Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving review

About a month ago here Michael Ham wrote an article about how he came to write this book, the story behind its creation and development. He then sent me two copies of it, one of which I took to Spain with me last week and read.

Traditional, real shaving is a popular movement in the Western world that has really taken off. Suppliers are having difficulty keeping up with demand and the online activity is increasing steadily. Against this background the Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving is very important because it is the only book that is at the centre of what is going on.

Michael has been very clever in that the book is not designed to compete with the online resources, instead he has written a book that complements them. The main problem with online shaving resources is that they are mainly forums with a very poor bandwidth of valuable content and woefully bad organisation of that content. This book is the exact opposite with a huge concentration of valuable information that is presented in a well organised manner.

The Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving really conveys the authors love and enthusiasm for the subject. He seems to be genuinely in awe that the daily tedium that is shaving using a multibladed system razor can be totally transformed into a joyful and luxurious daily ceremony.

The book is primarily aimed at the neophyte. It is the absolutely perfect gift for someone who is new to traditional shaving. More than that it is also ideal for those poor people who are still stuck with multibladed system razors. It shows them that there is a far better way. Whilst the book may be targeted at the beginner it has an outstanding characteristic that makes it valuable for anyone who is interested in the subject which is that it is so rich in resources. It tells you where to find a whole wealth of shaving information. Bruce on Shaving is listed, for instance.

Whilst Michael is American and so the book is US centric, it still has great value for readers elsewhere, this is because of the global nature of retail in shaving goods and the global nature of the online shaving communities.

I have said repeatedly in this blog that real, traditional shaving is very personalised. Products and methods that work for you may not work for the next man. This is part of the joy of what we do: we exercise infinite choice. So when Michael gives advice it is very good and well founded advice but it is not necessarily always what I would do. But this is obviously to be expected and the book gives the reader a very solid grounding from which to develop and experiment.

Overall The Leisureguy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving serves a very valuable purpose, not only is it a great resource for every traditional shaver, it is also a great tool for evangelising and proselytising what we do. For converting poor multibladed system shavers over from the dark side. Lend or give a copy to your friends and they will thank you.

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2 Comments


  1. Leisureguy has put together a nice book for the new or experienced DE shaver. His web/blog spot while containing some nice articles on shaving is littered with numerous articles many United States citizens may find offensive and distasteful. I did.


  2. @Timothy

    Are ideas distasteful? Sometimes, sure, but in societies as large as the US or UK a broad range of opinions are not only inevitable, but useful, since they tend to average-out.
    As an American aware of the current domestic political climate I think I understand how you feel, but please understand that even though you and I may inhabit the opposite ends of this continuum, nothing is to be gained by retreating to separate sound chambers where we are only exposed to ideas that reinforce our professed beliefs.

    Personally, I was crestfallen when, after enjoying many articles on this site, I clicked on Bruce on Politics, only to see a post about Soya Keaveney and how the rest of us are forced to pay, etc., etc. Still, I enjoy reading his articles on shaving, regardless of his world view; the stubble just doesn’t care. Conversely, reading Leisureguy’s posts gives me hope for the future of mankind and the the world in general.

    What’s really cool, though, is that Bruce is able to link to Leisureguy’s posts on shaving, and vice versa. It’s a good thing that we can share ideas about the things that are important to us, be they shaving, scuba diving, or redheads. Maybe it’s also good if some opposing views creep into view on occassion, if only peripherally.

    Now, you never wrote that you would stay away from Leisureguy’s shaving articles because of his other posts, only that you found some of those posts to be offensive and distasteful, so please don’t take this as an attack on you or your views. Lately, though, I’ve started to fret about how American society seems to be fragmenting along partisan lines, leaving-out those of use whose ideas don’t fit into the bi-polar political system that exists today. Your reaction to Leisureguy’s blog seems eerily similar to my reaction to other blogs.

    Maybe politics are like shaving, there really is no one right way to do it.

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