163 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you have ever thought there is more to life than working, tv and shopping
You've probably read plenty of books that tell you how to survive off the grid. This book doesn't have a misprint in the title. It teaches you why you should be getting on with surviving off "off-grid". In other words, a whole lot less dependant. Off-grid living focuses on such things as using technology to produce electricity (perhaps wind or photovoltaic cells)...
Published on February 28, 2011 by Nathan Chattaway
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "key" is missing
First, a little about my background: I was born and raised off-the-grid before there even WAS a grid in my area. A 20'x20' 200 year old log cabin on 86 acres of farm, field and forest was my home. We had "4 rooms and a path". There was a dirt cellar under the cabin, a root cellar, a spring house, smoke house, hog barn, chicken house, calf pen and the main (cattle and...
Published on June 6, 2011 by Leigh Vandriel
Most Helpful First | Newest First
163 of 189 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book if you have ever thought there is more to life than working, tv and shopping,
You've probably read plenty of books that tell you how to survive off the grid. This book doesn't have a misprint in the title. It teaches you why you should be getting on with surviving off "off-grid". In other words, a whole lot less dependant. Off-grid living focuses on such things as using technology to produce electricity (perhaps wind or photovoltaic cells) Off-off-grid living would pose the question "How can I thrive without electricity?". This book doesn't describe the backwoodsman skills you might employ to eke out an existence as a hunter gatherer. Rather, it lays out a belief system that is as old as humankind, but largely forgotton in the western world of grid-connected luxury.
The belief system you will be introduced to as you read is the basis for all planning, designing and action contained in the book. So, while it's chock full of excellent examples and suggestions about HOW to go about becoming more self reliant, once you understand WHY it is so important and natural to do so, you will be on your own exciting journey into actually living it!
Michael Bunker is a colourful character. He's like John Wayne, John Calvin, Grizzly Adams and Thomas Cromwell rolled into one Texas-sized individual. Bunker doesn't pull his punches and this book is written in a direct and forceful manner. You can tell it has the ring of authenticity that comes from someone who genuinely practices what he preaches. Bunker lives in an Agrarian community in central Texas with his family and they largely produce what they need there. This book is a distillation of his learnings, mistakes and successes and has been literally field-tested for years prior to making it into print.
So, if you want a book that thinks survival is all "Check out my cool bunker!" then go get one of the hundreds of books out there that cover this stuff. But if you want to learn how and why to live with meaningful and fulfilling process, relationships and freedom, click on the link to "Check out Michael Bunker!"
February 29 - 2012 A year later: My above review of this book still stands. Surviving Off-Off Grid remains a very, very useful book. The book deserves to be read and reading it entirely is really the only way to find out for yourself why this book polarises people so completely. If you love the book, you possibly didn't need it in the first place, and if you loathe the book, you're someone who would stand to gain the most from adopting the paradigm shift that this book documents so thoroughly. Look, Michael Bunker causes controversy and often evokes extreme emotions in other people, but I can guarantee you that reading books by such authors is always anything but mundane. Michael Bunker walks around with a spectral amplifier volume knob floating above his head - set to 11.
69 of 87 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most books do not live up to the description...BUT this one actually does,
I stumbled upon this book in my research for "prepping" and "survival" information which I have been actively pursuing over the last year. I read most of the reviews both positive and negative and decided it was worth the money, because even the negative reviews didn't say the information was useless, only that the reviewer didn't agree with the conclusions/or philosophy of the author. After finishing the book, I can honestly say it WAS worth the money. The book completely challenged the most basic assumptions and beliefs about life and sustaining life in the future. This understanding is the primary piece of the "survival/prepping" paradigm puzzle that I was missing and had given me so much trouble. Trying to balance living in a modern world, preparing for the worst, and then guessing how long the disruptions would last ultimately increased my stress levels, lack of confidence, and led me to institute many incorrect "survival" systems that are actually unnecessary if your fundamental understanding of the world and your place in it is congruent with the actual reality present. Not only does this book challenge the reader, but it almost seemed as if the author was sitting right next to me answering the questions that popped into my head during that given section. Obviously, the author has spent numerous quality hours researching and structuring the material in a way to try to anticipate any questions the reader has while balancing the presentation of the information as to not scare off or offend any not so open-mined persons or individuals that have never been presented a philosophy in this way. This book is for every human being alive on this earth, whether you end up agreeing completely with this author's conclusions or not. No matter what, it will expand your thought process and require you to at least defend your personal philosophy against a plethora of information presented. Enjoy.
33 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How far we've fallen...,
This book on some levels broke my heart. How far we've fallen as a people from personal independence and strength to selling ourselves willingly into bondage for garbage goods, services and ideas. Michael Bunker does an incredible job illustrating how we went down this road to dependence on things that were supposed to "save time" for us. This quote gives a taste: "However, it is notable that, prior to the advent of grid power, the people could only be subjugated by military power, or by the persuasive power of philosophy or religion. Historically, coercion had to come from outside the individual person, group, or society. It was readily identifiable. If people were slaves, they were slaves to superior might. They could see their chains." Until I finished this book I did not realize how profoundly heavy the chains that I willingly used to bind myself to slavery in the worldy system were until I could feel them pulling me down. Once you become aware of them, can "see" them you'll never be able to go back. I've been a survivalist, a "prepper" for a long time, thinking I could buy enough goods to get me over the hump of TSHTF and then just "start growing things" once the worst was over. What a dead end trap that is, and this book helped me see that. You can't "buy" your way into survival, it's a foolish idea. It's no secret to all of us that our lives are about to change beyond recognizing, that's why we are all searching for a way out. This book is a giant first step for those that don't know where to get started, as the author delves into the most important part of making a change: getting your MIND in the right place. For those like me that were already well down the path of living "off-grid" with our survival gear and grandiose plans of outlasting TSHTF, this book shows a divergent path by taking us through our presuppositions about what survival really is, and shows us the true path to personal freedom. It's so far from where all of us probably reside mentally he has to start with defining terms, such as what survival really is, to taking us through ending debt slavery down to the basics of evaluating land, food, water, and shelter. This book is really different from the usual "buy this and you'll be free" survival book. It's not just a "how" book, but a "why" book as well. It helped me view the plans that we made critically and to look at each part in terms of the whole, and the outcomes and consequences of the choices we've made in the past as well as for the future. I can't recommend it enough, it's that valuable. It provides true hope.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The "key" is missing,
First, a little about my background: I was born and raised off-the-grid before there even WAS a grid in my area. A 20'x20' 200 year old log cabin on 86 acres of farm, field and forest was my home. We had "4 rooms and a path". There was a dirt cellar under the cabin, a root cellar, a spring house, smoke house, hog barn, chicken house, calf pen and the main (cattle and horse) barn where we also stored our hay and other animal feeds. We had an extensive garden, orchards, small vineyard and raspberry patch. We gathered wild strawberries and sometimes 'harvested' wild game. Our friends and neighbors also homesteaded much as we did, but there was no "agrarian separatist community". None was needed. Christian or non-Christian, we were just always 'there' for each other. Since then in my adult years I have spent the last 18 years living totally off-the-grid, and I loved it! However, I moved from AZ high desert to the mid-west last June to be near family. Even though I am currently somewhat dependent on the grid, I am getting away from any dependence on the entire "system" as fast as possible - no excuses. If the world as we know it implodes in my lifetime (I'm 70) perhaps I'll be able to help family and others to adapt and make the paradigm shift necessary to not only exist, but to live a truly fruitful and fulfilling life.
I came to Christ while in college - and here is where I believe Mr. Bunker is missing the key. Being an Agrarian Separatist does not (cannot) "save" you. Without Jesus Christ as the LORD and Savior of one's life this philosophy alone will cause one to spend eternity apart from God just the same as will anyone else who has not received His gracious and merciful provision for the forgiveness of sin - which we all need. Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone (and that is a gift) in Christ alone. That said, SOOG is the only work of Mr. Bunker's that I have read so I may very well not be fully aware of his thoughts on this issue. And yes, it was a very difficult read. Tedious at times, it is never-the-less a very timely and critical wake up call to a gravely fallen world - and especially our nation - that will most certainly collapse. Probably very soon. I'm not a "doom and gloomer" but history does repeat itself - for a reason. And "the handwriting is on the wall".
Many others have written excellent reviews from both Christian and non-Christian perspectives. The sub-title is possibly a more accurate title. From whichever side you find yourself, bite the bullet and take the cure. Please do read this book and become a part of the solution - not the problem.
141 of 187 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed,
It's hard to write a review of a book that I probably did not give a fair shake. Saying that, I tried my hardest to read it. There is some interesting viewpoints in this book, however you have to get beyond the constant religious attempt at proselytizing. Normally, I can just read over these, but it was an onslaught throughout the part of the book I read. I finally gave up reading it because this becomes the premise of everything the author is saying. It would probably be a good book had he written it for everyone.
If you are a deeply religious christian, then you would probably enjoy reading as you would agree with his theistic approaches to life.
I think the editors hide this information in their marketing of the book so as not to scare away possible market share.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christian thinking "outside the box",
This book has some "how to" information regarding living a lot less dependent on modern industrialism, but mostly it is about how to think in less dependent ways. Most would term the author a very "conservative" Christian, and his beliefs are an integral part of what you'll find here. However, even though I don't share all the author's beliefs (though I am a Bible-based Christian), I did appreciate the different viewpoint, and the call to live less caught up in the world's nonsense. There's also a good deal of historical information here.
If you're a Christian (or any believer in God), I'd recommend this book as a chance to see through some of the "fog of the world". If you aren't a Christian, however, I'm guessing the other information the author provides won't be enough to get you past his belief system.
18 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right Time,
This book is VERY thought provoking! The timing is perfect with the uncertainty of the world economy. I was afraid it might be a bit to over the top for where i am starting from but I was pleasantly surprised at the author's ability to establish a start from where you are, do what you feel comfortable with for now base line. All the while, making you think about why you would want to break away from your comfort zone. This book uses history facts not just theories for the why factor. Although I am not finished with the book yet; i am extremely impressed and can't put it down.
20 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars makes you think,
A great book. Makes you think about your life and why we live the way we do. Do we really need all the stuff in our lives? After reading this book my wife and i are doing some soul searching about whats really important to us. Everyone should read this book it will open your mind to possibilitys you have never thought of.
14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book that needs to be read... with caution.,
I suppose my reviewing a book that eschews modern devices in favor of a pseudo-Amish like mentality is a bit, 'cheeky,' especially as I purchased it via my Kindle, and thus, was using a device that will cease to work upon the 'Grid' coming crashing down...rather than a paper and ink version of the text. Which is what the author hopes will happen, sometime soon.... in order to save us.
But there you are. I am not a 'green' individual, yet I drive a Diesel car. I am not a vegan, yet I love tofu with mixed vegetables. I am not a Protestant, for I had to come to the realization that I am not smarter, better, or holier than those saints, martyrs, and holy men and women who clearly lived lives of godliness, in the centuries BEFORE 1517, and thus, could effectively be called 'Catholic' (but not necessarily "Roman"!) And, as the author Mr. Bunker (Archie Bunker's relative, if last names mean anything) is clearly VERY conservative, he is also 'romeaphobic' in the style of Ellen G. White's writings, so he and I probably wouldn't get along... just like I consider the Amish to be well-meaning, but deluded, (as they have neither an apostolic priesthood, sacraments, or grace, according to the historic praxis of undivided Christendom). But then, they consider me to be 'xenos' as well, and that is as it should be. Only one of us is correct, and the other is not. And only God's grace can sort that mess out...not a book review.
But that doesn't mean that the Amish (or Mr. Bunker) don't get things 'right' from time to time. Mr. Bunker's book is a 'slap-upside-the-head,' hard-hitting, thought-provoking assessment of the modern apostate society, and WHY it is apostate, and WHY it deserves to perish. Much of what he fumes against, were the very things the early Monastics in the Third and Fourth centuries fumed against- the worldliness of cities, the perversions of large numbers of people, and the necessity of 'earning one's daily bread' from the 'sweat of one's brow.' Plus ca change, etc.
But Mr. Bunker makes US MODERNS stand up and take notice, in a way that St. Bendict cannot (unless you study late Roman Christendom's saints on a daily basis). Bunker's book is, above all, NECESSARY for all of us to read- even if we disagree with the personality of the Author, or his ecclesial views. I felt myself being convicted time and time again, as I read his book. Other reviewers have said that 'Surviving OFF Off-grid' is not a 'how to' book, but a 'why you need to think of this' sort of book. And that is what it is. I would say, before reading 'Patriots' or 'How to prepare for the coming collapse' or one of the other 'prepper' titles out there, you must read this book.... FIRST.
I can only remember one other book (Well, two- ok, three) that made me think this deeply, and changed my life accordingly, in my half-century life to date: the Shaeffer's (Father and son) books: "How shall we then live?" (when I first began to think covenantally) and "Dancing Alone" (Before I became Orthodox); the other was C. S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity" (Before I took on my baptismal promises as my own, as an Adult, knowing once and for all, that I am a 'miserable sinner' as the BCP states). Need I point out that all of those books presuppose a firm knowledge of the Holy Bible, as well? But then, that's a given in ANY scenario, frankly. You'd expect me to say that, right?
While I find the author's 'short hair/long beard' appearance silly, and his womenfolk's penchant for 'Laura Ingalls wear' to be merely reactionary, his book NEVERTHELESS hits between the eyes, as does no other book I have read in the last ten years. As an Orthodox, and a fan of established Episcopal church order, I STILL consider this book today's preamble to the Fall, much as Augustine's 'City of God' was like unto it, for Rome in the Fourth Century. However, you will have to make up your mind.... for yourself.
But, having said that, I still think one should buy it... even on a Kindle. And 'read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest.' Mr. Bunker effectively puts modern urban clerics and our 'at ease in Zion' congregations to shame; which is not a bad thing to have happen, once in a while; if we are truly listening to God's voice.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has Really shaped my way of thinking!,
This is the book that I have been waiting for. It has helped me shape my mind-set and philosophy on Life from a Christian Perspective. I have been researching and learning many topics of the off-grid lifestyle. Now, I have been opened to a clearer way of thinking, "off off-grid". If you are truly someone that wants to shape their philosophy on life in a homestead lifestyle, or off-grid lifestyle type way, then this is a must read! out of the 15 books that I have read this year, this is my number One!
Decolonize your Industrial Mind Set by Reading this Book!
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Surviving Off Off-Grid by Michael Bunker