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The basic ‘minimalism’ message is thought provoking and I agree with a lot of these anti-consumerist ideas, but as someone who has read a lot of the material that’s out there on this subject I’d recommend you go elsewhere for content. This book is so badly written! His writing style is just awful, full of boring, repetitive lists and strained metaphors. Every woman to appear in the book is either a nameless social victim or a honey-curled/Scandinavian/intimidatingly attractive beauty: this way of writing about women should have ended decades ago! He makes grand statements in the book along the lines of ‘no longer must we compromise our craft’. His ‘craft’ would be much improved by a close and competent edit. Some good ideas completely spoiled by the dreadful writing.
Many of the reviews I saw prior to buying this book were negative. However, I had enjoyed the Netflix documentary and decided to give the book a peruse. How bad could it be, am I right?
First up, there's the sneery mysogynistic undercurrent! Cheery Josh describes women in the nastiest, coldest ways possible; some are "blotchy", others are "boring", "with a hand-me-down face."? And it gets better! Two girls at a local bar are wearing "dull, gold wedding bands with tiny diamonds." Woww. That's right folks, in a book claiming to lambast consumerism, Josh makes a sneery judgement of other people's engagement rings! Slow clap.
You can't be poor, and be minimal. You need a small amount of stuff, but not from the Value or Basics range, oh no! You must only buy painfully expensive shirts. You must have a carefully curated, aesthetically pleasing selection of incredibly expensive things.
It seems Joshua Fields Millburn's appalling writing style escaped his all-encompassing need for minimalism. His desperate attempts to sound pseudo-intellectual result in spectacularly badly over-written prose. But remember, HE doesn't need writing lessons, because HE is a brilliant writer (and congratulates himself regarding his writing skillz numerours times within the book).
It sucked most of the way through, but wait until we get to Chapter 10! Josh and Ryan (clearly second in command, never allowed to say anything, and banished to the footnotes of this book only (yes, seriously)) moved to middle-of-nowhere Montana to write this apalling book. Both actively chose to do this, but the holier-than-thou way it's written and horrendously condescending descriptions of people they'd barely talked with, you'd think they'd been asked to move into a shanty town full of crack-dealers.
- Long, fake conversations reminiscent of the r/ThatHappened subreddit, transcripts from interviews, pages and pages of double-spaced padding.
There's barely any minimalist advice or much to be gained here. Just a long, tedious memoir about rich white people who clearly think they're better than you (and especially women!). Hated it. Will not be buying any more from these authors.
If you've already listened to the podcasts from the minimalists and read the other books you won't really learn anything new. No disrespect to the guys. They just have a limited message to pass on so for me it felt a bit repetitive even though the information is fantastic. So id recommend to new minimalists. Fun read and very easy to digest.
If you want to carry on living the life your living,if you don't want to be challenged, if you don't want to grow as an individual then this book is not for you! If, like me, you want something different from your life and you've been thinking that there's something no quite right about the world around but weren't quite sure what it is then please please read this book!! It may not change your life but it will definitely open your mind to other possibilities and that my friend might just change your life!
I've been exploring minimalism lately. I watched the documentary and was fascinated by living with less. This book felt I've lived a decade and come to know Joshua and Ryan. It's a different pace. It slowed me down and pulled me through a different time into the ocean, passed sunken ships and up over snowy peaks. It has a timeless feel like a black and white movie. I was moved.
Recently discovered Josh and Ryan’s podcast which I’m working my way through from the start, watched their documentary and love the way these two work together and their take on life and things so obviously had to try their books too! Loving this one so far and plan to read the rest one by one!