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on February 5, 2017
First off, this is not a survivalist book or story. It is the life story of one man and his experiences told through the eyes and experiences of the author, other people the author interviewed and from the writings of the subject himself.

It starts with him living without money but almost immediately becomes a tale of how he got to that point in his life - his mental thoughts and travels and various attempts to become one who can live moneyless.

Although he himself quits money his entire story is one of a person living off of the largess of money and what it can and does buy - basically the excess of capitalism, without which he would not have been able to do what he has.

Keep in mind that this is not a "formula to" book. The reality is his story is one of lifestyle choice. One can chose to live a life of less income or pursue one of more income. The reality is the lifestyle(s) that go with those varying degrees of income are the output, some may say consequences, of those choices.

Towards the end the author gets into the typical platitudes that predict things like peak oil and the downfall of the American capitalistic system, citing specific occurrences that never resulted in the social impact the author predicts.

As for the writing I found it moved the story along - in the beginning slowly, the main part of the book at a nice pace, with the ending slowed down again. The author did a good job keeping things interesting but quite often I felt like he was either overdramatizing the incidents or relating stories that the subject presented without questioning their authenticity or degree of reality (especially the religious moments).
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on February 27, 2017
Life on his own terms . . . Freedom at a price.
Here are a few alternative titles for this book:
- 21st Century Hunter-Gatherers. - Religion of Poverty. - Boycott Everything. - Spiritual Lives of Spiders. - The Kindness of Nature. - Taking Life in Trade. -Desert Rats. - Gone Native.
This is a man who sought AND FOUND a place where he could live in relative happiness and freedom - without hurting anyone else. This is truly heroic.
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on September 22, 2017
Wasn't what I expected. Very little was written about surviving without money. If you want to explore the mindset (second hand of course) of
a vagabond sponging off the kindness of others, homosexuality, and religious rebellion you MIGHT find this entertaining. I couldn't finish reading it. It started out ok, but fell apart pretty rapidly and I lost interest,
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on September 10, 2016
I found out about this book when my girlfriend and I were camping in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We awoke in the morning, and were about to head out to the 2016 Tiny House Jamboree, when we started chatting with a fellow camper named Mark. Turns out he was an author which is great because I love to read. When I asked him what he'd written he pulled out this book The Man Who Quit Money. When we parted ways I did so with the promise that I'd read his book. I got back to Ohio and downloaded the Kindle edition and read it all the way through. This story captivated me. I was already a minimalist, living my life with very few possessions, but this has made me question the make believe monetary system we're all mental slaves to. Thank you Mark, and above all Daniel, for this truly inspiring story. I'm going to tell everyone I know to read this book!
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on September 2, 2012
This was a summer read for me. I'll admit, I went through a range of emotions and personal opinions before I even read the first page. No matter what my personal opinions were, after I began reading, I was hooked. Just as before I opened it, every 20 pages or so changed my opinion of Mr. Suelo. In fact, Mr. Suelo's life story and belief system challenged my personal convictions about society, religion, security, freedom, sexuality, work ethic, and what it takes to be a successful person in today's world. While I wouldn't go so far as to say I agree 100% with the prose and message of this compelling biography, I feel like I'm better off having read Mr. Suelo's tale. Mind opening concepts were presented that challenged my personal beliefs, forcing me to face and understand what I hold as truth. And yes, there were some turns in the book that I contemplated putting it down for good. This not being the author Mark Sundeen's fault. The pacing of the book is spot on. It was, myself, coming to grips with an alternative lifestyle that is truly "alternative". As a steelmaker, you can imagine I have strong personal convictions, a strong sense of work ethic and a regimented life schedule. That being said, I feel more informed after reading Mr. Suelo's life story. Even if you do live in a cave, it takes a great level of courage to commit your life story to print. Subjecting your existence to the scrutiny of strangers. I'm glad that Daniel was willing to share his story with the world. If you notice, I purposely refrained from stating exactly the parts of Daniel's story I had issue with. After reading his story, I respect the man. I also do not wish to taint the next reader's mind against a very well written book by Mr. Sundeen.
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on May 25, 2017
Was really impressed with the amount of philosophy that was included in this book and changed my perspective on Christianity. This is a great book to read before you read "The Unsettlers" By Mark Sundeen. Both tackle similar topics and ideas, but this provides a great foundation for "why" someone would choose an alternative lifestyle.
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on November 12, 2012
I was a bit hesitant to read this after seeing some of the other reviews but I'm glad I purchased it. I admit it's a bit "out there" but this man is an example of how living a life of simplicity can unfold. I enjoyed the book and found small pieces that might actually fit into my own life. The philosophical discussions were quite revealing and I learned a lot about trust, and about myself. Overall I'm very glad I decided to read this and hope that I can incorporate some of the simplicity into my own life.
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on July 22, 2014
Great insights on a free-thinker who found a way to live his life without using money in any form. The author does a great job of placing the character and his situation in his real-life settings and situations and includes some thoughtful reflections on what it must be like to live this way. Sundeen follows his friend from the desert Southwest to the wilds of Alaska, through relationships that worked--and didn't. He examines his values, and why they grew from his family of origin. This book is a thoughtful presentation of one man's evolution from what he was, to what he wants to be and how he chooses to live--and how he makes it work. Highly recommended.
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on March 17, 2012
My wife was reading about the publication of this book in the SLC Tribune. It sounded quite interesting to me, I love quirky subject matter, especially non-fiction. I will let you make your own decision on this Cats choices, but I found it quite compelling. We also are planning retirement in the Moab area so maybe we will have Suelo over for a meal or fifty someday. Kindle Purchase.
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on May 21, 2012
Suelo is a mix of Thoreau and a modern day St. Francis. In fact I found many similarities between this story and "The Perfect Joy of Saint Francis." In both stories these men could not not live without money: they moved from a state of anxiety and debilitating unhappiness into a place of peace only through giving it all away. Both followed chance and opportunity - though ironically Francis often attributed things that seem like chance occurrences to the will of God and Suelo often attributes things that seem like miracles to happenstance. The main difference is that St. Francis kept his ties with the church of his youth (Catholic) and part of Suelo's healing was to move beyond his Fundamentalist upbringing. That said both show a deep love of Christianity and re-definition of what it means through a focus on the hard to live parts of the Bible. Whereas St. Francis is almost simple-minded, Suelo is a deep thinker. However, the main legacies of both are their lives rather than their books (though Suelo does have the advantage of living in an era of blogging.)

I felt this book is more a theoretical extreme of what is possible than a how-to of living. The message for me was not live like Suelo, but stop fighting, respect and pursue who and what you are meant to be (and that freedom from chasing the almighty dollar is very likely a piece to achieving it). I recently watched the movie "I am" which taps in more to universal ways of healthy and unhealthy living related to money. It was interesting to read this book with that film fresh on my mind.

At times in this book, esp. Part 3, the author made the writing a bit too much about himself or "the movement," whereas the fascination of this story for me lies in "the man." And the author's tying Suelo's life stages to the hero archetype also detracted from the story for me. That said, the author did an amazing job of researching, interviewing, capturing and recording of the many facets of this complex and extraordinary man. It is a pearl of great value type book, and I'd give it 10 stars if I could.
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