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Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto Paperback – 17 Dec 2002


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avalon Travel Publishing (17 Dec 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569245134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569245132
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 14 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 67,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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IMAGINE YOU'RE A loner whose ideal home would be a cottage on the beach, miles from the nearest neighbor. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 139 people found the following review helpful By shpadoinkle VINE VOICE on 10 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
At the high school I attended in the North of England, being called a 'loner' was a popular and powerful insult. It didn't mean 'She enjoys being alone alot', it meant 'She has no friends', and it would be chanted at you if you were EVER caught doing anything alone. I did have a (small) group of friends, but knew that if I was ever seperated from the pack for long, I risked being branded a 'loner', and possibly a witch, and end up being dunked in a pond to see if I sank. Probably the witch thing wouldn't have happened, but it was the North of England in the 90s - you never knew.

Anyway, about the book. If you have ever felt anti-social or 'faulty', just because you like being alone, I urge you to buy this book. It really makes you appreciate just how much we are still in an age of 'mob mentality', and how much pressure there is for everyone to be part of this 'mob'(as Rufus calls them). Loners really are treated like weirdos, freaks, and even worse, as potentially dangerous.

Because Loners are a misunderstood minority, the super sociable majority will always criticize, and try to 'cure' them. In the same way fundamentalist Christians try to 'cure' homosexuality. But 'The Loners' Manifesto' argues that we no longer need to hang around in tribes and clans, and spend every waking moment with others for the good of the community - 'The time when barns needed raising is over.' Rufus points out that being able to spend lots of time alone is one of the great products of thousands of years of civilization.

This book really validates the Loner, and argues so brilliantly about how great it is to be a Loner (and it is), that I feel better about myself just having read it. Not only that, it is extremely well-written, and often very funny...
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful By C. Barton on 24 May 2007
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I bought this book a few months ago and have read it several times. At last we have someone speaking up for loners. Real loners I mean. I'm slightly different to Anneli in that I have to live alone. I would hate to be married, but enjoy the odd social occasion with people I really care about. I just love to shut the door after visitors have left.

This book made me so relieved to be able to reclaim the L word. Now I tell people when another criminal is mislabelled what the word really means. Thanks Anneli!
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93 of 99 people found the following review helpful By Minkle MacTinkle on 24 May 2007
Format: Paperback
The problem with this book is that inevitably it is more likely to be read by loners/introverts. With this in mind is it any wonder that the people who have read it don't feel any need to tell others about it. Being a loner myself I would recommend it to other loners who want to be understood or (more importantly) who want to understand themselves. This book is not arrogant or antisocial it just justifies the need for people to be by themselves. I think this manifesto is very relevant in this post-modern age of face to face feedback, plebeian politics, Richard & Judy cozy couch chattering and the general view that you have to have an opinion and you have to share it. this is the one occasion where I hope my review is the only one, that would be fitting.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Anna on 17 Feb 2009
Format: Paperback
I prefer to spend time alone; always have, and it's just a matter of feeling more comfortable that way, so I am absolutely baffled as to why it's something that needs to have battle lines be drawn... which is what Rufus does.

She makes too many side-swipes at people who are sociable. I can't imagine being that way - truth is, wouldn't *want* to be that way - but I don't think people who are are somehow inferior, or vapid; and I really resent the implication that to be insular is to be bitter, and to loathe those Other People who are crazy enough to enjoy spending time with *more* Other People.

If Rufus believes that being a loner is acceptable, why the need to put down others who are different? It's counter-productive, and ultimately reflects badly on those of us who simply prefer to be alone.

On the plus side, Party of One gathers together a staggering amount of multi-cultural information supporting the validity of being a loner, and there's no doubt that if you feel ashamed of being the way you are, Rufus will provide ample support, and allay your fears.

It's just the "cornered animal" aspect that really ruined it for me. To choose to be alone is every bit as normal, acceptable and healthy as it is to choose to be surrounded by people, and we needn't insult and denigrate others in order to inflate and validate our own position.

I can appreciate that this is a clarion call; Rufus believes she is pushing *back* against a sort of cultural/social "persecution" of those who like to be alone, and that's fine. Media connotations aside, it's not something I've ever encountered, and I don't care enough about the word "loner" to lay claim to it. Some do, and that's honestly fine. But the same ends can be achieved without the reverse snobbery and scorn.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Ruthie_M on 20 Mar 2010
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A revelationary read for anyone who has ever been misunderstood or considered slightly odd for expressing their deep-seated need for space and generally not wishing to spend every waking hour in the company of others, this book provides reassurance that (paradoxically) we are not alone and that such behaviour isn't even simply a lifestyle choice; it is simply the way we are and that the rest of society needs to just get over it.
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