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"One red paperclip" by Kyle Macdonald, a book review

Updated on June 19, 2013
One red paperclip
One red paperclip

You may have all heard this story, at some point.
The year was 2005. The man? Kyle Macdonald.
Kyle Macdonald was out of job, and the bills needed to get paid.
He wanted to find a way to make a living for himself, not having to rely on his girlfriend.

So he tried trading what he had, for something better, and therefore his little red paperclip went on craigslist.
On craigslist he swapped it for a fish pen. Then for a door knob, then a camping stove, and then a Honda generator.

One step at a time he swapped his way to bigger and better things, and when he started getting in the news, things started getting heated because everyone wanted to swap things with the "paperclip"-guy.

After 6 months he had swapped up to a snowmobile.
1 year later he ended up with a house, in Canada province Saskatchewan

And it was all because of one little red paperclip.

Book Review

This book took me a little longer than expected to finish.
It wasn't that long, but the writing was a bit clumsy and had too many irrelevant details.
I constantly found myself trying to skip sentences in the book, because I wanted to get on with the story and I felt like a lot of the stuff in the book didn't make any difference to the story.

I liked the story behind the book, but the book itself wasn't that interesting.
The story in itself is great and very amazing. It is a fun thought that you can actually trade from one paperclip to an entire house in just a year, with a little luck and "a bit" of marketing.

The thing is, somehow the book about the “one red paperclip” just makes it seem so easy to “just trade up from a paperclip to a house”.
Life is not that easy. Getting a house for free isn't either. While doing this, Kyle took a lot of trips all over the country/continent to trade with people. Most people wouldn't have the finance to do stuff like that, and therefore wouldn't be able to just do as Kyle Macdonald.

Also it seems a little boring. Kyle Macdonald is not an author (well at least he wasn't before), and I did not like the book that much.
I feel like this book should have just been an article.

It was an okay read, but I won’t be reading it again

Recommended for: People who know Kyle Macdonald in real life
Partly recommended for: Fans of inspiring stories of "how to do life in different ways"
Not recommended for: Most other people. Especially people who read a lot, and therefore have a critics eye.


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