try the Lotus Lake House in Northern, CA and see the house on the cover of the following book.

PreFab Green
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on February 8, 2013
Its a little boring, and not quite the inspiration I thought it would be. I have relegated it to bathroom reading.
Don't get me wrong, the writing is done very well, the seller/shipper did everything well and on-time. The CONTENT of the book is what I find lacking. It should be titled About Living off the Grid - anecdotes and such.
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on December 16, 2010
I read a lot about self sufficiency, homesteading, solar living, etc., but after reading this one, I'd suggest not to bother. The author is from the UK, maybe there's a cultural bias on his part, but the people and living situations he chooses to include only show the very worse of us North Americans who choose to live off grid. I think he even makes people who aren't so bad look worse by dredging up whatever bad slant he can find. I did not have a good feeling after reading this book. It might all be true (in a way), but why focus on the bad when you can get your point across without going there? I dont' think the book is helpful AT ALL for those thinking about living "off grid".

He makes one good point about "the grid' and who paid to establish and upgrade it -- the taxpayers, not the electrical companies who benefit from the business part of it. But the cultural part, the stories of people who choose to live an off grid lifestyle -- which is 90% of the book -- garbage.
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on February 9, 2013
good book for anyone that wants to remind theirselves that the world can still go back to basics and may have to
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on September 25, 2011
This book is awesome!!!

Another look at how everything in America revolves around capitalism--the person with the most money shoves some propaganda garbage down the throats of unsuspecting laymen, to create a need for unnecessary things, so that the person with all the money can have some more.

You will not be sorry you learned about the off-grid frontier.

Check out the summary here...

[...]
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on April 1, 2011
I'm so glad I checked this book out of the library, rather than buying it. I wanted to like this book. To be fair, I'm only half-way through it, but I am finding it nearly impossible to finish. The author comes across as uncaring toward the poor and struggling people who are living off the grid, as if their poverty and struggles are their own faults, instead of the faulty, unfair economic system we are dealing with these days. And he's not much better toward the wealthy people who are living off the grid, either.

My dream for retirement is to have a tiny house (one of those little houses built on flatbed trailers) and to power it with solar as much as possible. Had I read this book before I had ever done any research on living off the grid, I probably would have scrapped my dream because he makes it sound really unappealing. But I know that living off the grid can work and work very well.

Perhaps if the author had simply let the people tell their stories themeslves, without any editing or judgementalism being inserted by the author, this book might have come off better.
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on April 12, 2011
Quasi-resourceful Brit new to the backwoods and backwaters of the U.S. meeting characters and attempting to link them into a narrative under the hot topic title, Off the Grid. Fine as quirky marginally thoughtful notion laden travel log. Not for techies, road dogs, survivalists, do-it yourselfer resourcing, or logistical types looking for numbers, gear, tech information, local legal realities, maps, etc.. Also not for anyone wanting a more coherent sense of the large Intentional Community scene or the US Permaculture world, though you get some isolated glimpses into the daily reality for some.
My fave quote: "Carlos pointed out the floor tiles for solar gain(they absorb the sun's heat by day and release it by night) as well as the high windows, chimmneys, wood burning stoves, water heaters, and solar panels--the stuff off gridders talk about."
Yeah, we talk about that stuff, and hopefully with a little heavier lean on the mechanics, of building and equally important wear, tear and maintenence. Book is earnest and well intentioned, and fine for the travel log. The title is bit prone to hyperbole, required reading, this ain't. I do appreciate his stab at it, though, and the online content he produces, while not a treasure trove either, is worth a perusal.
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on December 7, 2013
The headline says it all. Why does amazon require us to be "wordy" to express our opinion? You said 15 words or more and I already had 16 words when you asked for 3 more :)
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