Book Review: The Way Home - Mark Boyle

Summary:

The Way Home - Tales from a life without Technology by Mark Boyle. (Read 24 July 2020). Enjoyable and thought-provoking book, by Mark Boyle, documenting a year living on his Irish smallholding without technology. His writing is much improved since his earlier book about living without money for a year.

I liked several things about the writing. He is not too dogmatic about which technology he uses - he helps an elderly neighbour to top-up his smartphone, cycles everywhere and muses about the technology required to produce the pencil he writes with. He also documents the effects the experiment has on his personal life and relationships. He also avoids portraying his withdrawal from modern society in the manner of Thoreau’s Walden, who lived 2 miles from town and popped home to have his mum wash his clothes. Boyle is instead gathering nettles to eat and collecting horse poo.

Obviously, as someone who likes to grow food, and forage, and build things myself, I’m quite sympathetic to many of his opinions. I liked the fact that he is prepared to disagree with some of his previous opinions and that the book comes across as a thoughtful description of his way of living rather than a rant about the evils of the modern world.