No running water, no car, no electricity or any of the things it powers: the internet, phone, washing machine, radio or light bulb. Just a wooden cabin, on a smallholding, by the edge of a stand of spruce. In The Way Home Mayk Boyle documents a year of living entirely without modern technology.
In winter 2017, [Boyle] unplugged from modernity...The result is this reflective, lyrical account, which is refreshingly free of doctrinaire haranguing or guilt-tripping. Rather, he eloquently tracks his experiences, while gently questioning the lives we all take for granted ... This genuine, warm-hearted analysis of the dysfunctions of our current world offers a surprisingly alluring alternative to our current malaise – if only we dared adopt it.
The Way Home is a thoughtful study, often wise but always questioning and seeking. With frequent references to Edward Abbey, John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Robert Macfarlane, Wendell Berry, Henry David Thoreau and others, Boyle places himself in a grand tradition of intellectual naturalists and thinkers ... Boyle has a sense of humor as well as a deep sensitivity to the needs of people as well as the planet and its ecosystems ... His writing style is pensive and unhurried ... The result is a deeply appealing examination of nearly all aspects of modern human life, by a thorough, careful, concerned narrator.
It is largely through this triggering of self-consideration that The Way Home becomes a more vibrant and undeniably interesting book. While Boyle is at the centre of the story, he tends to occupy the narrator’s role, presenting his personal world in a more inviting way – it is never purely about him. Adding to this is the short-form journal entry style in which Boyle writes, which has the potential to become repetitive (especially where certain acts or settings are returned to several times), but manages to avoid this, arguably thanks to Boyle’s own steady development of thoughts and actions. Through these more provocative elements, The Way Home constitutes not so much a presentation of a lifestyle as it does a highly involving guided tour of one.