anneli rufus
loners unite! (well, sort of.)
party of one
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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."

From 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)
Reviewer: Brandita

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.

Reader comments:

I’ve never thought of myself as a loner, but am now wondering if maybe I am. I fit the description more closely than I’d 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 I’m 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 I’m dreading the imposition on my time, and already planning my early exit.

It was only in visiting your web site that I realized I’ve read (and sincerely enjoyed) one of your books, Magnificent Corpses. I liked it a lot, and I’m sure I’ll also enjoy Party of One. It sounds like an excellent book toread while eating sushi by myself.

I empathize with many of the themes. Many people can’t understand why I nearly always travel alone. It’s because I don’t want the distraction of other Westerners to divert me from enjoying the locale.

One friend of mine has massive problems because he can’t 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!

2009 anneli rufus