Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: £4.99

Save £4.00 (44%)

includes VAT*
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Something Like Happy by [Burnside, John]
Kindle App Ad

Something Like Happy Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
£4.99

Length: 260 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

Kindle Books from 99p
Load up your Kindle library before your next holiday -- browse over 500 Kindle Books on sale from 99p until 31 August, 2016. Shop now

Product Description

Review

"Each story has a splash of intense colour at the heart… These are Scottish versions of the stories of Raymond Carver… Burnside writes tough, home-grown prose that inhabits the story form with perfect fit." (Brian Morton Independent)

"A haunting and beautiful collection that deserves to be read slowly and savoured but which you won’t be able to put down." (Caroline Jowett Daily Express)

"Masterly… A spiritual, haunting book." (Francesca Angelini Sunday Times)

"Burnside’s prose glitters." (Leyla Sanai Independent on Sunday)

"Burnside brings a poet’s linguistic precision and emotional acuity… The writer’s deep, bloody engagement with the stuff of life can't fail to leave the reader enlivened, and keen to feel more." (Hannah McGill Scotland on Sunday)

Book Description

A collection of masterpieces in short fiction in praise of hope, from prize-winning author John Burnside.

Scottish Book of the Year 2013

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1054 KB
  • Print Length: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A8FXTLO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #289,916 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The stories in this book are not "pleasant", in the same way that Samuel Beckett's work is not "pleasant". Yet they show a mastery of the short story form and bring to it many of the same qualities that Beckett brings to his work. Stylistically and dramatically, they bear comparison with Guy de Maupassant's stories (and one of the stories, "The Deer Larder" directly evokes de Maupassant). In terms of human sympathy they reminded me of Beckett's famous dictum: "Fail again; fail better".
Some people will be put off by the stories' confrontation of "unpleasant matter" and their unswerving observation of human failings. Yet the stories' deep sympathy (as is also shown in Burnside's poetry) is always clear.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
An almost flawless collection of stories from John Burnside. His previous story collection, Burning Elvis, is arguably the best of his early fiction - the novels don't really start doing anything for me until Living Nowhere - and this new book is a worthy successor to Elvis. Several of the stories are not too far removed from some of the novels, with their concerns for dead-end lives marked by violence in dead-end towns - the title story, Godwit, and A Winter's Tale, for example - while others are insightful character studies of people who are lost, in limbo, passing through.

What strikes me about this collection is the subtlety of John Burnside's concerns as a writer; what matters here are the slightest nuances of emotion and thought which, although transient and deeply private, are life-changing for their characters. This is not a book in which stuff happens. (Apart from a few murders, a beating or two, and some strange, darkly erotic games.) But having said that, a good short story could be defined as one in which not much seems to happen, yet everything does, if only in implication. And that defines the pieces in Something Like Happy perfectly.

Hard to choose a favourite - Perfect and Private Things, The Bell-Ringer and Roccolo are stand-outs; perhaps the best of all is The Cold Outside, an extraordinary story about a man dying of cancer picking up - in the sense of giving a lift home to - a transvestite who has been beaten up. This wonderful story is typical of the risks John Burnside takes in this book: small moments that are at once totally ordinary, and at the same time, totally unique, like those rare dreams that, once experienced, you know have somehow added something to your life; you're not quite sure what, but things afterwards are richer, stranger.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have to give credit where credit's due: John Burnside's latest collection of short stories is well-crafted, carefully assembled, the work of someone talented and experienced. Short stories are, I think, hard to get right: there's only a limited space in which the author has to successfully create a believable (and readable) world; and then there's the question of how the stories tie to one another (if they do, which in this book they do but sometimes in a very subtle way). Burnside succeeds on both counts: each story in 'Something like happy' comes alive and leaves the reader with a lingering, unsettling sense, a particular feeling that runs through each story, quite distinct from the feeling in the stories before and after. The book explores strong, difficult themes such as the terrifying, despairing violence within a marriage, the painful question of memory (remembering one's youth, in particular), facing terminal illness, and- most consistently throughout the book- the quiet despair and loss that come within long marriages, with the creeping passing of time and the losses and lack of hope that can creep up on you.

However, even though I respect the author for what he's done here, I have to admit I didn't enjoy this book and struggled to finish it. It's not that the stories didn't come alive for me, they did, and they left me with various thoughts. Still, there was a coldness and desperation that ran through the book, and I as a reader responded to this in an equally 'cold' way: that is to say, the stories and the characters left me cold. There was little (if any) hope in the book- not that authors have any obligation to make me, the reader, feel hopeful!
Read more ›
Comment 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My first Burnside. Wonderfully well written, a fine and delicate stylist that reminds me a little of John Banville. But bleak, bleak stories. I will be reading more, but will need a break to digest the searing nature of these slices of modern Scots life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
click to open popover