the moneyless man

The Moneyless Man by Mark Boyle, read by David Thorpe

From Audible:

Imagine a year without spending – or even touching – money. Former businessman Mark Boyle did just that and here is his extraordinary story. Going back to basics and following his own strict rules, Mark learned ingenious ways to eliminate his bills and discovered that good friends are all the riches you need.

Encountering seasonal foods, solar panels, skill-swapping schemes, cuttlefish toothpaste, compost toilets, and – the unthinkable – a cash-free Christmas, Boyle puts the fun into frugality and offers some great tips for economical (and environmentally friendly) living. A testament to Mark’s astounding determination, this witty and heart-warming book will make you re-evaluate your relationship to your wallet.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book that Mark Boyle wrote and the start of his journey that culminated in his living completely without technology as well as money. This was covered in a previous review of The Way Home.

I did enjoy listening to this and definitely didn’t find it boring. However, I felt it was a bit light on the day to day details of life without money. The main reason for writing the book was to promote the Freeconomy concept and to encourage others to give it a try and get involved. He spends a lot of time explaining the Freeconomy concept and the ethos behind it as well as giving tips and information. He also goes into detail why he feels that society needs to change. He doesn’t come across as preachy in any way and does a good job of promoting the lifestyle but I was expecting something more along the lines of his other book and was disappointed not to get the details of life without money.

The best section for me was describing how he managed to get from Bristol to Donegal for Xmas without spending money or compromising his ideals. This involved an appearance on RTE’s Grainne Seoige Show. The narrator is English and it did make me giggle listening to him trying to pronounce her surname. I think I heard at least 4 different attempts and none of them correct!

The narrator was good but had a slightly irreverent tone throughout the whole book. This suited the early chapters that are written in a very self-deprecating style but I found it a bit jarring in some of the more serious later sections.

Overall a good book and I’d recommend reading it before The Way Home.

Finally, I only realised this morning that I saw Mark Boyle being interviewed on The Tommy Tiernan Show a few months ago. The video clip below is short piece of that interview.

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