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Radical Simplicity Paperback – September 6, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press (September 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762424923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762424924
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 5.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #302,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A former news and fine arts photographer, Dan Price is best known for Moonlight Chronicles, a series of hand-lettered and illustrated diaries which he self-published before finding sponsorship from Simple Shoes, a progressive footwear company. He lives in Joseph, Oregon, in “an 80-foot wide underground hobbit hole when not on the road pulling crazy stunts like walking across the state, . . . or pedaling over 4,500 miles on a three-wheel racing tricycle to Key West.” He is the father of two children.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Square Peg on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I appreciate Price's passion for living simply and authentically. Throughout the book, however, I was distracted by two things:

1. Poor grammar throughout. I guess Price wouldn't feel like an authentic writer if he had hired an editor.

2. Simple living is always a great thing when you put the burden of raising your children on your spouse. While Price wrote of the small amounts of money he made and of his own expenditures living his life, I wondered how in the world his ex-wife/partner, who lived elsewhere, sometimes very far elsewhere, was raising their two children and going to school at the same time. I don't doubt Price's love for his family. His lifestyle and theirs just weren't compatible. He and his children's mother made it all happen. It would be interesting, though, to hear their points of view about this family arrangement.

Still, there were good thoughts and ideas to be gleaned from this book.
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Barton on October 20, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan Price sounds like the kind of guy I'd like to have beer or who might make a fun neighbor, especially if you're a twelve year-old, but his book offers very little in the way of adult inspiration or creative vision. It fails to insight possibility beyond the mundane and too often dregs up self-indulgence and petty distraction. There is a huge difference between bold simplicity and creative aimlessness. This book dwells in the latter. If you want a 15 minute distraction, this book is nice. If you're wanting inspiration toward a life that is radically authentic and enriches your soul and those around you, start your search somewhere else and save your money.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful By K. Fischer on March 27, 2008
Format: Paperback
I was required to read this book for school. Our entire class agrees : Dan Price is a flake who has no concept of simplicity. If everyone is the world lived as he did we'd be extinct by now. He abandoned his wife and kids because he couldn't hack it in civilized society. He claims to only need 80 sq ft of living space, yet he sprawls over 5 acres with a tipi, a sauna, and a studio to house his copy machine. The whole thing is wired for electricity and when he tires of a structure, instead of reusing the materials, he burns it. Very eco-friendly. He mis-quotes Zen philosophy, and has the audacity to compare himself to Thoreau. If you are seeking simplicity and balance in your life LOOK ELSEWHERE!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By prinsing on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This amazing little volume is quite simply (pun intended) brilliant! Whether the small nests you build for yourself are still in your daydreams or your pack is on your back as you head for the meadow of your dreams, this inspiring handbook can serve as guide, mentor and friend. As with all of Dan's books, and if you haven't read them all you "simply" must, they are solid reminders in a crazy world of what really matters, of how little we need to have everything. I just finished Radical Simplicty and my journal is on my lap, my pencil in hand, and I am a child again, making forts out of blankets under tables, sketching entire miniature worlds in which to live out my magic.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By sketchalot on November 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I think Dan Price's life is quite interesting. I would never live in the side of a hill like he does as I enjoy indoor plumbing, but simplifying one's life is something I am trying to do. I am slowing things down each day. I always enjoyed Dan's adventures and Moonlight Chronicle booklets. His life is full of adventure, but it isn't expensive to replicate. I love his drawings, and it makes me happy to know that someone is living on less money; that it is indeed possible nowadays. Gives me hope.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Molly on December 2, 2006
Format: Paperback
I can honestly say that Dan Price leads a radically simple life. I began reading his book, Radical Simplicity, hoping for suggestions on how to simplify my life. Instead, I was given a very enjoyable read about a man who lives similar to Henry David Thoreau in Walden.

When Price was young, he found a cupboard to crawl into with some blankets and a pillow for his Saturday morning nap. Since then, he has sought out small spaces to live. Price built and lived in many different contstructions in his lifetime including tipis, tents, cabins, and his ultimate dream house: a "hobbit hole". Great photos and sketches of these structures (inside and out) are included in this book.

Many people ask Price how he bathes. His solution was to build a sauna (a "sweat box" hut), cool off in the river, and then scrub himself down with biodegradable soap. Since he does not have a refrigerator, Price uses a food dehydrator for meat and plums. Yet he still has a van.

Yes, his lifestyle is too radical for me. Though I don't own a vehicle, I do need the hustle and bustle of a city. I'm more of an "indoor" kind of gal. Still, it's fun to read about someone's current life that's so extremely different from my own.

Given the choice of rereading Radical Simplicity or Walden, I'd pick Walden. But I'm glad I took a couple of hours to read Dan Price's book. If you are a Tolkien fan, you'll at least want to check out the sketches and photos of his hobbit-like home.

You can read more about Radical Simplicity on the book's website. Price also has a website for his other books and his 50+ issues of Moonlight Chronicles.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By T. Crowe on May 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
I often read Amazon reviews before I read a book. I also like to go back and re-read them after I've finished a book to compare other reviewers' thoughts with my own - sort of a low-end book club, I guess. Besides, the 1 star and 2 star reviews for books are just plain fun(ny) to read sometimes. I have to agree some with both the reviewers that liked the book and with those who didn't.

Many people will appreciate how Dan has chosen to live and many will no doubt have problems with the way he has decided to live separately from his family. Very few will be able to or want to duplicate his lifestyle, however, and there I think is the most valid criticism of the book. This book is not a practical recipe for living simply; but then the book is titled "Radical Simplicity," so I don't think it was intended to be.

This book is an autobiography of a man who has chosen to live a life very different than most people. On that basis I very much enjoyed the book.
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