Happiness Paperback – 1 Jun 2003
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"The Age of Nice is at hand, and there's nothing we can do about it." But the main protagonist of Will Ferguson's Happinesss terminally luckless book editor Edwin de Valu does want to do something. In fact, he feels obliged to put a stop to the Age of Nice, because it's all his fault. Desperate to save a flagging career in the world of self-help publishing, Edwin has staked everything on a dubious, thousand-page manuscript bearing the motto "Live! Love! Learn!" Promising its readers endless wealth, effortless weight loss and everlasting happiness, the book has become a runaway success. And that's where Edwin's problems really begin. Not just the murderous cartel of drug and tobacco barons who want Edwin's head on a plate. Also the fact that misery, cynicism, irrational hatred, draught beer--all the things that once made Edwin's life as an underdog bearable--have become outlawed. It's down to one man to save the globe from the tyranny of the Group Hug. But can Edwin do it, before the world economy melts down and a bestselling serial killer called Dr Ethics enacts his own deadly revenge?
It has been said--possibly by the sort of homily-peddling guru that Ferguson attacks so masterfully in his debut novel--that there are many routes to happiness. The general effect of reading this razor-sharp satire on the self-help industry is to understand that these routes lead us nowhere, except perhaps to a cul-de-sac called Hell. This would be depressing to realise, except that Happiness clubs its readers into submission with the sort of zany, almost other-worldly wit that makes us profoundly glad to be alive. --Matthew Baylis --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
A gleeful satire of the self-help industry. -- Jonathan Coe
A mean, wonderful, hilarious rant, both poisenously funny satire and dead-on indictment. The nature of true evil exposed. -- Anthony Bourdain
Happiness is a wonderfully assured, gleefully twisted and deeply irreligious satire which manages to be as moving as it is funny. -- Independent on Sunday
Hilarious. Ferguson takes no prisoners: Happiness TM is a caustic and outrageously funny send-up of society's foibles. -- W.P.Kinsella
Will Ferguson is a very gifted writer. -- Bill Bryson --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Edwin rushes from the meeting to retrieve 'What I Learned on the Mountain' from his rubbish bin and finds it missing. A chase for the book, and subsequently its author, ensues. Along the way Edwin discovers that the self-help book actually works. Its readers become fabulously rich, quit smoking, and have enhanced sexual prowess. Unfortunately, it turns out that a society full of enriched, happy people has dire consequences for the world economy and eventually someone figures out Edwin is responsible.
The humour in Happiness TM is needless to embrace - from Canada to Denmark via England, Ferguson's laissez-faire satire proves itself universally insightful. Now, for the idea of this anti-hero being the Satre of 21st century... perhaps.Read more ›
The book was easy to read, not to wordy and relaxing. I like a book that is not hard work but stimulates the mind.
This turns out to be a self-help book actually works. Its readers become fabulously rich, quit smoking, and have enhanced sexual prowess. Unfortunately, it turns out that a society full of enriched, happy people has dire consequences. Oprah and the founders of buddhism and New Age would think again, if they read this book.
The humour in Happiness TM is needless to embrace - from Canada to Denmark via England, Ferguson's laissez-faire satire proves itself universally insightful. Now, for the idea of this anti-hero being the Satre of 21st century... perhaps. He enlights the issues of instant gratifaction/gloricifation and concludes that our vices make us the protagonists we are - not by mocking the people who try and fail, but the people who succeed. For people like me who hate the way the world's turning - this is a must-read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Just so funny. Be prepared to have a dictionary at hand. This will make you laugh out loud and expand your vocabulary.Published 6 months ago by Adbopalenus
Read this book for my bookclub. Found it quite easy to get into, although the others apparently didn't. Read morePublished on 15 July 2012 by suzypoozy
One of my favourite books. Funny, great story. Especially if you're familiar with the world of self help. Well recommended.Published on 9 July 2012 by J Evans
The simple hypothesis of this book is: What if a self help books actually worked?
This launches you straight into the world of the one man it doesnt seem to work on. Read more
If you work in the area of self-help or have read lots of self-help books then you will love this book. It is a hugely enjoyable read from cover to cover. Read morePublished on 24 April 2008 by MM
and your sides will split, thats if you have anything of a sense of
humour if you do not find this book funny, ill take it as red your
the kind of person who... Read more
Absolutely fantastic book - I have read it six times, and it just gets better and better. I liked it so much, I recommended it to my University lecturer & he might put it on our... Read morePublished on 16 Nov. 2006 by ljashw
Whilst an easy and enjoyable enough read, this supposed biting satire on the publishing industry and the self-help genre in particular is neither biting nor satirical. Read morePublished on 13 July 2006 by deadmanjones