Writing in yesterday's New York Times, Alexandra Jacobs reviews the new book No Impact Man, a companion volume to the documentary film of the same name, which follows New Yorker Colin Beavan and his family as they give up electricity, motorized vehicles, elevators, toilet paper, and other such horrors of the modern world. It's not exactly a flattering review, though Jacobs is obviously sympathetic to the book's politics, asserting that "Beavan's project is imbued with undeniable virtue."
For a more critical review, check out Reason.tv's Dan Hayes on the film version:
One expects to find a movie full of challenging moments and reflection about all the conveniences we take for granted in our modern world. But instead, the filmmakers focus on how people perceive the project and whether or not the Beavans should have a second child. The challenges they face, though, are minor and inconsequential: They have a fly infestation in their compost bin, Beavan has some internal questions when he first turns off the electricity, and Michelle decides that it's simply too hard to use a planter pot as a refrigerator. But for the most part, the difficulties created by their lifestyle changes are romanticized away.