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One Red Paperclip: Or How an Ordinary Man Achieved His Dream with the Help of a Simple Office Supply Paperback – August 21, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press; 1ST edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307353168
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307353160
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #438,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

MacDonald is just a regular, sharp-witted guy on a quest for funtential, his coined word for the maximum potential for fun. In a casual, playful tone, his account begins as he stares past his computer screen and at the brick wall of his girlfriend's apartment in Quebec; he lives there, and she pays the rent. Wanting to contribute financially to the relationship, he recalls a childhood game, Bigger and Better, and begins looking for something to trade. He's drawn to the red paperclip holding together his résumé and cover letter. The rest of the book traces his exchanges from the red paperclip to a fish pen to a smiley-face door knob and culminates with a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan—all within a year. From the outset, MacDonald insists on making each deal in person, and these personal exchanges provide the book with a human interest that transcends any fascination with quirky material swaps. Trading a door knob for Shawn's camping stove, for example, becomes an excuse for the once strangers to chat over steak sandwiches and beer. So, while the trades are the unifying element of the book, it isn't really about getting a house; it's about people, relationships and living life to its fullest. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"An amazing true adventure!" OK! "Perfectly suited to the anti-commercial zeal of the moment" Sunday Times "A bizarre and brilliant idea" Daily Telegraph "So, is oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com the new eBay? "Sure." Kyle says, "Why not?" The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Originally from Belcarra, British Columbia, Canada, Kyle MacDonald has planted more than one hundred thousand trees, delivered more than one thousand pizzas, but eaten only one scorpion. He has also traded one red paperclip for a house only once.

When he's not stealing a flag from the Prime Minister's office or promoting Alberta Beef by hitch-hiking in a parade, you might find him leaving his wallet in El Segundo or hanging out in Bangkok modeling Italian Soccer jerseys to fund 4am Red-Bull and Rum-fueled urban hitchhikes. He also enjoys writing his bio in the third person and loves to stand on street corners in Montreal hawking shoddily-bound English literature to Francophones in sub-zero temperatures.

He spends most of his time looking for 'red paperclips' to trade away, traveling, and speaking at events all over the world.

His mom still cuts his hair.

Customer Reviews

The book is a real great read.
Timothy W. Jertson
Every time I finished a chapter, I couldn't wait to see what would come next.
Raymond E. Powell
He was unique and resourceful and had a positive outlook about things.
Ammar Alabbad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Fairly Reliable Bob on October 21, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First this young man trades a red paperclip for a house and now I'm paying him (book royalties)to tell me his story. But it's well worth the price of admission. He combines a clever idea and internet savvy with strong interpersonal skills to entice each trader and thousands of others to join his cause. Easy to read, hard to put down, and the pictures clinch the deal.

I would have given it five stars except that I think he tries a little too hard to convince you he's "an Ordinary Man", which clearly he isn't.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By newtonscricket on June 25, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this in one day, sneaking off from all the other things I was supposed to be doing (sort like Kyle running out to trade a red paperclip when he's supposed to be working on his resume) It's just a lot of fun! A real exercise in see-where-life-takes-you. I love that although Kyle sort of wanted to trade up to a house what was always most important was the next trade and picking the right person by what felt right. A real delight! Way to go Kyle! Can't wait to see what the house trades for!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on July 9, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
A modern day fairy tale where a brave youn man magically turns one red paperclip into a cottage for his fair young maiden. Loved the story from start to finish. What a crazy unpredictable journey. . . and Kyle never forgets that its all about the journey.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kirsty Dunphey on January 23, 2008
Format: Paperback
Kyle MacDonald is a rock star if you ask me. His savvy and sense of humour make him instantly endearing and this book is aspirational for anyone looking for "a great big adventure". Love the writing style, love the content, love it's simplicity.

Kirsty Dunphey, Author Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Janet E. Spurr on June 28, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is truly one of the best, inspirational books I've ever read. It helped me to finally complete my first book, after several years. I LOVED the author's passion and determination, his sense of adventure and trust was outstanding. His book is written as if I was sitting down with a great friend at dinner and learning about this amazing experience. The pictures are perfect too, although, everyone that I tell about the book, I mention to make sure not to look at the pictures ahead of time.

Janet Spurr, Marblehead, MABeach Chair Diaries
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard Scott on September 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
One of the best and funniest books I've read in a long time! I had seen Kyle's story on t.v. a couple of months back and was excited when I stumbled upon his book. Kyle has a great writing style and gives great advice for following your dreams. Moral of the story: take action and have fun!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas A. Young on November 23, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely fantastic. What a great story. It is a breeze to read and keeps you interested from the first chapter. You'll probably be in semi-disbelief at what Kyle is able to accomplish but can't help being proud of the mentality that democracy, capitalism and the internet have created for us all, and that allow Kyle to achieve his dreams with the help of a computer, a cell phone, and a simple red paperclip. A must-read! I've been telling all my friends about it. Go ahead, buy it! You won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jerald D. Lifsey on January 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I thought about duplicating what he did. I bought something to trade on eBay. Have not finished the book yet.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews