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The Man Who Quit Money

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  2,631 ratings  ·  402 reviews
In 2000, Daniel Suelo left his life savings—all thirty dollars of it—in a phone booth. He has lived without money—and with a newfound sense of freedom and security—ever since. The Man Who Quit Money is an account of how one man learned to live, sanely and happily, without earning, receiving, or spending a single cent. Suelo doesn't pay taxes, or accept food stamps or welfa ...more
Paperback, 260 pages
Published March 6th 2012 by Riverhead
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 ·  2,631 ratings  ·  402 reviews

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Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is an honor to be called "Daniel's best friend" in this gripping book about him that describes how he learned to live abundantly by rejecting our cultural beliefs about money. Daniel and I were roommates at the University of Colorado 25 years ago and we have remained close ever since, living in the same tiny town in the desert. So the stories in this book are familiar and dear to me. Mark Sundeen retells Daniel Suelo's many adventures with vivid detail and incredulous mirth, letting the reade ...more
Jul 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
It is not very often I review a book, and even rarer for me to give a bad review. However, after reading the description on the back of the book at the time of purchase, and then reading to page 155 of 258, I feel quite deceived by the marketing of this book. The description leads you to believe this book will focus on Daniel Suelo's life from approximately Autumn of 2000 through now and how he has managed to get by and live without using currency. This is covered primarily in the first couple o ...more
Jul 11, 2012 rated it liked it
i want to talk about this book just as a book (not talking about the philosophy or actions of the actual Man Who Quit Money), because i want to be respectful of the author's effort without getting sidetracked into arguing (with myself!) about the Man's philosophy.

this book is a biography of sorts of a man--Daniel Suelo--who in 2000 decided to give up living on the money economy altogether. the author follows Suelo from his youth as the son of christian evangelists, through some unusual formative
Ancient Weaver
I've been following Suelo's blog and website (Moneyless World - Free World - Priceless World and Living Without Money) for years, now, and it's great to see that somebody finally wrote a book detailing more of his life's story.

Suelo is one of my heroes. He's not just a man of ideas, he's a man who's trying to live out his ideas in the real world. People might think he's crazy, but he's managed to live the way he has chosen to live for over a decade.

The Man Who Quit Money is about the journe
Mathew Gross
Jan 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I can't recommend this book highly enough. Reminiscent of Elizabeth Gilbert's "The Last American Man," it's a wonderful biography of a man who chooses to live his life on the frontiers of a simple question: What would it mean to live a life without money? While the subject is Daniel Suelo, most readers (I believe) will find the book raises broader questions about their own relationship to work, compensation, and happiness. Thoroughly entertaining and deeply philosophical, this is the type of boo ...more
Feb 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is the story of Daniel Suelo, who gave up money completely in order to live unencumbered by the false world of finance and the daily American rat race. He's done not too badly living within the parameters he has set for himself: he accepts no money and accepts only such goods and services that are freely given. Sometimes this means that he forages for food along the highways or in dumpsters. Home is frequently a contrived shelter concealed on public land.

The book is enjoyable, very readable
Oct 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone into transformative nonfiction
Shelves: non-fiction
An honorable story about a man who goes on a Waldenistic quest to be independent of money. Socially awkward as a kid, ideologically obstinate as an adult, raised within a Christian fundamentalist family, Daniel Suelo (not his real last name, by the way. His real last name is mentioned in the book), decided to let go of what felt like money shackles maybe, and live a life in caves.

At first you read thinking that financial independence is what Suelo seeks, because who doesn't want that, right? Th
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The story of Daniel Suelo will linger with you long after you finish this book. His refusal to participate in the money system - he neither works for wages nor accepts any kind of government assistance - draws frequent criticism from those who do not look deep enough. Your tax dollars are not supporting him. Nor does he pay taxes. He does not live in a homeless shelter. He does not eat in soup kitchens. He sleeps in caves and eats only what he can gather.

Religious fervor played a pivotal role i
I was real skeptical of this book when I received it as a gift. I started reading it during lulls at work because I figured it would be pretty light reading. I was correct that it is not a mind melter or anything that you have to think too hard about. But the message and the road that Suelo took to where he is today is pretty incredible.

I am thankful to Suelo for showing us all what is possible with a little bit of conviction and faith. His existence also points out the mass hypocrisy of America
Jeanette (Again)
Daniel Suelo is a dumpster-diving, cave-dwelling, money-shunning philosopher. Rock on, brother.

People who disapprove of his lifestyle claim he is a moocher, but that argument is insupportable. He gets nearly everything he uses from dumpsters, including food, clothing, the thermarest he sleeps on, and even a pair of binoculars. This is stuff that would end up in the landfill, so he's not taking anything away from others. He doesn't take advantage of government handouts such as food stamps and we
Jan 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Not what I expected from the cover. I was looking to read about the mechanics of living without money, and about what exactly Suelo's life is like. Instead I got a well-researched but pedestrian chronicle of a fundamentalist Christian's upbringing and philosophy with a side of living without money. At the end of the book, I just don't care. Not even a little bit.
Rick Pozeg
May 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely intriguing story about a man who gave it all up, to not merely sleep walk through life in a cubicle behind a computer screen. Daniel Suelo has lived a league of lives. A life that is certainly unpredictably, an adrenaline rush each day. I applaud and respect this man so much for doing what he does and for having the guts to explore the world without any money. How many people can write a story about their lives the way Suelo can? I may not give up all my life savings the way that h ...more
Dec 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book is NOT a how-to on how you can live without money. If you thought that was the case, you would be sadly mistaken.

The Man Who Quit Money is actually the true story of a man who drops out of regular society and lives in a cave in Utah. While he does in fact live without money, he still is a productive member of society - he gives his time and energy to worthy causes and friends. He rarely takes anything in return.

He lives off of food he harvests food from the area around his cave as well
Oct 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I DO NOT like Daniel Suelo. This guy is Freddy Freeloader. His quest to give up money would be a lot more admirable if he didn't let others take him out to dinner, sleep at their homes and dumpster dive for things that other people paid for. If he lived only off the land, grew his own food, hunted, made his clothing, then he could really say he's the man that lives without money. He's not.

The cover of the book that he "walked away from his life savings" was misleading. It was $30. Had he walked
Brad Kittle
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not good at book reviews, so this will be quick. This book was very interesting to me because I've been thinking a lot about money, poverty, corporate greed and US imperialism and exploitation of the 3rd world. My view on these matters has completely changed, or, in reality, I came to have a more informed view about these topics. Also, I am always interested in spiritual topics in general; so, this book was easy to read. I'm a Christian and understand some of the feelings and beliefs express ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this more interesting than inspiring - I'm just too much of a capitalist. I took issue with some of Suelo's justifications. He continually references a Bible verse about the birds of the air not storing food or worrying and that God will always provide. Well, actually...the birds of the air do in fact cache food. He also scavenges others' cast offs and accepts shelter/meals from those who offer - if everyone lived in his idealistic and lean fashion, there would be nothing to throw away a ...more
”I know it is possible to live with zero money,” Suelo declares. “Abundantly.”

In the year 2000, at the age of 39, Daniel Shellabarger placed his last thirty dollars inside a phone booth and has since been purposefully living without money. He has continued to work and volunteer for organizations he believes are beneficial though he accepts no pay. If they offer him food he accepts, but only as a gift, not as compensation. He refuses to be paid for anything he does and simply provides for others
Oct 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
(Adapted from me blog): Get your calendars out and write down today's miracle, children. I read a book and I have nothing pissy to say about it. I know, right? Shut the front door!

This is the tiresome part where I'm supposed to give a thorough overview of the book. I am crabby and lazy, so here's a half-assed version: In "The Man Who Quit Money," Mark Sundeen reconnects with this dude he used to know, Daniel Suelo, and chronicles his life as a man who has lived without money for more than a deca
Deirdre Keating
A book club pick that I'm glad I read. Maybe I should bump the stars up because I'm glad I got to know the character of Daniel as presented in this book (someone I had only known by sight in our little town) and I loved the questions the book made me think about during the week or so it took to read.

I found the second half of the book to be less about Daniel and more influenced by the author's own philosophy or perspective (on numerous things, not just money). And I can't help wishing there wer
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Wow, this book was everything I was hoping it would be and more. It's kind of like Into the Wild on steroids. It contains a nice amount of religious/spiritual insight into Daniel Suelo's life, added with a nice dash of his struggles with money and capitalism, balanced together with enough philosophy to keep everything interesting.

The book is keenly written (great job Mark Sundeen), and keeps the reader very much involved with the content. If you enjoy memoirs, religion, philosophy, financial iss
Laura Finazzo
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
The title of Mark Sundeen’s account of the revolutionary lifestyle and philosophy of Daniel Suelo was what first caught my eye. The Man Who Quit Money. At once, a concept that is entirely unfathomable but deeply alluring. A glance at the cover photograph of the man himself, Mr. Suelo, further captivated my attention. With an easy smile on his face, Buddy Holly-style glasses, and shaggy salt and pepper hair emerging from a friendly bolera hat, Daniel Suelo looks the part of the gracefully aging, ...more
Aug 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting look at a man living in America with no money. I've been reading lots of books lately about men on a quest to try wildly alternative means of living in present day America. I've been looking but haven't found any books about woman on the same path. If anyone knows of any I'd love to read it.
Stephany Wilkes
May 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I read this book in three days. I always bike or walk to work but took the train while reading this, just so I wouldn't have to put it down.

This is not just because I'm a fan of Mark Sundeen's writing for Outside or Daniel Suelo's blog, either. (I am, though, to the extent that when I saw Mark and Daniel at a reading for this book, I thanked Mark for his latest Outside article on an Iraq war vet and somehow ended up telling him where I'm from. What the hell? Let's just write that off to some ne
Oct 02, 2012 rated it liked it
The Man Who Quit Money is a well-researched, clearly written, detailed, and compelling portrait of Daniel Suelo. Mark Sundeen could have easily settled for a long magazine essay on his subject, but I’m glad he didn’t. The tangents throughout—ranging from brief exegeses on religious texts and ideas to humorous asides about life in Moab—are not only enjoyable and enlightening, but they also lay a narrative groundwork for Suelo’s development.

As to Suelo’s philosophy: this is the third book in the p
Dec 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Confession: I have gotten to page 122 of my Nook book and I can't bring myself to go on.

It is a really interesting book about a philosophical young man who broke free from his fundamentalist upbringing in college, then when on to question everything. He eventually decided to experiment with living without money, and has continued to do so for years and years.

Okay, so that's intriguing, right? This book was written by a journalist acquaintance of his, and is well written. It really is amazing all
Jan 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
In The Man Who Quit Money, Daniel Suelo (Shellabarger) is on a spiritual journey to connect with a higher power and conduct his life accordingly. Suelo's search for answers takes him from the harsh environment in Alaska to Peace Corps in Ecuador to a monastery in Thailand to the canyons of Moab, Utah.

Friend Mark Sundeen captures all of the challenges of a man who realizes that in order to lead a fulfilling life he needs to own nothing and owe no one. I appreciated the author's depiction of this
Elizabeth Tai
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I can understand why this book seems preachy to some - Daniel Suelo's lifestyle is very confronting; it goes against what many modern folks think is the definition of success: A fat bank balance, property all over the place, and a fancy title at a corporate job. At times, his ideas and opinions about modern life seem too far out and airy-fairy for the average cubicle dweller who has bills to pay; his ideals are far too removed from modern-day realities for many to grasp.

Still, Suelo asks you to
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read which went far more into religion and Dan's history with different religions than the way he manages day to day without money. Then again, I don't believe learning about dumpster diving and finding the perfect cave would fill up more than 20 pages so his religious background was a necessary thread to weave the whole tale together. It did a very good job of reminding me that there are no hard and fast rules that everyone has to live by and who am I to judge any of it? ...more
Violeta Marin
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Suelo definitely has an extraordinary life. Religious beliefs seem to dictate to him everything: his lifestyle, his disgust to the consumerist society and his refusal to adapt to it. The book does not offer a very detailed description of how Suelo manages to live without money (maybe because there is nothing extraordinary about it - he eats wild berries, food from dumpster or freely given to him), but rather it focuses on his inner thougths and religious beliefs (that are not unheard-of, too). V ...more
Lori Bamber
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I bought it because I'm always interested in the relationship that people have with money, but money plays a very small part in this biography, which is really much more than a biography. Daniel Suelo is a sensitive, spiritual and ethical man trying to live in a society that he sees as fatally flawed, driven largely by greed. Mark Sundeen's account spends little time on the practical realities of a life without money - living in a cave or under a tarp, scavenging from garbage ...more
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