Required Reading: The Man Who Quit Money

Live free or die trying

Feb 28, 2012
Outside Magazine
Man Who Quit Money

Outside correspondent Mark Sundeen's account of Daniel Suelo's life without money    Photo: Courtesy of Penguin Group USA

On a snowy night in 2000, Daniel Suelo, a 39-year-old resident of Moab, Utah, left his last $30 in a phone booth. It was a grand gesture to free himself from what he called “the servitude of money.” Among the many disquieting surprises of The Man Who Quit Money (Riverhead, $15), Outside correspondent Mark Sundeen’s account of Suelo’s life, is how well it worked out. For more than a decade, Suelo has dumpster-dived, couch-surfed, and scavenged America’s excess. And this being 21st-century America, he has blogged about it. Sundeen deftly portrays him as a likable, oddly sage guy (albeit with bad teeth) who finds happiness in radical simplicity. Does he make us want to ditch our Volvos and Völkls? Not entirely, but Suelo personifies a critique that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt remorse on the treadmill of getting and spending.