93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Buy this and prevent a heart attack, 9 April 2007
Considering Tom Hodgkinson is editor of the Idler and places being idle as a life aim he's not exactly workshy when it comes to research for this book. All around us we see stressed out workers competing for the best parking space, snatching at every opportunity and consuming with a vigour that would put most drug addicts to shame - Hodgkinson, with a broad sword that takes in medieval merrymaking and our 21st century tax burden (higher now than in fuedal times according to the author) puts forward an almost unarguable point that we all need to slow down, consume less, laugh more and stop striving for the next big thing. As most people deep down know this to be true it took "How to Be Free" for me to finally stop and, like being gently slapped in the face with the fish of happiness and quit rushing around like an idiot. It's rare for books to actually stop you in your tracks (The Corporation - Bakan, Stupid White Men - Moore, The Culture of Fear - Glassner, How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World - Wheen) but I was the road rage, drag the dog around the park, five meetings a day, make more money screaming bundle of stress that somehow defines modern man. How to Be Free points to an alternative way of life that drags the absurdity of this modern capitalist lifestyle out into the bright sunshine and stabs it repeatedly with his observations, facts and comparisons. Buy this book or alternatively, on Tom Hodgkinsons advice, buy a ukulele .. or was it a banjo. Buy two, one for yourself and one for someone you know who screams at cyclists.