“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

At the heart of boredom is a contradiction: it could be a luxurious, desirable state of being—for it presupposes relief from obligation, a total respite from the pressure of economic survival or social acceptance or self-improvement—and yet it is a state we seem endlessly interested in avoiding. Monika’s tale, set in simpler times, warns us of just how perilous the search for continuous excitement can be. But is this a lesson we ever really learn?

Read the full review in the October Issue on believermag.com