Stuck: Why We Can't (or Won't) Move On

Overview


"The brilliant mind behind Party of One examines the striking social trend: people are stuck and they want to change, but..." (San Francisco Chronicle)

In this book, Anneli Rufus identifies an intriguing aspect of our culture: Many of us are stuck. Be it in the wrong relationship, career, or town, or just with bad habits we can't seem to quit, we even say we want to make a change, but . . . Merging interviews, personal anecdotes, and cultural criticism, Stuck is a wise and ...

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Overview


"The brilliant mind behind Party of One examines the striking social trend: people are stuck and they want to change, but..." (San Francisco Chronicle)

In this book, Anneli Rufus identifies an intriguing aspect of our culture: Many of us are stuck. Be it in the wrong relationship, career, or town, or just with bad habits we can't seem to quit, we even say we want to make a change, but . . . Merging interviews, personal anecdotes, and cultural criticism, Stuck is a wise and passionate exploration of the dreams we hold dearest for ourselves-and the road to actually achieving them.

When faced with the possibility of change, our minds can play tricks on us. We tell ourselves: I can't make it. Or, It's not worth the effort. How is it that in a time of unprecedented freedom and opportunity, so many of us feel utterly powerless and unsure? In this book, Rufus exposes a complex network of causes for our immobilization- from fear and denial to powerful messages in popular culture or mass media that conspire to convince us that we're helpless in the face of our cravings. But there can be a light at the end of the tunnel: Rufus also tells the stories of people who have managed to become unstuck and of others who, after much reflection, have decided that where they are is best. After all, she writes, "what looks to you like a rut, others might say is true absorption in a topic, a relation­ship, a career, a pursuit, a place. What looks to you like bore­dom, others call commitment. And even contentment."

A brilliant glimpse into what truly motivates-or doesn't motivate-us, Stuck will inspire you to take a look at yourself in an entirely new light.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Rufus (Party of One) investigates why in a time when "no population anywhere has ever been so free... somehow we all feel stuck," sorting various feelings of paralysis into six major categories: we are stuck in the past, stuck in the present, creatures of habit, addicted to trauma, co-dependent and unwilling to find job fulfillment. Almost immediately, the author becomes hopelessly tangled in an entire nation's neuroses that won't conform to neat classifications that are meant to accommodate afflictions as diverse as shellshock, obesity, procrastination, infidelity and being constantly late. Rufus undermines her own points often, because she provides scant evidence to buttress her frequent lament that things just aren't the way they used to be. "It's as if a generation has lost faith in going out to seek their fortunes," she contends, but provides no data to prove that more adult children are living with their parents than in previous generations. The book combines an uneasy mixture of pop psychology and glib analysis. While Rufus's premise is provocative, it remains mired in poor presentation and groundless assertions. (Dec.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585426676
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/26/2008
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author


Anneli Rufus is the critically acclaimed author of four nonfiction books including The Scavengers' Manifesto and Party of One: A Loner's Manifesto. An award-winning journalist and poet, she has written for dozens of publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and Salon. She lives in Berkeley, California.
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 6 of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2013

    KARKAT TO SOL

    Did you get locked out? Go to the book below this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not what I thought.

    The title lends itself to a bit of deception. It should have been titled Stories about people who are stuck. Whatever insight might be found from reading this book could easily have been in a Pamphlet or small article.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    Stuck Just Missed the Mark

    I enjoyed the authors previous work "Party of One" which talked a great deal about being alone and its historical examples. This work falls short of inspiring. It has many stories of people being stuck, but seems to be a lot more opinion than giving support to back up those opinions. The organization was often difficult to follow. Although an easy read, the content just doesn't do much to motivate or inform. Some of the anecdotes were somewhat interesting. Hopefully the author will stay more focused for the next work.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

    Return to Sender

    Rambling, unfocused diatribe. I made it through one chapter and then sort of skimmed some of the others .. looks like she assembled all of her notes on social ills but couldn't come up with a point. Except maybe that we're all a mess. Whoever edited this book really messed up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2009

    Don't get "stuck" paying for this book - go to Starbuck's instead!

    All I can say is that I thought the picture on the front cover was ingenious...other than that, I found the writing style difficult to follow and the material extremely uninformative. In my opinion, the author rambled way too much about issues that meant nothing to the subject matter.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    This is no Malcolm Gladwell

    Attracted by the title, which sounded like something Malcolm Gladwell might've chosen, I expected a sociological analysis of why people get into a rut and can't find a way back out. Instead, the book is part personal tell-all, part attempted hip cynicism, and part rambling monologue. The writing style would suit itself to fiction, but this book left me no better informed and no more thoughtful about anything other than why I'd wasted my time finishing it. Spend your hard-earned dollars elsewhere.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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