When we were all young, or maybe even more recently than that, either your parent or even your boss, may have said in a fit of frustration, something like “Are you going to lie there all day???”; or a similar put down in response to a perceived lack of motivation on your part. Then, in 2019 everything changed. The whole world had to take a proverbial chunk of downtime thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, and as a result people’s view on the rat race and where they were in it, also changed. Instead of running to catch a bus or train and working all the hours in the day to meet a deadline or please the boss, we all reassessed. Many, like me, didn’t return to the office, we enjoyed the new relaxed routine of working from home, and some of us took it all the way to the point of retiring. Some followed their dreams and took on jobs, that gave them more pleasure than financial reward. This month’s second book review is a handy self-help guide for those of you who haven’t quite got the hang of doing nothing and getting on in life. Its “Shirk, Rest and Play – The Ultimate Slackers Bible” by Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison and published Unbound ( www.unbound.com ) in September.
Shirk, Rest and Play, is a comprehensive illustrated handbook for wannabe dropouts, dreamers, drifters and gadabouts. The authors along with their menagerie of wastrel acquaintances, set out to offer the reader the answer to finding the beauty in the ordinary, along with lessons in tactical slacking and detailed advice on how to achieve more by doing less.
That’s it in a nutshell, my work here is done…
No, seriously, the best way to describe this book is, if you are old enough to remember the BBC tv program The Young Ones, then this is the modern version of it. The likes of Vyvyan, Neill , Rick and Mike. Being replaced by “The Dulwich Raider” (Andrew Grumbridge), “Spider”, “Roxy” and “Dirty South” (Vincent Raison), whom like their predecessors will guide you on the best way to follow the path of least resistance and the one less travelled, from birth to death, preferably with a sleeping bag or from the couch.
This isn’t a cover to cover read. But like most self-help books, it’s a swimming pool, there to be dipped into. I found it hilarious and a fantastic way to imagine, what life would be like if you could just say ‘Fuck it’ and do nothing. It’s also great to step away from the stresses of everyday life and have a good laugh. Especially with the shortening of the days and the onset of SAD.
The book is a great release and spirit raiser, some of the suggestions inside may even be useful. Above all its an enjoyable read from the publishing house that allows books that are a little outside the box, and that other more mainstream publishers would shy away from, to see the light of day thanks to crowd funding.
This is English authors Andrew Grumbridge and Vincent Raison’s second book, their first was Today South London, Tomorrow South London (2018). The al-travel book came about because of the success of a lifestyle blog called The Deserter which the authors founded in 2014 ( www.deserter.co.uk ), to pass on their learnings so that future generations could avoid the evils of hard work, ambition and sobriety. They have also gone onto create a deserter podcast too. In the spare time they are a musician and poet, who both live in South London.
With the “C” word just around the corner, and the advertising assault set to be ramped up from Tuesday, this delightful book is an excellent idea for the office or family Chris kindle. An ideal gift for that person, who you have absolutely no idea what to buy. If they don’t get a chuckle out of this, then they are a lost cause.
Reviewed by Adrian Murphy
This book review is part of a Random Things Blog Tour. To see what the other reviewers thought of it, visit their blogs listed below. Then, if you get a copy or someone gives you one for an upcoming birthday or Crimbo present. Comeback and tell us what you thought, we’d really appreciate the feedback.