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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: 20.6 x 14 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,523 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

136 of 141 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
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Todd Cutler on 1 Jan. 2012
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A brilliant polemic in defence of the Loner, the Solitary, who may not be a psycho serial killer, as the mass media (significant term) would have it. The Loner may instead, as Rufus argues, have far greater mental health and security than those who need to be surrounded by others all the time, always on the phone, always talking, because they fear . . . what? Silence? The Self?
One very accurate description of the Solitary is that he/she makes rich use of solitude. They are not sitting there staring at the telly, waiting for their partner to come home and entertain hem. They are busy: painting, playing the piano, day-dreaming . . .
If this describes you, and yet you still feel obscurely guilty, nagged or pressurized by others into being something different, then you should really read this book.

Being a Loner doesn't signify an incapacity for friendship or intimacy, as Rufus makes clear, but a deliberate choice to have a lot of solitude. I'm a perfectly successful creative myself, well into my forties, with very close, old friendships that will always endure. But I STILL find myself trotting obediently along to noisy drinks parties which I know I won't enjoy. Well NO MORE! Thank you so much, Author. This is a terrific, liberating book in every way.
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32 of 34 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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