The Antidote : Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking, Paperback Book

The Antidote : Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking Paperback

3.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


Is our search for happiness futile? Or are we just going about it the wrong way? In this fascinating new book, Oliver Burkeman argues that 'positive thinking' and relentless optimism aren't the solution to the happiness dilemma, but part of the problem. And that there is, in fact, an alternative path to contentment and success that involves embracing the things we spend our lives trying to avoid - uncertainty, insecurity, pessimism and failure.

Thought-provoking, counter-intuitive and ultimately uplifting, The Antidote is a celebration of the power of negative thinking.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Popular psychology
  • ISBN: 9781847678669

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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

As with Burkeman's previous book ('Help'), this mixes a deceptively easy-going writing style, some good jokes and a comprehensive review of the territory. He has done his homework, and the first-hand reporting of site visits ans interviews show the skills of a deft journalist. If you don't know the work of the Stoics, Albert Ellis, Alan Watts, Eckhart Tolle or (latterly) Steve Shapiro, this is a very entertaining, well-written introduction: if you have read any of their work, then you might be left wanting just a little more insight or originality.

Review by

Interesting attempt to construct a path to happiness from meditation, Stoicism, and various bits of non-attachment psychology, in a way quite opposed to the practical positive thinking one usually finds. Obviously stitched together from newspaper columns, but a good beginning for someone interested in giving this a go. His previous book was more wide-ranging and covered some of the same ground.

Review by

This was OK but inconclusive - which I suspect was one of the points!Humans look for easy answers but they don't exist.

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