Top critical review
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OK, but Loses a Star in the Canadian-to-US Exchange Rate
on February 6, 2004
The biggest liability this book has for many still-working American readers is the fact that Americans _must_ work in order to have health insurance. Canada has some sort of 'safety net' free healthcare, making the idea of getting out of the corporate rat race (Whoops! That's offensive to rats - read the book :-) much more of a potential reality for a very wide audience of Canadian readers.
However, as the author points out in an exercise in the book, it is wrong to just come up with one negative comment on an idea and leave it at that. The book's lack of acknowledgement that Americans must work to get health insurance is a substantial flaw, but does not negate the basic points: people are sacrificing leisure for work, in order to buy bigger houses, cars, etc. Or put in a familiar way: 'People buy things they can't afford, to impress people they don't like.' The author is justifiably incedulous to this M.O. that so much of society embraces without question. The author understandably speaks to this issue often, but unfortunately does get on a soapbox at times, making sometimes repetitive arguements.
Note, though, the above comments don't apply for retirees who have retired but find that they end up going back to work because they don't have a clue what to do with themselves. The portions of the book that speak to this issue are the ones that truly shine, most notably his 'thought map' for building a life of leisure, based on different categories of leisure activities.
I would definitely recommend this book to Americans at or near retirement age; still-working Americans might be better off talking this book out of the library. Maybe the book "Your Money or Your Life," recommended by other reviewers, addresses the health insurance issue for us poor Yanks, which, unfortunately, makes the idea of quitting one's dead-end job a non-starter for most Americans.