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135 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly brilliant book!
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...
Published on 10 May 2008 by shpadoinkle

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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique experience
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...
Published on 24 May 2007 by Minkle MacTinkle


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135 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly brilliant book!, 10 May 2008
By 
shpadoinkle - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
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... much of the last few days has been spent absorbed in this book, chortling happily to myself.

Contempt for 'non-loners' is quite strong in `The Loners' Manifesto', which struck me as at bit confrontational in the beginning. But now I just think it's funny, and tongue-in-cheek (like the title of the book). And besides, it's about time we fought back a bit. But obviously not together in any way. Separately like this, on the internet.

This is not a self-help book. It is a learned and entertaining collection of essays - each one about a different topic pertaining to Loners - how society percieves them, how they are portrayed, what they do, how they dress etc. Here are the chapter headings:

'village people' - Community
'listen to us' - Popular culture
'do you feel lucky?' - Film
'marlboro country' - Advertising
'i have to go now' - Friendship
'just catch me' - Love and Sex
'power surge' - Technology
'the diving bell' - Art
'singular glamour' - Literature
'jesus, mary and jennifer lopez' - Religion
'new disorder' - Sanity
'the l-word' - Crime
'bizarre as i wanna be' - Eccentricity
'the sleeve said' - Clothes
'don't go there' - Environment
'absolutely totally alone' - Solo Adventurers
'smiling bandits' - Childhood

Even if you don't buy this book, I urge to you keep an eye out for the word 'loner' in the press. You'll find that even though a loner is actually just someone who CHOOSES to be alone alot, the press will often refer to criminals as 'loners', even when they are not. A quick search on the BBC and I found two articles with the word 'loner' in the headline. Both people were clearly mentally deranged (a more likely reason for them having no friends), and one was a member of a gun club, and the Territorial Army - so not a loner then at all! Interestingly, Rufus suggests that the press is so quick to pounce on the word loner, because it appeals to society's desire to distance itself from criminals -in other words, a murderer was not a member of the army or 'one of us', he was of the other, he was a monster...A LONER.

So recognise the propaganda when you see it, and be proud of being a Loner! And amuse yourself by watching all the non-loners stick together like paperclips on a magnet, and do idiotic stuff together. I just wish I'd read this book when I was a teenager - I think it would've taken a lot of the pressure off.

NB - I'm just a jokin' about sociable-types. They aren't idiots - just different. Take the ranting in this book with a pinch of salt (as the author intends I'm sure) cos loners hating the super-sociable ones is just as bad as the other way around.
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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!, 24 May 2007
By 
C. Barton "fuzzgin" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
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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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A unique experience, 24 May 2007
By 
Minkle MacTinkle (A rock at the edge of the known world) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (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
3.0 out of 5 stars Unnecessarily abrasive, 17 Feb. 2009
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loners of the World - Don't Unite!, 1 Jan. 2012
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
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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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explains so much., 20 Mar. 2010
By 
Ruthie_M (Yorkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in a minority, 11 Feb. 2013
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
If, like me, you prefer your own company, then this will make you feel okay in a society that villifies the loner. I read it in one quick read and released a huge sigh of relief and pleasure. Lots of examples of who and what loners are - the richness and variety of individuals - and how they live. Gives strength if you often feel undervalued, criticised, swamped by the ceaseless wave of compliance pressure and the over-valuing of socialising and groups by capitalist society. Breaks the taboo of being a loner. Loners have a rich and full life thank you very much and are connected in ways the mass do not comprehend.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Us VS Them, 12 Jan. 2012
By 
J. Farrow (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
I honestly didn't finish this book because it really got under my skin. The author seems bitterly focused on preaching a very 'Us VS Them' mentality, or as described in the book; 'Loners VS Non Loners'. The author spends most of the book ranting about how Loners are perceived as weirdos and are unfairly judged and characterised by most of the modern world, especially the media. Rather than celebrating what makes loners great, the author continually rants and raves about how the modern media demonizes us as serial killers, rapists, necrophiliacs, high school shooters and mad bombers, and how non loners ultimately 'fear us'. It seems to me that the author is just doing the same in reverse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, 26 Mar. 2012
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
What a marvellous book. Insightful, interesting and well-written. The perfect antidote to too much company. Recommended for those who like to listen to their own thoughts instead of the often inane proclamations of others. Also recommended for those who shun self-encounter or label it as 'selfish'.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, 18 Jan. 2011
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This review is from: Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto (Paperback)
I had high hopes of this book, but found it rather frustrating to read. It's a bit bitter and twisted, taking a belligerent stance of 'loners' vs 'non-loners'. I find it more constructive to celebrate the joys of lonerism and think of myself as 'part of' society rather than 'alien to' it, regardless of how society chooses to perceive ME.
The author seems hostile to the non-loner world (there, see, she's got me at it now). The chapter on religion betrayed a lack of appreciation as to the religious solitary's usual perception of themselves as integrated into the religious world, seeing themselves as having a vital intercessory role. The religious solitary has taken lonerdom beyond mere self-indulgent antisocialism, and transformed it into something of inestimable value to the WHOLE world. The writer of this book seems to miss that point.
A British reader will find the American cultural references meaningless and tiresome. These, and the numerous anecdotes, can be skimmed.
This is not a serious book, though some people may find it entertaining and affirming. I found it a bit of a curate's egg, but even then, not good value for money. However, it is worth reading it before or after reading Eve Baker's 'Pathways in Solitude' (available through the Fellowship of Solitaries), just so you can appreciate the difference.
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Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto
Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli S. Rufus (Paperback - 17 Dec. 2002)
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