I finally got my revenge against all those mediocre writers of modern fiction. I read a nonfiction book!
Doing Nothing: A History of Loafers, Loungers, Slackers, and Bums in America by Tom Lutz
I found this book in a display at the local library. The theme of the display, if you can believe it, was the Seven Deadly Sins. This book was one of the representatives of Sloth, my personal favorite of the sins. How could I resist a book on a topic so near and dear to me?
I really enjoyed the first chapter in which the author discusses his own contradictory feelings about work and the anger he experienced when he felt that his son, out of high school but not yet employed, was slacking. I think we all have mixed feelings about work, both as it pertains to ourselves and others, and it’s good to know we’re not alone in that. I also liked the parts about famous slackers, not all of whom are traditionally viewed as slackers, such as Ben Franklin, Samuel Johnson, Henry David Thoreau, and Jack Kerouac.
The book’s big failing is that it is just a little too long and covers a few too many slackers. My eyes started to glaze over at points, and I admittedly skipped some paragraphs here and there. That is one of the good things about nonfiction. You can often jump over parts without missing anything vital to the rest of the book.
With a little extra focus, Doing Nothing would have been 100% fun. As it is, I would estimate it at roughly 80% fun. For maximum reading enjoyment, just be a slacker and skip the boring 20%.