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Farewell, My Subaru: An Epic Adventure in Local Livingby Doug Fine
"...Fine is an amiable and self-deprecating storyteller in the mold of, say, Douglas Adams....If you're a fan of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy-style humor — and also looking to find out how to raise your own livestock to feed your ice-cream fetish — Farewell may prove a vital tool." Lydia Millet, Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
Synopses & Reviews
Like many Americans, Doug Fine enjoys his creature comforts, but he also knows full well they keep him addicted to oil. So he wonders: Is it possible to keep his Netflix and his car, his Wi-Fi and his subwoofers, and still reduce his carbon footprint?
In an attempt to find out, Fine up and moves to a remote ranch in New Mexico, where he brazenly vows to grow his own food, use sunlight to power his world, and drive on restaurant grease. Never mind that he's never raised so much as a chicken or a bean. Or that he has no mechanical or electrical skills.
Whether installing Japanese solar panels, defending the goats he found on Craigslist against coyotes, or co-opting waste oil from the local Chinese restaurant to try and fill the new "veggie oil" tank in his ROAT (short for Ridiculously Oversized American Truck), Fine's extraordinary undertaking makes one thing clear: It ain't easy being green. In fact, his journey uncovers a slew of surprising facts about alternative energy, organic and locally grown food, and climate change.
Both a hilarious romp and an inspiring call to action, Farewell, My Subaru makes a profound statement about trading today's instant gratifications for a deeper, more enduring kind of satisfaction.
"In this memoir of mishaps and lessons learned, Fine shares his yearlong trek to turn his newly bought New Mexico ranch into a green and sustainable environment with as little carbon fuel as possible. From using two very lovable goats for his organic food production to transitioning into a biofuel engine for his truck and even installing solar panels, Fine balances the troubling decisions Americans must consider while also revealing a host of unexpected benefits. He advocates that a gradual process, despite having to deal with moments of hypocrisy, is essential for it to work. Fine's wry narration blends well with his often humorous and sarcastic tone. The energy and enthusiasm of his reading indicates that Fine not only relished the events but is happy to share his experience with listeners. Simultaneous release with the Viking hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 7)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"This is Green Acres for the smart set — a witty and educational look at sustainable living. Buy it, read it, compost it." A. J. Jacobs, author of The Year of Living Biblically
"[An] antic and engaging account of one man's giant step toward a smaller carbon footprint....Changing the way we live is not a single decision but a learning process, and Farewell, My Subaru makes clear that process can be a challenge — and a hoot." St. Petersburg Times
"The details of Doug Fine's experiment in green living are great fun — but more important is the spirit, the dawning understanding that living in connection to something more tangible than a computer mouse is what we were built for. It'll make you want to move!" Bill McKibben, author of Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
"Fine's funny struggle to become a better world citizen will entertain both the eco-aware, and those who doze peacefully in their home's formaldehyde fumes." Bookpage
NPR's Rural Guy vows to give up modern conveniences to move to a ranch in New Mexico where he'll grown all his own food — never mind that he has no practical experience or mechanical skills. This is both a hilarious account and an inspiring call to action for anyone who wants to live greener.
About the Author
DOUG FINE, a contributor to NPR and Public Radio International, has reported from remote perches in Burma, Rwanda, Laos, Guatemala, and Tajikistan. He is the author of Not Really an Alaskan Mountain Man, and lives in southern New Mexico.
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