The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen

The Man Who Quit Money

Photo Credit: Goodreads

The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen is a book that I heard about when listening on day to NPR.  Mark was being interviewed about his nonfiction book about Daniel Suelo, a man who abandoned all of his money in 2000 and has been living off the land ever since.

Daniel Suelo embarked on a spiritual, religious, and ethical journey trying to discover who he was and who he wanted to be.  His story is incredibly interesting.  Daniel makes his home in caves and finds the majority of his food from foraging in the wild and through dumpster diving.  Before you “ew” his dumpster treats, get this: most of the food he finds is fully packaged, from grocery store dumpsters, with that day’s expiration dates on them.

Okay, I wouldn’t want to eat ANY dumpster food, no matter how sealed, but it could be way worse, right?

The Man Who Quit Money gave background into Daniel’s current life and the things that make him who he is.  There was also a lot of background into the culture of the times, which added to the story.  At times, though, I wanted more Daniel and less background.

I think Daniel’s story is incredible.  He decided to unchain himself from the monetary system completely.  It’s not for me, but it does remind me that I can do more to help those in need, and maybe refrain from judging some lifestyles, like Daniel’s.

After all, maybe that homeless person on the street is down on his luck. . . or maybe he is choosing to live that way.  Either way, a little kindness to him won’t hurt.

What good did have you done, or will do, today?

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21 thoughts on “The Man Who Quit Money by Mark Sundeen

    • That’s so cool, Shannon! I’m adding it to my list! You’d prob love The Man Who Quit Money, then! It’s not the way I would live my life, but it does remind me that I can be more helpful to those who choose to live unconventionally.

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  1. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” (Thoreau, Walden ch 2).

    He’s more Thoreau than Thoreau was himself! Even Thoreau “cheated” on his own ideals during his stay at Walden. This sounds interesting, thanks!

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    • Agreed, Pamela! Not my kind of life, but it did make me look at “homeless” people in a different way. Maybe some people chose that life, or were forced into it, but what does it hurt for me to help them a little more with food?

      It’s definitely an interesting book!

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  2. I have to read this. When I was a younger, more adventurous person, I dreamed of doing stuff like this, though I don’t think I thought through the dumpster part of things! And, in my aged wisdom, I think, “People die this way.” See Into the Wild by John Krakauer, though I’m sure he was living more remotely.

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    • Totally agree! I could never do that! But Daniel Suelo talks about how it works for him, and he doesn’t pressure others to be part of his life. It’s just a nice read about someone doing something I’d never do but I give him credit for doing.

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  3. Hmmm… I don’t think this would resonate with me for the same reasons I didn’t care for The Alchemist. WHY take giant risks and make your life all crazy when you already have a flock of sheep?! I’m far too pragmatic to enjoy this sort of thing, but more power to that guy. Even though I think he’s nuts.

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    • Well, this would be 100% different because I didn’t enjoy The Alchemist either. This one is nonfiction, about a real man and his real decisions. Plus, he’s not making his life crazy – he’s working to simplify it. He lives in a gorgeous cave surrounded by Earth’s beauty and enjoys his solitude. And he’s not trying to teach any sort of lesson, the author is just sharing Daniel’s story. But really it’s about simplifying, living without possessions.

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  4. Sounds like an amazing book!! Many homeless people choose to live the way they live and for various reasons. Some of them, like Daniel, I admire for their courage and in a way wanting to be better. I am definitely putting this on my list to read. Thanks for a great review 🙂

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  5. When I first saw this title in my feeder (picture only), I thought, “Oh, Rebecca would like that.” Then I remembered that we talked about it and felt silly. But anyway, NPR books are usually pretty good and I really want to read this one. It sounds so interesting! And goodness knows I am a little too into money right now!

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