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Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto Paperback – 7 Jan 2003

4.3 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (7 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569245134
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569245132
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 55,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Book Description

From a writer with talent to burn-a grand defence of the cultural figure we love to revile-and from whom we all stand to gain


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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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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A good read
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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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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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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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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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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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