I think living off grid – finding your own water source and generating your own energy – is genuinely fascinating. All are outside or in between the criss-crossing lines of power, water and phone that delineate the civilized world.
Some are trying to save the planet, some live that way because it is all they can afford, some just want the freedom.This book is about that physical sense of off-grid. It’s not the comprehensive field guide that you’d need if you were planning to move into a yurt. But it is also about taking the off-grid attitude into your local park or your own back garden. But it’s also not the engaging, incisive book of journalism that rubber-neckers like me are looking for.As he tells it, Nick Rosen has been a jobbing journalist for half his life. It is part travellogue as Nick Rosen, his wife and baby take off in a camper van to visit off-gridders representing every aspect of living off-grid, both part-time or permanent. And it is also a guide to avoiding the pitfalls and finding the best solutions - and the most appealing gadgetry - for going off-grid yourself. Rosen inserts himself into every page, telling pointless anecdotes about himself, instead of making the effort to really capture his subjects: the off-gridders that he met and interviewed.
Over the course of writing his book, Rosen met perhaps 100 off-gridders – and he describes them all. It’s a classic case of ‘ResearchMotherfucker!’ Rosen did all of this research, he collected all of these interviews, and dammit, he’s gonna include every morsel of information he gathered! Who cares if some of his interviews are dull and repetitive?Ugh.Worth picking up if you’re interested in the subject, but prepare to do a lot of skim-reading.

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