Released on 12 February 2015.

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The Utopia Experiment

3.38 based on 397 ratings & 53 reviews on


As read on BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.

Imagine you have survived an apocalypse. Civilization as you knew it is no more. What will life be like and how will you cope?

In 2006, Dylan Evans set out to answer these questions. He left his job in a high-tech robotics lab, moved to the Scottish Highlands and founded a community called The Utopia Experiment. There, together with an eclectic assortment of volunteers, he tried to live out a scenario of global collapse, free from modern technology and comforts.

Within a year, Evans found himself detained in a psychiatric hospital, shattered and depressed, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. In The Utopia Experiment he tells his own extraordinary story: his frenzied early enthusiasm for this unusual project, the many challenges of post-apocalyptic living, his descent into madness and his gradual recovery. In the process, he learns some hard lessons about himself and about life, and comes to see the modern world he abandoned in a new light.

'A gripping, slow-motion car crash. You can't take your eyes off it' Julian Baggini, Financial Times

'It radiates an intense intelligence and a candour that is never less than touching and, sometimes, downright heartrending' Daily Mail

'Extraordinary . . . both frightening and compelling' GQ

In the media

His observations are just wonderful. As well as being interesting and informative, he manages to inject humour into his writing
Press & Journal
Evans examines how what appeared to be rational thinking took him down the path to madness . . . The issues that put Evans on the road to Utopia confront us all . . . In this perceptive and self-critical memoir, which took him some seven years to write, Evans asks why utopias so often turn into dystopias and why, despite that, people so often invest their hopes in them
Saturday Paper (Australia)
A book for anyone who fancies their chances in the apocalypse
Living North