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A curate's egg...
on 11 July 2009
... in other words, good in parts.
It's clear from the book that whatever Tom Hodgkinson has to say about work, he put in his time in putting this book together with quotations from thinkers of past times. There are quite a few good ideas in here. Unfortunately they are knitted together in a rather loose and at times incoherent manner.
I read this over a couple of months in quiet moments at work (don't tell anyone). In doing so, I got a frisson of anti-establishment excitement, and it made an amusing an distracting read. I'm not sure I could have tackled it in a more systematic manner, though - Tom's manifesto at times became a diatribe, and also somewhat repetitive.
The repeated theme was that if we just turned back the clock to the Middle Ages, everything would be dandy. Well, yes, maybe, if only a few of us did. If we all did as Tom suggests then things might not be so rosy. I found a delightful irony in the last appendix to the book, where Tom points out a number of internet resources that will aid your passage to bucolic delight - in the bright new world, who's going to be maintaining the telecoms cables, the power supplies, the server farms, building the computers...?