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I’d Rather Not by Robert Skinner

Sometimes a book provides us with an antidote we didn’t know we needed. Like a fresh spring day after a long cold winter.

I’d Rather Not by Robert Skinner is this book. This slim volume of personal essays – the perfect size for taking to the local park – is a hilarious episodic romp of Skinner’s quest for a better life, and the roadblocks life throws at him.

Broke, homeless, and single, Skinner lands back in Australia as the country is heading into COVID lockdown. But, he doesn’t let this stomp on his big dreams, as he picks himself up and seeks out his next adventure: From starting a literary magazine with a dodgy printer; trying to decipher government bureaucracy; facing bouts of homelessness, and disastrous love affairs, the author’s cheery disposition never wanes.

His outlook renders him utterly charming, and so immensely likeable, you can’t help but laugh and admire his childlike aspirations. There are some cracker lines imbued with melancholy wisdom: “I was sleeping in what might reasonably be described as a ditch, though I tried not to think of it in those terms for morale reasons ...”.

Skinner may be laying in the gutter, but he is looking at the stars!



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