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I'd Rather Not

Robert Skinner



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Black Inc
04 July 2023
From one of Australia's most wryly funny writers comes an original and utterly hilarious memoir of reaching for the stars while lying in a ditch.

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 . . .

Robert Skinner arrives in the city, searching for a richer life. Things begin badly and then, surprisingly, get slightly worse. Pretty soon he's sleeping rough and trying to run a literary magazine out of a dog park. His quest for meaning keeps being thwarted, by endless jobs, beagles, house parties, ill-advised love affairs, camel trips and bureaucratic entanglements.

Sometimes a book catches the spirit of the times. I'd Rather Not is about work, escape and that something more we all need.

'I was told this man came from the Adelaide Plains and so commenced to read his work. By the time I realised I'd been viciously misled and he actually grew up in Magill, it was too late. I was already completely in love with the book. It's an absolute bag of lollies.' -Annabel Crabb

'Robert Skinner writes with humour, intelligence and heart. Pick up this book and you may never put it down.' -Tony Birch

'This book is like a big, properly made gin and tonic drunk outside in a garden on a perfect Saturday afternoon.' -Cate Kennedy

' Skinner's writing is

underpinned with what it is to be alive on this planet at this moment.' -Michael Winkler

'No one writes better when the stakes are lower.' -Sam Vincent

'My heart leaps whenever I see Robert Skinner's by-line; I know I am in for a hilarious literary treat complete with wry pearlers, gallows truths and wicked timing. People will say he is Australia's Sedaris, but he's not. He's Robert Skinner and he's a bloody marvel.' -Anna Krien

'A funny and affecting celebration of the glorious choices we so often have about where to go and how to get there.' -Jim Shepard

'Brevity may be the soul of wit, but the nimble economy of this slim volume will make readers pine for more. A decidedly skewed, hilarious collection of life reflections and colorful storytelling.' -Kirkus

'Seriously the funniest book I've read all year. I can't stop thinking about Robert Skinner's forays into the most mundane and frustrating aspects of life - Centrelink, being a tour guide, applying for arts funding - and the shameless truths he not only reveals about himself but about us as a society. Read this book with a bottle of wine, and be alarmed and enlightened!' -Alice Pung

'If only all books were as funny, human and true as I'd Rather Not. I raced through it, marvelling and envious all the way.' -Michelle de Kretser

Imprint:   Black Inc
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 209mm,  Width: 134mm,  Spine: 14mm
Weight:   178g
ISBN:   9781760640354
ISBN 10:   1760640352
Pages:   176
Publication Date:  
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Robert Skinner was born and raised on the Adelaide Plains. His writing appears frequently in The Monthly, and has also been featured in The Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Comedy Writing and Internazionale. He currently lives in Melbourne, where he works in a bookshop and plays football at the lowest level. His forthcoming book is I'd Rather Not.

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