Book Review: Goodbye, Things

Goodbye, Things by Fumio Sasaki
Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism 
by Fumio Sasaki, Eriko Sugita (Translator)

2 out of 5 stars


I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I wanted to. The author tells about his personal journey becoming a minimalist, and how terrible his life was before, and how he turned his life around through tossing out most of his possessions, and that made him a happier person. Then he gives a lot of philosophy about minimalism, and tips and advice about the mental and emotional experience of becoming a minimalist.
He doesn’t give very many practical tips; It’s mostly about having a minimalist attitude.
I don’t feel like the author is a particularly credible writer. He’s not an expert. He doesn’t seem that experienced or skilled. He has not done any special training or research that I can tell. He doesn’t have anything new to say. His ideas aren’t always reasonable, or stem from causes that I don’t agree with. His story is not at all relatable to me.

The author repeats the same ideas and examples several times in different chapters. The writing is unoriginal and repetitive. I mean, a little bit of overlap of ideas is to be expected and that’s fine, but why use the same examples over and over? The author is obsessed with Steve Jobs and Apple products, and mentions them over and over, until it got annoying. Anytime that the subject was money, Bill Gates was mentioned, over and over, and I got sick of it. For a book about NOT being obsessed with money and possessions, there sure are a lot of wealthy people named. He also mentions quotes from “Fight Club” several times. I found that annoying too.

He talks about how minimalism positively affects your marriage, and yet, he’s not married and never has been.
He says that living in a large home can be “dangerous” because you are unaware of what is happening in other rooms in case of burglars or fire. That just sounds stupid. He’s not talking about a massive mansion, just any home larger than an apartment. He writes a lot of weird things like that, which either don’t make sense or don’t apply to everyone.

I just don’t “get” this author.

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