In Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto, Anneli Rufus shows us, with brilliant honesty and style, the good and bad to being a Loner. Strangely enough (and it makes perfect sense to me) it seems that the only bad points to being a Loner are brought about by those who prefer to be sociable, and the media with it's misuse of the word in reporting.
In this book, Anneli brings to light so many things which should be obvious to us and yet often pass unnoticed. I hadn't given much thought to the media using the word Loner to define just about everyone who commits a crime but spend a few minutes searching online and the word is there almost constantly. Scarier still is the fact that when you research these 'Loners' they are often anything but. Corrections are rarely made though and so the stigma remains.
The author strives to bring clarity to the definition of a Loner and rescue this word from it's negative connotations, and she succeeds. Her explanations are simple to understand and she provides a great deal for us to think about. I especially liked the section on childhood in which she explores the effects of making children (and parents) suffer playdates rather than letting children play alone and use their imaginations more.
I love that the author brings the message to us that it's okay to be different, it's okay to be a Loner, and that it isn't freakish or weird. I would have loved to have read this as a teen when people couldn't understand my preference for remaining with the same 2 friends and burying my head in books a lot.
This book is one of those which will appeal to everyone. Loner or not, young or old this is a gem of a read. It is sprinkled throughout with many wonderful facts and I have to admit, I think I was born in the wrong era. My dream job was apparently available long ago and paid 50 pounds a year for life, for someone to live in an underground cell and be supplied with as many books as they desired.
The most wonderful aspect I think, of this book though, would have to be the many shining examples of how Loners have changed the world. The works of Anne Rice, the brilliance of Albert Einstein, H.P Lovecraft, Michelangelo, Isaac Newton, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Beatrix Potter, Joe DiMaggio and many, many more.
A great read. Anneli Rufus is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.
Author's website: http://www.annelirufus.com/