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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

An incendiary personal and cultural investigation of burnout.

Are you tired, stressed and trying your best but somehow still not doing enough? Has the bottom half of your to-do list been locked in place for months? Is everything becoming work as your job seeps into your evenings, you monetise your hobbies and perform your leisure time on social media? 

This is burnout - what increasingly seems like the defining feature of our lives. We are exhausted. But burnout is not a personal failing. It is a creeping part of modern culture, shaped by deep-rooted political, historical and economic forces, and it is affecting how we work, parent, socialise and inhabit the world.

Anne Helen Petersen identifies burnout with moving clarity - what it feels like and how it manifests across communities. Through her own experience, original interviews and detailed analysis, she traces the institutional and generational causes of burnout. And, in doing so, she helps us to let go of our guilt and imagine a possible future.

Reassuring, insightful and galvanising, Can't Even is essential listening for all of us.

©2021 Anne Helen Peterson (P)2021 Penguin Audio

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Really enjoyed this book very thought provoking

It was never a book I would of chosen by myself but I belong to an online book group and this was their choice. strangely, I don't have time to read, so I decided to purchase through audible. Apt! I thought this book would be a bit whiney, but actually it's really opened my eyes to my own life and I am really thankful that I listened to it. Solid research, great synergies, very relatable and actually not excusing at all. I'm left with knowledge and some hard thinking to do.

3 people found this helpful

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somewhat disappointing

the author builds the core message around the thought that today's problems (mostly of the millennial generation) are inherently structural (societal, capitalist, patriarchal). I didn't find this thought supported by a multi faceted, thorough analysis, but a rather one sided one (~ everything's changed for the worse). Then the book also fails to address or just to attempt to address the core of the numerous structural problems it raises: responsibility. It pretends we're all just reactively suffering from the inherently bad systems, and with all our actions we just blindly reinforcing them. It is really just scratching the surface of the question of an individual's responsibility on the society. Ultimately it leaves the reader with a bad feeling that really "everything's wrong with what I'm doing, either harming myself or if not myself than necessarily someone else"? Having said all this, I do think there are a lot of valuable thoughts and ideas represented in the book, and I do see the author's potential to make this work complete, because it feels severely unfinished.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant, insightful and wonderfully angry

This perfectly describes what it is to be millennial. The author’s own experience is interwoven with personal testimony from many others who come from a wide cross section of backgrounds. It looks at how the social, economic and technological trends of the last few decades have combined to create a system that exhausts and alienates young people. Most importantly it tells us that it doesn’t have to be this way.

As a baby boomer I recognise this misery at play in the lives of my own millennial children. The US has built a particularly toxic version of the system but our UK variant ain’t much better. And now our younger generations have COVID to deal with too! We have some choices to make. Thanks for painting the picture so clearly, engagingly for me.

2 people found this helpful

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Worth a listen/read

Some great insights yet to the authors own admission, the narrative falls short of the nuances of intersectionality, leaning heavily to US and white, middle-class female perspectives.

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millenniums burnout

I enjoyed listening to this Audible. I was born in 1991 and I can say many of the things the author has said is very true regarding my generation. I think every generation went through burnout and always will. it a good listen learnt few facts.

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America-centric but some good points

I liked the analysis, depressing as it was. The narration is clear and pleasant to listen to. I don’t think this book alone is enough to get a rounded picture, but the feeling comes across like waves of frustration being released. If you want to explore younger generations and get a feeling for why millennials (and so on) are as they are, then this may be a good primer before moving on to more detailed or research-heavy reading.

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Brilliant

Brought up so many relatable issues for the millennial generation. Even though it was heavily based on USA stats, it still brought up many points and explanations on how our generation is just generally screwed

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Difficult

A wanted to listen to this to understand about burnout. Within the first thirty minutes I felt depressed, a good way to build empathy but not a good way to understand about the whys and what's of burnout. Her voice makes you feel sad and low. A tough listen.