The Burnout Generation: True Horror (How’s This Book?)

Well, it’s Halloween tomorrow. Personally, I’m not all that into it (or holidays in general). But I figured I may as well talk about something scary! Gotta get those holiday related clicks, after all! And I have just the right thing to talk about!

Burnout! With a side of millenials!

The Burnout Generation is… meh. It isn’t a terrible book, especially since it’s only about two hours long. But it isn’t especially interesting or memorable! I’ve listened to it twice now for the sake of this review, and I still struggle to recall what it went over! It’s boring and witless. Which is a shame, because burnout is absolutely something that should be discussed!

The premise of this audio-documentary is simple. Author Anne Helen Petersen interviews several individuals who have suffered from burnout. She asks what caused their burnout and how they deal with it. By doing so, the book aims to increase awareness of burnout, what causes it, and how it can be fixed.

It doesn’t present any conclusive answers or solutions to the problem, as there really isn’t one. This book is purely informational. Unfortunately, it isn’t a very interesting or clever informational book.

Petersen isn’t exactly a wizard with the English language. She gets the job done, but nothing she says has much wit or charm to it. For example, she says the following as an in-between of one of her interviews:

She is what I like to call ‘good at school’.

So… studious? Intelligent? Well-learned? Talented? You have no shortage of words to work with!

To be fair: the interviewees aren’t bad. Granted, it isn’t their job to inform the audience in an intelligent and interesting manner. All they had to do was tell their stories and answer some questions. And they did that just fine.

Each of them discuss one different cause for burnout. Be they student loan debts, overwork, lack of power in the workplace, everyone has their own reason. All of which are really relatable, hitting really close to home for people who are burnt out themselves. It can be very relieving to know that you aren’t the only one with these problems.

Unfortunately, there was never anything in this book that really grabbed me. Each interview felt exactly the same. It was witless and dull, presenting the information like a textbook rather than an interesting lesson. Listening through it was a tedious, draining slog.

Ironic, is it not?

I can’t say I’d recommend The Burnout Generation. It is informative, yes, but it is far from interesting. Which is a damn shame, considering how important this topic is to the modern climate. But you’d be better of listening to something more interesting if you’re in a learning mood.

To be fair: I shouldn’t expect much from a writer on Buzzfeed.

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