jess's Reviews > Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Living

Farewell, My Subaru by Doug Fine
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's review
Jun 29, 10

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobook-d, 2010, growing
Read from May 30 to June 08, 2010

I appreciate the subject matter: reducing carbon footprints, bringing local food to the table, exploring alternative fuel use, participating in animal husbandry for the sake of self-sufficiency, and so on. I mean, that stuff is what I get into.

Mr. Fine tackles all those subjects with the bravado and swagger of American manifest destiny. He buys a ridiculously oversized american truck to run on biodiesel and replace his small, reliable, compact, good gas-mileage Subaru. Somehow, his chronicles of dating multiple women fit into his sustainable lifestyle memoir. He raises two dairy goats, sells his extra chicken eggs, and installs solar water heating and solar panels to generate power. Not everything he does seems misguided, over-ambitious, ignorant and self-centered, just most of it.

Hearing a straight dude talk about dates - boring. Hearing a straight dude find ways to talk about his dates in his carbon-footprint-reducing memoir instead of, oh, more than the merest mention of a vegetable garden? Mind-numbing.

Most memoirs of the new frontier of self-reliance are a family or at least a couple. Doug Fine's a modern bachelor, attached to his laptop. From that perspective, I expected that an insightful, NPR-contributing writer could tell a good-enough story with some thoughtful moments and a little humor. But it's just not. I perceived Doug to be an unaccountable egomaniac. His reflections and research seemed quite thin. His "adventure" into self-reliance was not much more than a series of compromises and consequences. His sense of community seems to begin and end at getting free used waste oil for his truck at a restaurant he doesn't seem to be a patron of, and selling his extra chicken eggs at the coop. I was never sure how his local community really benefited him, or how he benefited his community.

I definitely didn't feel inspired after reading this book. I didn't feel excited about the carbon neutral future and the possibilities it holds. I didn't feel connected to the earth and my fellow human. I didn't even especially like Doug Fine. I'm not sure what his goal was, but I don't think he reached it. I didn't enjoy the story. AND - He misquoted barbara kingsolver's animal vegetable miracle, which is just like, "????" Stop it. Just, don't. Please.
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Reading Progress

06/02/2010 page 2
0.95% "disc 2 of 4"

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ralph Oh my! I hope there is something in the world that meets her standards.

message 2: by jess (new) - rated it 1 star

jess yes. how dare I have standards like good writing, interesting storytelling, and not being a douchebag about women you date. I'm such a demanding person.

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