From the SF Weekly,
March 26, 2003:
"A wonderful validation for solo fliers, from the self-proclaimed to the reluctant.... As an avowed loner, I was immediately
drawn to Party of One.... Throughout my reading, I experienced numerous moments of recognition and kinship ... an
entertaining and informative read. The author has done her research, and she ties myriad threads together seamlessly
(from political economist Thorstein Veblen to baseball superstar Barry Bonds ... weaving them tighter with humor."
From the San Francisco Chronicle, March 16, 2003:
"... [an] important ... wholly unprecedented new book ... Party of One belongs on that short shelf of books that revise how we
think about human behavior."
Kirkus Reviews, January 1, 2003:
Rufus discusses with brio the rewards of the sequestered life and the
bothers imposed by gregarious outsiders in various sociological contexts.
In film, lone heroes like Shane are overtaken by lone killers like Norman
Bates.... Organized religion is a problem (it's organized, after
all), but the Internet is a stroke of luck.... "Is socializing all
that great?" Rufus asks. "Riots are socializing." Proceeding
on the ... assumption that loners are universally reviled, she provides
a founding manifesto for an organization of self-contained people. (There
would, naturally, be no meetings.) ... A clever and spirited defense.
Amazon reader reviews:
Loner isn't a Bad Word Anymore!!!! (January 10, 2003)
Reviewer: A reader from Auburn, AL USA
Much like the other reviewer, I've looked and looked for a book that would
speak to my soul -- now I've found it. The things I've never quite been
able to put into words -- my skepticism about organized religion, for
example -- she's found the expression for it.
This book can serve two purposes, I think. It is good for the loner --
even though we don't mind feeling alone, it helps to be able to shove
this under someone else's nose and say, see, I'm not crazy. Really, I'm
not. But it also serves to explain those strange folks who are happy to
be by themselves to the rest of the world. Not all loners are child molesters
or potential axe murderers.
This book demonstrates in clear, direct statements the benefits of having
loners in society. We actually do deliver "the goods" if you
will. We provide the imagination that makes the rest of the world work
This is a brilliant work -- one that rewards its readers again and again.
Profound Contribution to Sociological Thought (January 8, 2003)
Many thanks to Anneli Rufus for finally making me feel, for once, normal
in that I enjoy spending time alone. This book is an incredible contribution
to the study of human personality and behavior--but what shocks me most
is how long it took anyone to say express these ideas! Rufus explores
the common stereotypes of loners as misfits, criminals, and perverts,
and debunks them by showing the valuable contributions loners have made
to the creative arts, science, and technology. She challenges the assumption
that it takes two to make a life event meaningful, and brings hope to
those of us who may feel alone in our loner status. An important and enjoyable
read for everyone, whether you consider yourself a loner or not!
Loners Unite! (January 5, 2003)
Reviewer: amazonshopper17 from Portland OR
Sometimes you wait your whole life to find a book that speaks directly
to your heart. Party of One is that book for me! This world is
full of loners...people who aren't shy, who aren't lonely, who just like
to be by themselves...and never before has anyone even thought of them
as a personality type worth discussing, much less defending! The sub-title
says it all, this really is a manifesto for the loners of the world. Forget
about Freud, forget about Jung, forget about the enneagram, forget about
all the ways society has tried to classify and identify different types
of people. This author has really hit the nail on the head. The world
is divided into loners and "nonloners" (as she calls everyone
else). And there's more loners than you think! Almost everyone's got a
loner inside them too.
I've never heard of this author before but she made me laugh, she made
me sigh, and she made me feel like I had a place in this world. Very highly
recommended for loners, "nonloners," and anyone else who thinks
they know what they're talking about when it comes to human beings.
Ive never thought of myself as a loner, but am now wondering if maybe I am. I fit the description more closely than Id imagined; for starters, I live alone in the city with two cats, which has to be some kind of classic sign for a loner type.
Thank you for the line, Alone we feel most normal.
No one believes me, but Im a total loner. My ideal weekend is by myself, going to a bookstore, taking my dog to the park, renting a movie, fixing a lovely little dinner for one, watching said movie, reading before bed and sleeping as late as I want to. Although I enthusiastically accept invitations to parties they always sound good at the time by Saturday Im dreading the imposition on my time, and already planning my early exit.
It was only in visiting your web site that I realized Ive read (and sincerely enjoyed) one of your books, Magnificent Corpses. I liked it a lot, and Im sure Ill also enjoy Party of One. It sounds like an excellent book to read while eating sushi by myself.
I empathize with many of the themes. Many people cant understand why I
nearly always travel alone. Its because I dont want the distraction of
other Westerners to divert me from enjoying the locale.
One friend of mine has massive problems because he cant enjoy doing
anything alone. He is in the middle of a divorce and needs to start
enjoying things independently, but the concept of taking a hotel room by
himself is too scary, apparently! I really loved being in the Sahara by
myself whether wandering in the sands or in my tiny hotel room,
enjoying the silence to stare out at the great red mass out there!
You are right about it being odd to dine by oneself in a restaurant. In
fact, it is regarded as so strange in some cultures, that I find people
coming and joining me at my table. This is actually sometimes fun. At other times it is positively annoying!