An intelligent slugabed, bemoaning the modern world's love affair
with productivity, presents 24 meditations on the art of being
idle, one for each hour of the day. Hodgkinson, co-publisher of the
British magazine The Idler, begins at 8 a.m. with a discussion of
the alarm clock and the horrors of waking up in general. (Here, he
makes the first of many references to Victorian idler and humorist
Jerome K. Jerome, whose essay "On Being Idle" appeared in 1889.)
Other topics the author contemplates as the day goes by are
"Sleeping In" (John Lennon and Yoko Ono's week in bed), "The
Ramble," "The First Drink of the Day" and so on. "The Death of
Lunch" is bemoaned. "Smoking" is celebrated. "The Pub" is praised.
"Time for Tea" cites a lovely 16th-century Chinese poem that lists
occasions on which to drink England's favorite beverage: "Before a
bright window and a clean desk. / With charming friends and slender
concubines." Each piece addresses the delights of a particular
aspect of doing nothing, its literary and social precedents, and
the regrettable reasons for its fall from favor. Capitalism and the
Industrial Revolution both come in for censure as chief villains;
Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed and E.P. Thompson's The
Making of the English Working Class are cited, among countless
others. So many others, in fact, that it is nearly impossible to
believe the author is a true adherent of his creed. A great amount
of (gasp) work must have gone in to researching this paean to the
pleasures of doing little; the bibliography alone comprises nearly
150 items. Indeed, with all of these literary citations and closely
argued points, How to be Idle becomes rather heavy going after
three or four sections. No matter: no idler worth his salt will
read it in a single sitting-there's too much fishing, tea drinking
and napping to be done. Charming, as all idlers should be. (Kirkus
How to be Idle is Tom Hodgkinson's brilliant guide to reclaiming
your right to be idle 'Well written, funny and with a scholarly
knowledge of the literature of laziness, it is both a book to be
enjoyed at leisure and to change lives' Sunday Times As Oscar Wilde
said, doing nothing is hard work. A burn-out work ethic has most of
us in its thrall, and the idlers of this world have the odds
stacked against them. But here, at last, is a book that can help.
Hodgkinson presents us with a laid-back argument for a new contract
between routine and chaos, an argument for experiencing life to the
full and living in the moment. Ranging across a host of issues that
affect the modern idler: -Sleep -Work -Pleasure and hedonism
-Relationships -Bohemian living -Revolution Drawing on the writings
of such well-known apologists for idleness as Oscar Wilde, Robert
Louis Stevenson and Nietzsche, his message is clear: take control
of your life and reclaim your right to be idle.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!