Colin is a pretentious jerk at the beginning of the book-- and somewhere about halfway through I realized that was the point.
For the folks out there cColin is a pretentious jerk at the beginning of the book-- and somewhere about halfway through I realized that was the point.
For the folks out there complaining that this isn't a how-to manual and that he spends far too much time navel-gazing, sorry but this is exactly what I wanted from this book. I've spent dozens of hours pouring over guides, tips, tricks, and the likes of Bea Johnson's Zero Waste Home, and Colin brings something to the table that is completely lacking in the second generation of voluntary simplicity and zero waste folks: some freakin' humanity. I've cut my trash down to a quart a month, I don't own a car while living in California, and I'm always struggling to do more. It was refreshing and heartening to find that Colin went through the exact same withdrawals, realizations, and struggled with the same crap that I do along this journey. If you have a holier-than-thou attitude toward this book, then you are completely missing the point of Eco-activism....more
Great book. I've been approaching this way of living for a few years now, but this has really taken me to the next level, especially as I'm currently Great book. I've been approaching this way of living for a few years now, but this has really taken me to the next level, especially as I'm currently in the process of moving into my SO's and my first long-term apartment together.
I really don't understand half of the bad reviews on here. Seriously, you're mad because Kondo didn't tell you what to do with your medication or whatever? Or that she's "crazy" because she's animist?
Yes, living as though your inanimate possessions have feelings and a consciousness is called animism, folks, and it's alive and well in Japan, where the author comes from. If you're a westerner and expect all self-help books to cater to you thematically and culturally, get over yourself. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up was written with a completely different audience in mind, and guess what, you're not part of that audience. Have a problem with animistic ways of doing and thinking about things? Go read all the thousands of other self-help books out there that don't do that.
I for one, am an animist and I GREATLY appreciated such a perspective on personal possessions and ownership. Every thing in our homes ought to be respected, and if you can't do that, then maybe you shouldn't be owning that thing.
To summarize, this book IS for people who:
- are animists or animist-leaning and want to develop a healthier relationship to the things they own - want to work towards minimalism in a non-judgmental way - like having rigid structures in place for cleaning and organizing
This book is NOT for people who:
- have no imagination - thinks everyone else in the world acts like a westerner or should - think foreign cultures are "crazy" - need to be micromanaged and can't make their own decisions about what should be gotten rid of - are not interested in minimalism - go through organization methods like diet fads...more
So many people complaining about the characters, the ending, the whatever. My understanding is that there is only one character in this book, and all So many people complaining about the characters, the ending, the whatever. My understanding is that there is only one character in this book, and all the people moving about their stories, wondering, talking, doing or not doing, are all just faces of that one character, the only one that matters: the war itself.
The end didn't irritate me, it walked in time to the very real marching tune of emotional exhaustion, belligerent meaninglessness, and smaller, hometown violence that has been claiming every corner of America for over a decade. War has no closure - why should Scranton give us any? If he did, the book would have been one big lie.
I wanted to knock off a star for the second half of the book, which was somehow a little less powerful than the first. Like Wilson, like Matt, I wanted something, anything, to break the tension, but it never came. But I think that may have been the point, too. I experience the thing, and then what? Do I want it to pat me on the back and tell me I did a job well done? This is not one of those books. It makes you uneasy - "who decides things?" - and it leaves you there in the dust to sort it out on your own....more