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

Farewell, My Subaru by Doug Fine
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's review
Jul 28, 2008

did not like it
bookshelves: environment, homesteading
Recommended for: absolutely no one
Read in July, 2008

I wanted to like the book. I did. Having given up my own car and adopted a simpler lifestyle, I was curious to see how that sort of tale would translate to the page to address the general populace. What I got was the stereotypical "idealistic liberal do-gooder gets back-to-earth and makes an ass of himself because he didn't think first" story that so many people like to mock. I mean, come on -- you want to buy a place in the country where you can be self-sufficient in growing your food, and you choose drought-ridden New Mexico??? And honestly, the repeated comments about trying to find a similarly-minded bedmate at the same time got old FAST. It takes a lot more than good intentions to make such a change, and he could have done a little homework first. (Oh, and those statistical tidbits scattered throughout the narrative, and the occasional recipe? Didn't help. AT ALL.)

Thanks for nothing, Doug Fine. Make the rest of us who are trying to live more lightly look ridiculous, why don't you?
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Sari Lynn Thanks for the warning, Jen - you've saved me from reading this book. It's been on my WishList on PaperBackSwap, until two minutes ago, when I deleted it after reading your thoughts. It sounded like it might be interesting, but now I know better!

Brigid Your commentary was right on, I would love to have written a similar review if I had the time.

message 3: by Ann (new) - rated it 1 star

Ann I'm currently reading this book and, like you, feeling disappointed. None of my Goodreads friends have read it, and in looking for other reviews, I came across yours. I just had to comment, because you really hit the nail on the head. At this point, I'm only continuing with the book because I want to see something really disastrous happen to him...terrible, I know, but he's annoying me to death.
My biggest complaint with this book is its subtitle: "An Epic Adventure in Local Living." I hate that his idea seems to be that local living is so difficult. I wish more people would realize how simple gardening, canning, and shopping at the farmers' market can be. Little changes, over time, can make a big difference, and they can be much more successful than some of his big undertakings.
Anyway, just wanted to rant about the book to someone who had read it. Sorry to be the odd stranger posting on your review!

Bonnie I agree. To top it off, he gets some facts wrong (snakes aren't deaf, dammit), and constantly bitches about the government- all levels, from his assessor on up, while not mentioning anything about participating in it until the afterword (which is a half-assed how-to that doesn't hold a candle to even a Wikipedia disambiguation, and would have been 10x better were it an 'and then I participated in some fashion and this is what I learned').

Shanna wholeheartedly agree with you, thanks for saving me the time of writing it down.

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