Here is a rollicking parody of the self-help genre, one that skewers the couch-bound, apathetic mentality so pervasive in America today.
With tongue in cheek, Sloth guides readers step-by-step toward a life of noncommittal inertia. "You have the right to be lazy," writes Wasserstein. "You can choose not to respond. You can choose not to move." Readers will find out the importance of Lethargiosis--the process of eliminating energy and drive, the vital first step in becoming a sloth. To help you attain the perfect state of indolent bliss, the book offers a wealth of self-help aids. Readers will find the sloth songbook, sloth breakfast bars (packed with sugar, additives, and a delicious touch of Ambien), sloth documentaries (such as the author's 12-hour epic on Thomas Aquinas), and the sloth network, channel 823, programming guaranteed not to stimulate or challenge in any way. ("It may be difficult to distinguish between this and other channels, but only on channel 823 can you watch me sleeping.") Readers will also learn the top ten lies about Sloth, the ten commandments of Sloth, the SLOTH mantra, even the "too-much ten"--over-achievers such as Marie Curie, Shakespeare, and William the Conqueror. You will discover how to become a sloth in your diet, exercise, work, and even love-life (true love leads to passion, she warns, and passion is the biggest enemy of sloth).
Wendy Wasserstein is one of America's great comic writers--one who always has a serious point to her humor. Here, as she pokes fun at the self-help industry, she also satirizes the legion of Americans who are cultural and political sloths.
Not as stirring as lust, as satisfactory as gluttony or as maddening as anger, sloth rarely commands the passionate attention that the other six deadly sins do. Thanks to Wasserstein, however, sloth finally gets its due. In a hilarious parody of self-help manuals, she offers a book-inside-a-book how-to guide Sloth: And How to Get It on living a happy and guilt-free slothful life. The first step in becoming a sloth is to enter into "lethargiosis," a state which "breaks the cycle of excess energy and stored dreams." Her guide recommends a two-week course of slowly eliminating activity by counting activity grams and restricting your daily gram intake. She chides overachievers like Shakespeare and offers a sloth mantra: "S: Sit instead of stand, L: Let yourself go, O: Open your mouth, T: Toil no more, H: Happiness is within me." Sloths in training will learn the 10 commandments of sloth ("Do not wash," "Do not clean up"), the top 10 lies about sloth ("Sloth leads to mental atrophy") as well as strategies for maintaining slothfulness through diet, work (when you have to do it) and sex. Wasserstein's rapid-fire comic prose offers the perfect satire on a culture that continually invents more ways of moving less (television remotes, cell phones) in order to be blissfully slothful.