This book has given me a lot of pleasure, starting from picking it up. Like other recent "Idler" books it is beautifully presented, with a high quality binding and properly stitched pages. An admirable attack on Kindle!
Then there is the huge variety of material on offer. Having been a fan of Tom H's books for a few years, it was amusing to see him justifying his transformation from true idler to someone who has had to do some serious grafting to get the "Idler academy" off the ground, and he explores this honestly in an open, rambling discussion with Bill Drumond, who seems to be an anti-idler, but can't be or he wouldn't take the time to wonder down such fascinating conversational pathways.
Loved the "Comics" - had enjoyed the Hogarths when they were exhibited a few years ago, and seeing them in an ironic context made them even more intriguing. Somehow Pete Loveday's two-pager stuck with me even more, as it gets to the heart of how we value art and craft, and what happens when we buy it solely on price.
Women contributors are very thin on the ground, which gives the book the occasional whiff of a Radio 4 gameshow. Are all Tom's other female pals too busy doing real work? Enjoyed Sophie P-W's attack on consumerism and the photomontage by Nina and Alice. What about someone else from the underground food movement? (See Kerstin Rodgers: "Supper Club")
I agree with the previous reviewer about Rimbaud. He is a talented guy, but he seems to despise his audience and I didn't want to be sworn at in capital letters. On the other hand, I think it's important to have provocative writers included. The reason so many conversations in England centre around whether to use the A30 or M4 is because we don't feel comfortable disagreeing about important things. To help us, the book includes a guide to arguing (N.M. Gwynne) which I would probably want to re-read before having a conversation with the polyamorist Matt Bullen. I found his article the dullest as well as the most repellent, but at least he is honest.
All in all, another great Idler project. Hope the next one is just as interesting, engaging and provocative.