When one of those irritating self-help books actually gets it right, then unnatural and worrying times are just around the corner ...While the rest of the country is joining the new HappinessTM cult, Edwin (the wiry, grey-suited, low-level editor at US publisher Panderic Press) is in trouble.
A cartel of drug, alcohol, tobacco and drug-rehab bosses have a contract out on him. It's all the fault of the mysterious Tupac Soiree, and his book What I Learned on the Mountain.
But who is Tupac? And how can Edwin stop the world from succumbing to this plague of HappinessTM?
Will Ferguson has created a comic masterpiece, a brutal satire of modern times.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 15/02/2003
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9781841953519
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by shiunji
Happiness TM is like taking Coupland's social commentary & apocalyptic ideas, mixing it with Adam's brand of 'oh look at me taking the piss out of my self importance', factor in Vonnegut's optimistic negativity & mix with a double shot of Thank You For Smoking, only replace a tobacco insider with an editor.... I can go on forever like this but all this requires a frame of reference. The idea is brilliant, I cannot think of a better apocalypse for a satire than mass-happiness. Cynical yet uplifting, corny yet unexpected, having the sort of narrative causality that will slaughter common sense & with a good dose of bite-sized pop wisdom that begs to be quoted. Consider: "The two most important phrases in the human language are "If only" and "Maybe someday". Our past mistakes and our unrequited longings. The things we regret and the things we yearn for. That's what makes us who we are." There is much to be enjoyed in this book if you don't let that sometimes ingratiating tone get to you. Oh. Also not recommended if you are any of these categories : hippies, capitalists, Buddhists, people who are in love with the concept of Heaven. Sorry.
Review by timtom
"If anyone wrote a self-help book that actually worked, we'd all be in trouble". This comment by a book publicist allegedly prompted Will Ferguson to write Happiness™, a satire of the self-help industry and of publishing in general. Happiness™ is the story of such a book, one that works so well that it instantly makes all its readers happy... and thus brings the whole Western economy to screeching halt, said economy being notoriously entirely dependent on a constant supply of unsatiated desires. The result is a thoroughly enjoyable read, full of dark humor and inconvenient truths about the publishing industry, and a testament to what makes life enjoyable: guilty pleasures, unhealthy food and unrequited yearning.
Review by sloopjonb
Started off very snarky and funny, loved the satire on writers and publishers, but fell off toward the end when it was all plot.
Review by mountie9
Wry and funny and quite frankly just bloody marvelous. Perfect for anyone involved in any way in the creating, marketing and selling of books. And bang on commentary on the self help book market! It is absolute perfection.Thoroughly enjoyed the Caveat Emptor, the alternate ending (which quite frankly will be truly appreciated by most Canadians - well except for maybe those from Quebec). Ok and got a kick about the line with Stephen King in Bett's Bookstore (which I have been to)Favorite Quotes"Join the club," said Mr. Mead. "That's the way it always goes. At some point, you outgrow your generation. Or it outgrows you.""I know. You wouldn't think killing a tax auditor would be a felony. A misdemeanor, maybe, but not a felony.""Two million years of human evolution, 500,000 years of language, 450 years of modern English. The rich heritage of Shakespeare and Wordsworth at his beck and call, and all that Edwin could come up with was "shit".Thanks Chelsea for the recommendation