Advance Reader Copy Reviews.

The Anatomy of Escape Book Launch – 9th July

There’s just one week to go until the launch of The Anatomy of Escape! A few copies are out there though as advance reader copies, and some reviews have been trickling in since I’ve been here in San Augustin, Colombia (pictured). Here are some extracts from some satisfied readers:

 

Having read the “Consumption Cleanse”, I was interested in Mike Blue’s “The Anatomy of Escape” and decided to give it a read and before I reached the halfway mark, I was already recommending it to a friend.

This book was part autobiographical and part instructional. His three-legged stool theory should hit home for most readers. It does me. It’s hard to describe this book in a way that’s meaningful but as someone who continually questions the consumption/consumer decisions I make, Mr Blue’s decision to leave so much of it behind struck home for me. While I could never imagine living the vagabond life he seems to so readily embrace, I’m firmly appreciative of many of the life lessons that I picked up from “The Anatomy of Escape” and there are a few that stuck out for me. The idea that we should “selfishly want a lead a life well lived.” The concept that “As we become more monetarily wealthy, we seem to insulate ourselves from others and fortify our assets, and thus shield our lives against them.”

If you are looking for an escape or searching for a way to find meaning, then give this book a read. It’s thought-provoking, intelligent, a bit whimsical, a little sad, but most importantly, it’s about ingenuity and continuing forward.

 

The Anatomy of Escape: An Unconventional Adventure, by Michael Blue, is exactly what the title suggests. Blue, a successful man in the business world, educated, obviously talented considering his success, finds that the cog-wheel-existence of mediocrity, the dream-life offered in his home country of Australia, just isn’t cutting it for him. Tired of the obesity of society, the over-rated consumerism and love-affair with materialism, Blue begins a journey to find a new life. After many attempts, each time returning home to find his footing again and refuel his resources, the author heads out on what will become a successful escape. One might think that the author’s story is about escapism, but in fact, it is not. His search for a minimalistic lifestyle, where happiness is based on having enough, not excess, is quite eye-opening. Between the chapters of storytelling his adventures through the jungles of Sumatra and all the wonderful people, and excitement he encounters along the way, Blue does a nice job of weaving in his assessment of the true values in life, how to reduce the destruction of our planet’s natural resources, how to live happily minus the obesity of lust for material things, and possibly, most importantly, just letting go and living one’s dream. A fun book, but one with a relevant message too.

 

The challenge to “minimalize” every aspect of our lives is definitely a big part of the authors purpose for this book. With much research and thought the author drives home the reason for minimalizing and the story of his “escape” was an interesting and entertaining catalyst for this purpose. Certainly, made me think and perhaps act on some of his suggestions. Good read!

 

Michael Blue says of himself that he has earned a “black belt in escape” – and he certainly has, after trying many times and succeeding only a couple of years ago. Now, his escape from our consumer society is permanent, he lives on a different plane from you and me, leading a “minimalist” life where only the essential needs are met – you could say Blue has embraced an alternative sustainable lifestyle, and in this book, he tells you why and how he did it. And he leaves you instructions on how you can do it too.

Not that I am about to, this is not my life choice. But I thoroughly enjoyed the book, especially his “adventures” in escape. The opening chapter in particular is a masterpiece: It is deeply moving, all about the loss of a child and the feeling of helplessness it engenders. Michael Blue is a talented wordsmith: You cannot not be moved. And he forces you to ask yourself some questions about your own life – always the mark of a good writer.

Yet, given the lifestyle Michael Blue has embraced (living in a bus, drifting across Sumatra), I wouldn’t be surprised if some would describe him as a “mobile hobo”. But that doesn’t capture it at all. Apart from being deeply reductive, what Blue is concerned about are all the Big Questions – questions that have haunted humanity since the beginning of History. Why are we here? How can we best live to achieve happiness without destroying our world? What does happiness even mean? These are fundamental concerns – not something your average hobo usually talks about.

You could argue that he is wrong to assume that the system is so flawed that it can’t be changed from the inside, that the only solution is to leave it behind and adopt an alternative lifestyle. But he is not alone in thinking like this: Thoreau famously felt the same way, as his masterpiece, Walden, that describes the 2 years, 2 months and 2 days he lived in the woods, amply shows.

In a sense, Michael Blue is a modern Thoreau, he doesn’t retreat in the woods but roams the planet, drifting across Sumatra in Rosie the bus. His writing is remarkable, and I am looking forward to his next book.

 

Enjoyed looking at life through his eyes…made me consider what could have been if I made a couple of different choices. His writing is very descriptive and found myself laughing out loud. I was entertained through most of the book, it was a good read!

 

‘The Anatomy of Escape’ has consumed me these past few weeks. It is part incredible adventure story and part deep life lessons.

We, as individuals and as a global community are in desperate need of the wake-up call and real-life possibilities for a different way of living our lives, working, and interacting with this life of ours (ourselves, each other, and this lovely little planet).

I admit I have a crush on the values, the frugal minimalism, the “good life” as defined in these pages. I love the mathematical equations to make it all so simple and clear (even though math has never really been my language).

How Michael is choosing to live his life has awakened a dormant desire for less… for simplicity, for space, and the kind of freedom you can’t buy into but you can buy out of by making a series of choices about how you live your life and see yourself on this planet.

 

Look out for information on links ON THE 9TH OF JULY

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon in paperback and eBook

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