I’d Rather Not by Robert Skinner | Black Inc.
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not
I’d Rather Not

‘Robert Skinner writes with humour, intelligence and heart. Pick up this book and you may never put it down.’ —Tony Birch, author of The White Girl

I’d Rather Not

Awards for I’d Rather Not

  • The Guardian, Best Australian Books of 2023

You might also like

About the author

Robert Skinner

Robert Skinner was born and raised on Kaurna country, in South Australia. His writing appears frequently in The Monthly, and has also been featured in The Best Australian Essays, Best Australian Comedy Writing and Internazionale. …

More about Robert Skinner

Praise for I’d Rather Not

‘This book is like a big, properly made gin and tonic drunk outside in a garden on a perfect Saturday afternoon.’ —Cate Kennedy, author of The World Beneath and Like a House on Fire

‘[I’d Rather Not] is Reading As Joy. (Remember that?) More joy than eating honey joys, listening to Col Joye and The Joy Boys on Joy FM. Comes out mid-year, I think, and damn we need more books like this.’ —Michael Winkler, author of Grimmish

‘He’s not so much a dilettante as an equal-opportunity appreciator, and his refusal to accommodate the demands of bureaucracy are all about a return to the physical world, to avoid missing anything in the rush to a destination. The result is a funny and affecting celebration of the glorious choices we so often have about where to go and how to get there.’ —Jim Shepard, author of The Book of Aron and Phase Six

‘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, author of Night Games and Act of Grace

‘No one writes better when the stakes are lower.’ —Sam Vincent, author of My Father and Other Animals

‘Robert Skinner writes with humour, intelligence and heart. Pick up this book and you may never put it down.’ —Tony Birch, author of The White Girl

‘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

‘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

‘Don’t judge a book by its cover, obviously – but this one captures the weird energy, bleak humour and absurdity of Skinner’s memoir so perfectly it deserves applause.’ —Steph Harmon, The Guardian Australia

‘To make funny fodder out of a life full of ‘false starts, failures and endless dabbling’ is no easy task, but Skinner does so, and he does it well.’ —Thuy On, ArtsHub

‘This is genuinely hilarious and warm-hearted, and I hope lots of people will join in his fun’ —Alison Huber, Readings ‘Dear Reader’

‘[Robert Skinner] is a gifted writer with a keen intelligence and sense of humour so delightful you want to meet him.’ —Penelope Debelle, The Herald Sun Five-starred review

‘Read Robert Skinner’s book. It is very good. It will make you laugh. (It will make you consider saving money.) … once you start reading I’d Rather Not, you will not put it down until you have finished.’ —Chris Gordon, Readings ‘What we’re reading’

'It only takes till the end of the chapter's first paragraph to become convinced of the assuredness of Skinner's witty and humane voice. From there, we're taken on a picaresque journey through moments as diverse as the intricacies of throwing the perfect house party, Skinner's experiences of homelessness, and a hilarious hitchhiking attempt.' —The Big Issue

‘…genuinely amusing and even a little PJ O'Rourke in its own way’ —The Weekend Australian ‘Notable books’

'If you're looking for a laugh, [it's] the most glorious book' —Annabel Crabb, Chat 10 Looks 3

‘I’d Rather Not is highly recommended as an amusing look at life; on a deeper level, it will encourage you to consider your own life choices and wonder about the paths not taken … Buy it, read it, and think about life!’ —Dr Diana Carroll, Sydney Arts Guide

‘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

‘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

‘Skinner’s grin-and-bear-it attitude runs through this book’ —Stephen Romei, The Saturday Paper

‘Reliably delightful. Robert Skinner delivers comedy with a poet's precision.’ —Anna Goldsworthy

‘I’d Rather Not by Robert Skinner is so funny, you’ll laugh out loud. It’s so Melbourne, you’ll identify.’ —Lou Ryan, Readings ‘What we’re reading’

‘The vignettes are wild yet relatable. You laugh. You’re shocked … I’d Rather Not is a night out with friends–except you can stay in and try to snuggle with your judgy cat.’ —Brynn Devereaux, Thriving Writers Magazine

‘A wonderful light read of unconnected articles giving readers a glimpse into Skinner’s take on his Bohemian life-style.’ —Antonella Townsend, Queensland Reviewers Collective

‘Memorable one-liners abound as [Robert Skinner] reflects on running “Australia's greatest (and admittedly only) short-story magazine”, travelling, tour guiding, and more.’ —Gemma Nisbet, The West Australian

‘Skinner will have you splitting your sides with laughter. Just when you think it can’t get worse for him, he takes you down to another level in the most charming way … I'd Rather Not, has kept us giggling all year.’ —Readings ‘Best nonfiction of 2023’

‘…no other book brought me as much joy as this hilarious and deceptively artful collection, and in these uncertain times that is worth plenty.’ —Michael Winkler, The Saturday Age ‘The words that won our hearts’

‘Skinner has been compared to Oscar Wilde, but his book is as self-effacing as it is quip-witted.’ —Beejay Silcox, The Guardian ‘The best Australian books of 2023’

‘I’d Rather Not, is an assemblage of wryly funny misadventures … I inhaled this in one sitting, reading passages out loud to my partner.’ —Justine Hyde, The Saturday Paper ‘The 17 best books of 2023’