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Yoga for People Who Can't be Bothered [Paperback]

Geoff Dyer
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 Mar 2004
In his latest book, Geoff Dyer returns to his favourite subject - himself. In his very distinctive, neurotic, and quirkily humorous voice that has gained him a passionate fan base including Bryan Ferry and Steve Martin, Dyer writes about an accumulation of his experiences as a traveller, from the extraordinary Burning Man festival in the Nevada desert to getting drastically stoned in Paris; from contemplating the great Roman site Leptis Magna in Libya to the downright weirdness of decrepit Detroit. He is both confessional - entertainingly frank about trying to pick up women in Thailand - and very thoughtful - wondering how the power of a particular place such as the Buddha in Si Satchanlai, Thailand, can work on a non-believer. YOGA FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO DO IT confirms Geoff Dyer as 'among the most original and talented writers of his generation' (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus; New edition edition (18 Mar 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349116237
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349116235
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 562,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and six other nonfiction books, including But Beautiful, which was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and Out of Sheer Rage, which was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. The winner of a Lannan Literary Award, the International Centre of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award for writing on photography, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters' E. M. Forster Award, Dyer is a regular contributor to many publications in the UK and the US. He lives in London. For more information visit Geoff Dyer's official website:

Photographer: Jason Oddy

Product Description


'A freewheeling, bawdy, elegant tour of a brilliant mind' Steve Martin 'Extraordinary ... Hilariously funny ... Absolutely original ... If Hunter S. Thomson, Roland Barthes, Paul Theroux and Sylvia Plath all went on holiday together in the same body, perhaps they would come up with something like it. This is the funniest book I have read for a very long time' William Sutcliffe, Independent on Sunday 'Possibly the best living writer in Britain' DAILY TELEGRAPH

Book Description

' A screamingly funny genre-defying feat . . . sublime.' Maggie O'Farrell, Daily Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a great book - just as it was when I read it almost ten years ago, so I was surprised to see it listed under "advance release", on amazon, implying that the kindle edition in 2012 was a precursor to hard copy publication.

Unless there have been substantial changes to this edition, I'd say this is at best misleading...

However, it's still a great book, Geoff Dyer remains one of the most incisive, wry, dry humoured and generally delightful writers in the universe, and if you somehow missed this during the intervening decade, it's worth a read in any format.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I finished reading this book last night and breathed a deep sigh of relief when I got to the final page.

Dyer is clearly very erudite and his artistic,poetic,philosophical and anthropological references are no doubt well-informed (although often quite tenuous!)but my overall feeling about his musings are that of the kind of people you meet when far away from home who are pot-smoking drifters who take great pleasure in leading the lives of self-professed 'hippies' and over-philosophising everything which, after several chapters, becomes highly irritating, particularly as Dyer is so self-congratulatory about his ramblings and those of his girlfriend 'Circle' (oh please...).

Many of us can identify with the experience of getting to know oneself and finding some kind of inner peace and I too have a knowledge of the arts etc... and understand the allusions but feel the book is totally self-indulgent and has no more of a 'wow' factor than any other amateur travel journal.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A travel book about not being where you are 6 Jan 2008
This is not Geoff Dyer's best book. In fact, it's his worst, but Dyer's less good books are so much better than most other writer's best books that it deserves five stars anyway.

This only appears to be 'Geoff Dyer writes a travel book about some exotic places'. In fact, as fans of the man's work are aware, each book he writes is a chapter in a sort of ongoing autobiography. The problem with this one is that it's the most nakedly autobiographical one, travel books being what they are. The Travel Writer persona is not a mask that suits Dyer. His book on WW1, or his sort-of critical study of DH Lawrence, are more absorbing because they're about Dyer identifying with his subjects. Here, he has only himself as tourist to identify with. It also appears that he wasn't having the best time during his travels; there are strong hints at some sort of serious breakdown. This means that his customary stimulating interest in the outside world is somewhat muted - it's one of the most introspective travel books ever written.

Fortunately for us all he seems to have rallied, because he went on to write one of his best and richest books, 'The Ongoing Moment', a superb meditation on photography. In the meantime, savour this book for its melancholy, its troubled nostalgia, its longing to be somewhere else, and not least for its hilarious account of the author attempting to change out of his wet trousers in the toilet of a cafe in Amsterdam while very, very stoned - possibly the funniest two pages of English literature I have ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Funny titel left me hoping for more... 23 April 2013
By Juhule
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I ordered this book because I found the title amusing, however I was quite disappointed with the actual content. Dyer strings together a couple of short stories which have made me giggle occasionally but more often than not sent me off to sleep and I have yet to finish the entire book. The only thing that shines through continuously is the voice of a middle-aged 'writer'' who's a bit full of himself. Not my cup of tea, sorry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Are you prepared to make the journey? 29 Feb 2008
At first I found little to admire about Mr. Dyer - a self-confessed drug-taking slacker. At the same time I couldn't help but envy him - his ability to feel at home in many places across the globe, each with a girlfriend attached, and an endless supply of free time in which to enjoy them. Then there is his effortless knowledge of cultures and philosophies, in fact everything seems effortless!

Of course the author does make a contribution to the world - it is in his writing. This is candid and often amusing. It is precisely because he takes the time in any one place we get something more insightful than any travel brochure/etc.

OK, it is easy to wish he HAD tried a little harder, and philosophised a little deeper, and edited a little more. But I guess if you try to force the pace you'd loose a lot of what this book is about - an experience rather than just a sense. And, yes, it jars to step into Dyer-time, but I admit, in the end, I found it an interesting and enjoyable place to be! If you are not prepared to make the journey, then why read a travel book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A tour de force of tediousness 7 Jun 2007
Travel books are invariably about more than mere journeys - they are evocations of places (the sights, the smells); they detail strange cultures experienced and fascinating people met; often, they reveal as much about the author as they do about the journey. I'm sad to say that this book is almost entirely about the author, which might have been worth reading had he come across as an interesting, insightful or even insane character. He doesn't. This book is a woeful waste of paper; an almost endless plod through a series of fascinating destinations, none of which the author bothers to investigate for the reader. Instead he talks endlessly about himself and his tedious little adventures. There are mild nuggets of humour here and there, granted, but they are rare. Much more common are his accounts of getting wasted, and the utterly dull 'adventures' he has while under the influence. The Paris Story can be summed up in a sentence - "Met a girl in a cafe, smoked some dope, she wandered off, I was a little worried about her but fortunately she got home alright." I challenge subsequent reviewers to prove that I've missed something of epoch-defining importance in this chapter.

He comes across as the very worst type of teenage drug bore. What's more, he seems to regard himself as something of an intellectual, justifying this rather mystifying belief by repeatedly reminding the reader that he's "read a lot of W. H. Auden." Good for you old boy!

Read this book if you must. If you like it, please drop me a line and tell me what on earth I missed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars "We're in 'Oakland' Toto" OR "It's all YOU Geoff!".
Dyer is garnering quite a reputation, I cannot see why. This book is typical: self-centred, slightly gonzoid style with not so much to say, very few interesting opinions and some... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. G. Morgan
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother
The funniest thing about this book is its title. Look no further. Could not wait to reach the end - bliss.
Published 5 months ago by pennyfarthings
5.0 out of 5 stars For critics who criticise books but can't be bothered reading them
Ok, simple.
On the front cover in bold lettering, directly in centre page it categorically declares that the book you have just picked up is "Screamingly Funny by Maggie... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Sáss Alæssí
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing to do with Yoga - little to do with travel
I should note that I didn't buy this book from amazon - I bought it in the sales of HMV. Thus I relied on the traditional method of finding information about my intended purchase... Read more
Published 14 months ago by M. S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius..
This is one of my favourite travel books - Geoff Dyer is a great writer. There's something quite random about it's content which I like. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lee
4.0 out of 5 stars I guess you had to be there...
You either get him or you don't. I do.

Dyer the traveller, journalist, philosopher and comic tour-de-force is often very smarty-pants, arrogant and prone to foreign... Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by Eileen Shaw
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful
cast from a range of exotic locations, these essays/stories/episodes all feel quite separate and yet all clearly come from the same mind. Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2010 by JamieJ
5.0 out of 5 stars Not a travel book, just a book
It seems people who have read this as a travel book have been disappointed, and I can understand why. I think it does the book a gross injustice to read it as a travel book. Read more
Published on 14 Sep 2009 by Agent
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