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Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It Paperback – January 6, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Dyer's ninth book (Out of Sheer Rage; Paris Trance), a collection of 11 personal essays covering his travels around the globe, begins in New Orleans when Dyer is in his late 20s and concludes in the Nevada desert some 20 years later. In between he touches ground in destinations such as Bali and Amsterdam, usually seeking a "peak experience." More often than not, he is disappointed in his quest, but makes engaging stories of many aimless walks, such as wandering stoned through Amsterdam in search of a lost hotel, touring the ruined Roman city of Leptis Magna, or stumbling upon a suicide on South Beach. Even more intriguing than the far-flung locales he describes-such as Cambodia, Libya and Thailand-are the seemingly pedestrian ones he makes exotic. His essay "The Rain Inside," on experiencing a near emotional breakdown at a techno music festival in Detroit, is a masterpiece, equal parts introspection and cutting observation. Though the moments and perceptions he records are fleeting, Dyer deliberately provides touchstones-repeat references to Auden; the durability of his Teva sandals-that mark a path through the book. Fittingly, it's only when he finds himself in the metaphorical nowhere of the TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone) at the Burning Man Festival, that this postmodern pilgrim finally finds his place in the world. This original book from a genuine writer-a modern Montaigne-should provide serious readers with a lasting high.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Not as tie-dye as it sounds, this book by award-winning novelist/biographer Dyer chronicles what he himself calls "the whole self-journey thing."
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (January 6, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400031672
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400031672
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #207,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I love Geoff Dyer, but this is not his best book. Consisting of stories that take place around the globe and which may or may not have happened or may not have happened quite as presented(the "genre-bending" the publishers are pushing, but anyone whose read autobiographical material... Spalding Gray, Bertrand Russell is aware of the may (not) have happened factor), the stories are Dyer's trademark style and sense of humor unevenly applied. Some of the stories ("Miss Cambodia") are simply excellent. Others are good stories peppered with far too much name checking of other authors ("Leptis Magna") and still others ("The Infinite Edge") are just simply mired in pretentious navel-gazing.
To take the latter, the author is in South-east Asia, but aside from the fact that it's ever-so-green (the first thing anyone notices about the region), there is nothing remotely remarkable about the setting. It is as though Dyer hopped half way around the world to hang around with Western backpackers (which is, I suppose, what all backpackers do, but I digress). Then, to top it off, he (rather, a character) quotes Rilke! So narrator-Geoff has traveled to the ends of the earth to quote Western authors with European backpackers? Ech. It's why people shudder at tourists. Even in "Miss Cambodia," narrator-Geoff admits that he can't distinguish between one temple and the next, but from all the Western quotes sprinkled throughout it becomes apparent that narrator-Geoff has no way to relate to his exotic settings because he knows nothing about them. He only knows a corpus of Occidental thought, DWEM's if you will.
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Format: Paperback
If the existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote a travel memoir, perhaps he would have written "Yoga For People Who Can't Be Bothered To Do It." Geoff Dyer's search for meaning and genuine happiness - a journey that takes him around the world - is loaded with laughs and numerous meditations expounding on pithy quotes by luminaries such as the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and the poet W.H. Auden.

He bungles through New Orleans, Paris, Rome, other exotic destinations and not so beautiful places like Detroit in a stoned Woody Allenesque manner. He beautifully captures the moment of a place and its scene in a clear voice. In Amsterdam he's caught in a downpour after ingesting mushrooms and goes to a nearby café to change. "In the cramped confines of the toilet I had trouble getting out of my wet trousers, which clung to my legs like a drowning man."

Despite excessive self-absorption at times, the book still works on many different levels. Reading this quirky meditation one really gets a three for one deal as travel, philosophy and comedy all take their respective well-deserved bows. But the common thread throughout this text that connects the reader is Dyer's steady stream of honest writing.

Bohdan Kot
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Format: Hardcover
Don't buy this book if you're looking for some version of Yoga Lite. It's actually a serious collection of personal essays that chronicle globe-trotting Geoff Dyer's travels between the ages of 20-40. As such, it's really a story about growing up, maturing into some version of adulthood, coming to piece with what Is. Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered to Do It is not about yoga - but it IS about finding inner peace.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book, because some people said this guy is HILARIOUS ~ REALLY?!?!?! I haven't laughed out loud in this book yet!!
He does have some interesting details from some of his travels around the world - but this guy is NOT funny. You want to read side splitting funny - go buy Richard Grant's ~ "God's Middle Finger" and his travels - this guy is NUTS and FUNNY!!! I am still struggling to finish the last couple of chapters of this book, I keep going thinking he has saved the best for last, but I doubt it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I laughed so hard reading Out of Sheer Rage that I almost injured myself. So I was primed to love this collection of travel essays, and did. Dyer is hilarious and incredibly insightful, quite a combination. And then he unleashes the most amazing meditation on (or description of) nature in the midst of one of his aimless, stoned globetrotting journeys.

Dyer’s authorial persona is of a slacker, a stoner, a failure, but that’s in comedic tension with his prolificacy, which belies that, and this Oxford man leaves evidence, in stray lines, of his own spiritual, literary, and historical knowledge. Yet much of comedy derives from our enjoying another's suffering, and he's a master at portraying his wrecked inner states—often over breakups with girlfriends—in a way that's funny rather than pathetic. He's obviously structured his life to travel and read and write, and implicitly one sees the downside of his unmoored life even as you thrill to his freedom and insouciance.

What a master of the personal essay. Maybe this should get five stars; I'm trying to give four to excellent books, saving five for obvious immortal classics, but it's a personal five-star for me.
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