Book Review: Party of One

This month flew by & we have wrapped up this months book in Book Babes.

For December, we read Party of One: The Loners' Manifesto by Anneli Rufus

This one was a tough read. Not due to complexity & not so much due to length but because I didn't feel engaged with it. 

I actually didn't. finish. it. 

I put up the good fight & made it to about Chapter 12 & do intend to finish it but I just couldn't do it before we closed December's reading.

I will say, the second half of the book picked up for me but I was just not into this one & each chapter I read, I found myself thinking, "When is this Chapter going to eeeeeeeeend."

The tone of writing came off as "loners are better, loners have it right & anything outside of that is dependent, not as educated, not as special & somehow below us loners" & although I identify heavily as a loner, I do not identify with that mentality.  

So, instead of the usual review (since I didn't finish it or enjoy it very much) I thought I'd share what I DID like.

There were definitely some good quotes, points & wisdom buried in here.

No chapter break down this time, just the bits & pieces I think are worth taking from this book. Even the books we don't enjoy can teach us something or disrupt our perceptions. While I didn't find this book something to recommend to everyone, there were some interesting bits that made me think.

Chapter 10-12 were really the highlight of the book for me. That's where I was most engaged & excited to read. 

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Her thoughts/points on religion & crime & how loners fit into that are intriguing. Especially how she breaks down WHY we tend to highlight that criminals might be loners:

"Like the bogeyman and the witches & ogres in fairy tales, the criminal-as-loner serves as a social function. It set the criminal apart from ordinary people, from the masses, designating him as a freak, a demon, and an alien. This ties up matters neatly. It explains things. No "normal" person - one with friends and family, who says hello to his neighbors, who is recognizable as one of the mainstream tribe - would rape a toddler or feed his murdered wife's corpse to a wood chipper... Declaring criminals loners - especially the sickest criminals - is a form of primitive self-defense. It sets crime & the criminal mind safely outside the familiar realm of the majority."

She gives a few examples of criminals mislabeled as loners in order to calm minds of the masses but have been proven NOT to be loners. This is why, I believe, people tend to have the "it couldn't happen to me mentality". When something terrible happens, we give it a set of parameters. In this case, that the majority of criminals are outcasts or loners. So we look around at our family, friends, neighbors, community members & decide "she's not a loner, he's not an outcast, they'd NEVER do that. That wouldn't happen here. 

That was my favorite chapter of the book. It was the most thought provoking & perspective changing chapter & I loved it. It took this review from a 1 to a 2.

This one is short & sweet because I didn't finish the book but I will hang onto this one and revisit another time, see if my mind changes. Have you read a book & highlighted things that spoke to you just to reread it some time later & relate to or highlight OTHER portions of the book? I'm thinking that might be the relationship I have with this book. Maybe I'll pick it up in 2 years and LOVE it. 


We rate this a 2/5 4 stars4 stars  
Upon completing the review for this book, it dawned on me that this might be better received by a non-loner. Maybe I didn't enjoy it much because it's full of notions that I already know. I didn't learn much, didn't engage much but that might hold the opposite for someone who doesn't understand loners but wants to. I don't think this is a MUST read but there were some interesting stories buried in here.

Make sure to join Book Babes & follow along as we start our February book, voting is open NOW (closes on the 15th)

If you loved this book, I want to hear from you! Let me know in the comments what you took from this book & how my perspective might be off.

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1 comment

  • Good review. Thanks for the honesty that you didn’t actually read it all. Some books are just that way.

    Rebecca Verkerk

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