The Idler is a great, usually biannual, magazine. The oddments and snippits are as great as the full on articles, all vaguely round a theme, but the key is that the magazine is not for workaholics or go getters of any description. A great holiday read or something to sit by a sun lounger in the conservatory to just dip in to when you want to read something interesting, but relaxing.
'The idler' is touted as a magazine, although in size it is more of a book. Published twice a year, it is a collection of sketches, articles, reviews and stories, with laziness as a general theme. This issue features interviews with Patrick Moore (by Alex James) and Bill Odiie (by Louis Theroux) along with sketches by Adam and Joe and stories by Zodiac Mindwarp (aka Mark Manning). It really is one of the funniest and most entertaining magazines I have ever read and has caused me no end of strange looks on the tube as I sniggered away to myself. The combination of genuine wit and genius writing is unlikely to be found anywhere else and I can heartily recommend it to anyone.
I bought this quite by accident in Borders the other week. It's structured like a magazine, with lots of funny bits in the front section, with more substantial interviews and articles in the middle - it's theme is Man's Ruin, with lots of (perhaps too much) articles examining boozing including an incredibly moving account of a father and son who were involved in the temperance movement. The writers list reads like a a who's who of the british underground (Adam and Joe, Louis Theroux, Will Self, Bill Drummond, Tony White, Matthew De Abaitua) and its good to see them all gathered in one place. Although the boozing stuff wears a bit thin, that's always been kind of the point with the Idler - it's self-indulgent in a world where everything else feels restrained by fears of what the public might or might not like. it's excessive, goes far too far, and is a force for good. if they had a proper publisher, they'd be dangerous
I found my copy of 'The Idler' on the seat of the tube. I pity the poor man that left it there and sincerely hope he manged to buy another because it's the best thing I've read for years. It contains everything the descerning reader could possibly desire. The hilarious and irreverent front section is a joy to read and an excellent guide to modern day living. It also contains the best commentary on the life of Van Gogh that I have ever read. The interviews are all fascinating and the short stories are little short of genius. I particularly like 'The visit of Val Koran', written by one of the actors in TV's League of Gentlemen. I like it so much that I'm going to subscribe and join the Grand High Order of Idlers. The future is laid back.
I once took out a regular subscription for this at a bookshop, but they continually failed to get it in for me, so I cancelled the sub as it was getting too much like hard work. Idler ideal for the newly retired.