Book Review - One Red Paperclip by Kyle Macdonald

Travel and reading are my passions, so books like this are a winner every time with me. This is a fascinating story about a man who is on the verge of losing his home and girlfriend, when he decides to trade from 'One Red Paperclip' to a house, in a year, based on a game he attempted to play when he was a child. He travels around Canada and America, making trades and quickly becomes famous in the meantime. The game is called 'bigger and better' and you basically take one item (in this case the red paperclip) and contiually trade it up for something bigger and better.

I won't spoil the story by telling you all of the trades, but some of them are very impressive, whilst others seem, on the surface, quite dissappointing. I think my favourite trade was one of the earlier ones when he trades a generator for 'one instant party', which is essentially a beer keg, a neon Bud sign and an I.O.U for some beer.

However, it isn't the trades that make this book so interesting, it's how quickly it becomes a story that interests the world over - culminating in a quite amusing story of Kyle MacDonald taking over a row of public phone boxes in an American airport whilst he takes part in various radio interviews across the world!

It's a great story because he sticks to his guns about his reasons for doing it. As he becomes more famous, he gets lots of offers from big companies offering to give him a house if he wears their t-shirt when he's on TV and so on. But he only ever makes genuine trades with the people who have not only the best item to trade but the ones who have the best reason for wanting to trade.

Also, although it is usually found in the travel book section, it isn't really about travelling. True, he does cross Canada and America a few times, but he only ever makes trades in places that he is going anyway for work or personal travel.

It's a great read, although not as funny as some of the other similar books out there which I was expecting it to be. It is easy to read, as each trade has it's own chapter. You can also keep up-to-date with what Kyle is doing on his website, which I googled. He is actually currently looking for a trade on the new house - if you think you have anything he might want!


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