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Leisureguy's Guide to Gourmet Shaving - Fifth Edition: Shaving Made Enjoyable Paperback – August 31, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 213 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Michael Ham has been shaving for more than half a century, but only belatedly discovered how to shave with pleasure. He began by posting what he had learned from his and others' experience on his blog, leisureguy.wordpress.com. As he learned more, he expanded that brief post into a book for the novice wetshaver.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 142 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 5 edition (August 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1463595344
  • ISBN-13: 978-1463595340
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (213 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've been a longtime Amazon shopper, but this is the first thing I've purchased here that's made so much of an impact that I needed to write a review. Pardon the length of this review; I appreciate very detailed reviews myself so that's how this ended up.

To be honest, while waiting for the book I had a mixture of excitement to see what it was all about and regret since I was already finding a ton of information on various fora. However, I was wrong for feeling that way. Everything in the book from the preface to the Appendix is absolute gold for anyone just entering the wetshaving world.

While it is true that much of this information is out on the internet, what you're paying for is Michael's style injected into his explanation of this hobby/art. I find it a lot easier to understand any given subject matter if the person explaining it is passionate about it. That is definitely the case with this book. While the typical "guide" books simply present material in a "do this, not that" style, this is more akin to sitting and chatting with the author over a nice glass of Lagavulin.

The reason I know this book more than worth the $12 is that reading it not only taught me a lot, but also simultaneously prompted many questions that I'm excited to explore. I've made one pass at the book so far, and I'll definitely be referring to it time and again as I get deeper into wetshaving. Some reviews say this book is pretty useless for those who are already experienced. While I can understand that sentiment (since the book is targeted towards beginners), I feel that in some cases experienced shavers may derive even more from this book than beginners.
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This book will be especially helpful to you if you have to have shave everyday and it makes you miserable, if you avoid shaving because it irritates your skin, or if you are tired of spending money on expensive multi-blade cartridges for your current razor. The methods and products described in the book are now considered traditional-it is how most people in the world shaved until the 1970s. The razor most recommended by the author can be had for about $30, I got one for less right here on Amazon this year. Blades for it can cost less than a dime and no more than 50 cents and they will last several shaves. I was already using the razor plus a good shaving brush and quality shaving soaps for some time before I read this book. I thought I had it all down but my shaves improved when I tried some of Hamm's suggestions. Not all of them worked for but many did. You will encounter some small typos and errors as this appears self-edited but they did not detract from the book enough for me to lower my rating. While much of the information in this book can be found online in shaving forums, I'm not aware of anyplace else where it appears in such a well organized manner. The book will guide you through everything you need to know to start getting great shaves and saving money. I wish I had had this book when I was learning to shave or even 10 years ago. It could have saved me a lot of misery.
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Format: Paperback
I retired at 53 and yes lucky me! As you get older people say you get more eccentric and maybe in some ways they are right. I used to get up in the morning scrape a multi blade cartridge over my face in about 3 minutes call this a shave and then hit the day. Don't ask me why but given more time to think I decided that as "The shave" starts my day there must be a way to improve both this experience and my outlook. I thought why is it that people rave about a proper barbers shave done with a single blade? I thought that this step might be one too far so started to look at DE razors on the internet. Living close to Sheffield the home of stainless steel in the UK, I found a supplier and purchased a beautifully crafted crome DE Razor some blades soap and a brush. then thinking "cart and horse" I better find out how to use these things before someone gets hurt...me!!
Well here's the point I bought Leisure Guy's 5th edition of Gourmet Shaving and WOW!! I read it from cover to cover it must be one of the best reference books I've read. Even now 7 months on I still pick it up from the bedside table to find there are still things I'm learning. The morning shave is now something I really look forward to and I firmly believe that it makes me have a happier outlook on my day. The way the book is written is brilliant and putting all the reference material at the back is a great idea as it then doesn't detract from the flow of the book. The only problem I've encountered is how much, after reading the book and looking up some of the reference points, you seem to accumulate additional shaving parphenalia. Not because someone forces you too but as a way of trying products you've never encountered before. In some ways it makes you feel like a kid again!!
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If you have a lot of knowledge about wet shaving, then this book is NOT for you. You may find it somewhat entertaining but you will probably already know most of the subject matter. If you are fairly knew to wet shaving or want to learn more, then this is a great book.

Lots of useful information and some great tips.
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