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How I Became Stupid [Paperback]

Martin Page , Adriana Hunter
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.26
Price: 6.86 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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How I Became Stupid + The Discreet Pleasures of Rejection
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books (30 Nov 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142004952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142004951
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 12.8 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Antoine had always felt he was living in dog years. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well, I liked it! 9 Aug 2009
I've just read this in the original French as "Comment je suis devenu stupide" (trying to improve my grasp of the language and it's good to read short novels!) and thought it was refreshing. The central character, Antoine, is convinced that he's unhappy because he overthinks everything and his mind hyperactively tries to understand everything; he believes that stupid people are much happier and thinks that if he can only become stupid himself, it will solve his problems.

There's a fair amount of the whimsical and (deliberately) ridiculous in this account of what happens but I found that charming and engaging (like Antoine's character) and the characters' debates about life and happiness are very creative (and very French, I think - I don't think you could imagine an English author writing this book).

I'd have given this five stars if it hadn't been for the slappable character who appears at the end but maybe that's just me! If you're studying at 'A' level or similar, why not order this in French from French Amazon - it will stretch you a bit on vocabulary (which is a good thing) but it's a fun read and will reward you!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A great summer read 14 Mar 2007
How I became stupid tells the story of a young man weighed down by the pressures of his intelligence, and his battle to find the simpler form of happiness he sees all around him. Cue failed alcoholism, an adult-learning class in suicide, coffee-spill induced stock market success, the trappings of consumerism and, eventually a sense of contentment. But is it his new life that offers him this, or the friends he has left behind? This internationally successful Cult novel is a hilarious indictment of life, every bit as insightful as Brett Easton Ellis, without that smug, self satisfied arrogance. This is a book for a summer trip, easily readable, short and accessible, you cannot go wrong with this.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning 22 Oct 2013
By Dorina
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At the beginning, the book definitely catches your attention. It is very interesting and fun. However, as the story progresses, the situations described get gradually rather disappointing, especially if you consider how well it started. Despite the fact that it's rather short book, I dragged it on for quite some days, until I finished it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars You can read this in two hours 7 Aug 2011
In fact, I did. I sat down in a comfy leather chair in Waterstones Picadilly and got through it in no time. So it's a page turner and quite quaffable, that said it doesn't quite pan out satisfactorily. The bloke seems to be prescribed Prozac (called Happyzac for some reason in the book) and suddenly his world, hitherto depressed and complicated, slips into gear. Well, if only life were that simple. There are some nice insights however, in the difference between those who live individual lives that don't follow a blueprint and those who go with the flow and fit in with everyone else, saving themselves a lot of energy.

It can't be taken as realistic though; a guy who can only read books by tearing pages out one at a time in a bookshop and taking them home would not be able to afford taking up alcoholism, and it's not exactly hard to commit suicide, as he seems to find out in his next venture. And I don't imagine one can just effortlessly turn his hand to his next venture... And such a supposed loser wouldn't have a bunch of friend to rally round and take an interest in him, surely... But there are nice insights, as I say, in novel form.
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2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as it thinks it is 13 July 2009
I wanted to like this book, but unfortunately the writing style is just too contrived. It's amusing in patches but overall not sufficiently strong to hold your attention.
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