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Boredom: A Lively History Paperback – April 17, 2012
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“Toohey has lots of exciting things to say about boredom.”—Craig Brown, The Mail on Sunday (Craig Brown The Mail on Sunday 2011-04-03)
“In Boredom: A Lively History Peter Toohey, a professor of classics, makes a strong case for boredom as a universal emotion, experienced by humans throughout history and throughout all cultures, with many practical and emotional benefits.”—Ian Sansom, The Guardian (Ian Sansom The Guardian 2011-04-23)
“…… [Toohey] writes breezily and entertainingly about one of the world’s most boring subjects: boredom itself.”—Tim Heald, The Tablet (Tim Heald The Tablet 2011-07-02)
“….a playful but scholarly study.”—Sunday Herald (Sunday Herald 2012-02-05)
“Toohey’s book is a veritable boredom bible, plus it’s got some funny bits and lots of nice pictures.”—Chris Moss, Time Out (Chris Moss Time Out 2012-03-01)
“A fun and illuminating argument for the benefits of boredom.”—Angus Clarke, The Times (Angus Clarke The Times 2012-03-24)
About the Author
Peter Toohey is a professor in the Department of Greek and Roman Studies at the University of Calgary. His previous books include Melancholy, Love and Time: Boundaries of the Self in Ancient Literature. He lives in Calgary, Canada.
Top Customer Reviews
The sections on neurology tell us, among other things, that smell sensations travel from the nose to spinal pathways and thence to the insula.
After opening the book with a 40 page chapter showing low-quality images (at least in the paperback version) of artwork depicting or implying boredom, Toohey spends the remainder of the book causing boredom. His idea of a history of boredom is to over-interpret artwork that may or may not depict boredom. He teaches us that a chin resting in the hand may depict boredom, and that a lack of people in an image implies it. When the author himself gets bored, he throws in another piece of artwork (27 in all) and spends a page or two talking about what boredom looks like.
It takes the author 181 pages of demonstrating to the reader that he's discovered the thesaurus feature of MS Word to come to the conclusion, "And so it seems that curing boredom seems to be related to managing empty time.Read more ›
Mr. Toohey's location at the University of Calgary, approximately 200 miles north of Glacier National Park (shared by the U.S. and Canada) might seem out in the boondocks and a bit boring, but that is not the case. Calgary, Alberta, is a very large metropolitan area some 50 miles east of the Canadian Rockies. The city, the university, and the professor, as the book reveals, are good to know.
Mr. Toohey has a pleasant tentative way of expressing himself. He presents the facts as he has gathered them, letting the reader form his or her own conclusions, while offering his own in a self-effacing way. And he can be subtly funny. I have never met Professor Toohey other than in his book, but I think I should like to sit in at the back of some of his classes. In a calm and straightforward way, he would most assuredly not be boring.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a study of an essential and incredibly common emotion in human beings – boredom. This book is not a physiological or psychological study of boredom but a synthesis of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Hubert Shea
Upon purchasing this book, I found it boring and put it up on Amazon to sell, which it did immediately.Published on February 11, 2014 by F. Dianne Harris
This book is fascinating. It incorporates, art, neuroscience, and humor (including almost a page of words used to describe the feeling of boredom) to guide the reader through the... Read morePublished on May 20, 2013 by Amazon Customer