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Bonfire of the Brands: How I Learnt to Live Without Labels

3.50  ·  Rating Details  ·  112 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Bonfire of the Brands Average number of ads exposed to each day: 3000. Average number of ads exposed to by age of 65: 2 million. Average number of brand names memorised by a 10-year-old: 400. Worldwide advertising spend in 2006: $427 billion. This title assesses the impact of advertising on the individual. Full description
Paperback, 261 pages
Published August 7th 2008 by Canongate Books (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 191)
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Jun 28, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012
As a sort of 21st century follow-up to Naomi Klein's 'No Logo' (which I've started a million times and enjoyed but for some reason never quite finished)(lazy and inevitable comparison btw, sry) 'Bonfire of the Brands' gives a running countdown of the lead-up to and aftermath of Neil Boorman burning and sledgehammering like 90% of his possessions -- his bid to escape the constant hum of the capitalist telescreens and consequent near mental collapse. I read it pretty much in one sitting (very unus ...more
The basic premise is an interesting one: why are brands so important to some people, and can they really define who you are, or who you aspire to be.

Personally I've never really bought into the brand identity thing: I don't feel I define myself through what I wear or display, I have deeds and words to perform that function.

It's an interesting concept though, and whilst Neil Boorman was clearly obsessed with what others thought of him, I don't give two hoots if some shallow person thinks they kno
Feb 23, 2015 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: environmental
Not bad. Obviously a little raw, as it appears (I hope) to be a unedited, un-revised daily diary, compiled into digest form.

Personally I think he went too far in trying to remove himself completely from the market - everything has a brand or is a brand or branded, one way or another, but I applaud his dedication and commitment to his decision.

While a little over-rambling, there was some really good points about how we, as consumers, are tricked and manipulated into consuming more and more, payin
Oct 23, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. It's in the same vein as No Logo: No Space, No Choice, No Jobs but less preachy, with the premise that the author that decides his obsessive love for brands is controlling and ruining his life and that the answer is to destroy everything he owns that is branded. The book is combined from the diary and blog he kept in both the run-up to and the aftermath of the burning.

It did make for interesting reading, but it wasn't life-changing to me. I think that people that are so dicta
Dec 27, 2012 Juste rated it really liked it
Few books I've ever read have made me sit up and want to make immediate changes in the way I live my life. This book is one of those. I found Bonfire of the Brands too be an extremely interesting and thought provoking read. The book is written in the form of the personal diary entries of Neil Boorman, brand addict. The first half of the book is a countdown to a bonfire where Neil plans to burn or destroy all of his branded possessions and the second half is a post bonfire look at how to live a l ...more
Jun 04, 2008 Laylee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read about one man's journey to discover meaning in hos life by removing from it everything that gave it meaning in the past, at least in his view. I found the first half of the book - the part leading up to the bonfire - much more interesting than the post-bonfire section, however it also made me stop and think about my own attachment to stuff and why I often want or purchase things simply because I feel I have to and not because I need that skirt or pair of shoes. Like many cont ...more
May 24, 2014 Jamille rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: university
I have to say, prior to reading this book I didn't really expect much. However, this was an interesting read. The book was in a diary format for the most part, and I'd definitely advise anyone who is materialistic to read. However, having said that I don't consider myself as materialistic as Neil in this book, I still found it fascinating.
So belanglos und oberflächlich ich "Marken-Konsumenten" halte bzw. vorverurteile, so belanglos ist die erste Hälfte dieses Buches. Ausführliche Selbstbemitleidung wie schwer der Verzicht auf Marken fällt, was da für den einzelnen alles dranhängt etc. Jemand, der Zeit seines bisherigen Lebens überwiegend abseits von Zielgruppen einkauft, kann über diese erste Hälfte nur mitleidig lächeln.

Der -- für mich -- beste Teil sind die 50 Seitein nach der Verbrennung, wo viel darüber kommt, wie Marken funk
Jun 24, 2010 Sara rated it really liked it
I came across Neil's blog and was intrigued enough that I bought this book. Very glad I did.

I think it was a brave book to write - basically exposing his low self esteem and baring his psyche for the common good. Examining WHY he was so seduced by brands. Why it was a problem for him, breaking it down. How he learned to live without brands, how difficult it was.

Really interesting analysis, from a non-American point of view. Why do we care if our shoes are from Nike or not? In my case, why do I n
Aug 08, 2007 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: students and brand-addicts
This is a book about one man's journey in trying to de-brand himself and live a simpler life. His blog shows he's got a lot of flak from people disagreeing with him, and even I think he's kind of scary (as I do not find shopping and buying branded goods such an emotional experience), but it's interesting to read how much he learns about himself in the process.

It's not exactly a Booker winner, but very topical, contemporary, and if those who read it would care to admit, strikes a familiar chord i
Tom Mayer
Aug 08, 2007 Tom Mayer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hipsters/sneaker geeks
There's some interesting stuff in this book about our committment to branded goods. The part that continues to resonate with me is his discussion of why we reserve the greatest resentment for those who adopt styles most similar to our own. I think it explains a lot about hipster-hating hipsters (like me.)
Mar 25, 2009 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A brilliant first-person encounter with rampant individualalism and status anxiety created by brands and major corporations, both of which I despise utterly. A great companion to Tom Hodgekinson's 'How To Be Free' and 'How To Be Idle'.
Dec 09, 2012 Artificialbrain rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A tratti lo trovo estremo: perché buttare via capi costosi per rimpiazzarli con meno cari? È pur sempre uno spreco. Tienili, ora mai sono tuoi, fai solo attenzione a non comprende altri.
Mar 06, 2008 Kirsty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There are so many people I want to force this book upon. The author may be a bit of a shallow wanker, but he makes some excellent points.
Jan 05, 2010 Buecherest rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009
Interessantes Experiment, ein markenloses Leben zu versuchen. Regt auch nicht-Marken-Junkies zum Nachdenken an.
Michel Kuik
Aug 08, 2010 Michel Kuik rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read last year. It makes one wonder about the world of brands we live in.
A well written and interesting journal of a journalist about his atempt to live a brand free life.
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