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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 11 September 2011
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. How on earth can he regain normality when everyone else just wants to chuck their jobs and consumerist lifestyles out of the window? Actually doesnt the world need a few people who are unsatisfied and who want more from life to push things forwards?

If you have grown tired of self help books, or hold them in disdain, then this book should definately appeal to you. Even if you dont, and just want a good laugh to cheer you up a bit, then go for it. You wont regret buying this book. I just hope they bring out a kindle version very soon, as I have lost my copy but its one of those books that stays with you years afterwards and makes you smile in remembrance.
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on 24 April 2008
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. Watch out you won't want to put it down!
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on 10 April 2003
After expecting great things based on glowing reviews, I have to admit I struggled through this supposedly "hilarious" satire on self-help culture.
It was a promising idea - a whole nation being taken over by an ultimately bogus self-help guru - but too often I got the impression that Ferguson just couldn't put the idea across amusingly - or succinctly enough. It just came across as laboured. Ferguson appeared to have come up with a great idea his writing couldn't live up to, and for a book about an editor its lack of editing was all too obvious.
There are definitely things to be said in its favour - that pain is needed for there to be pleasure is a point that there is no harm in hammering home. But I just felt it was a point made in too many words and the stereotypical "baby-boomer" and "generation x" characters were horribly two dimensional.
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on 30 April 2003
Thoroughly recommend this book. I had never heard of this author until I saw it in the bookshop... I was puzzled by the title and the theme and felt compelled to investigate the cover claim. I was not disappointed at all. It is indeed a very funny satire written in a very clever yet easy to read way. It made me think, made me laugh and I just couldn't stop reading until I finished it.
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on 11 January 2003
I read a review of this book in the newspaper that claimed it was inspired by a throwaway comment a literary agent made to Will Ferguson. Apparently he was on a tour (promoting his previous book 'Why I Hate Canadians') and was waiting to begin a signing at a bookstore that a self-help author was also signing at. The self-help author's agent turned to Will and said "God help us if one of these self-help books ever actually works".
So began the evolution of the fictional Tupak Soiree's manuscript 'What I Learned on the Mountain'. Plucked from the slush pile, it is the ultimate self-help book, curing every problem on the planet. As my work as a trainer and coach brings me into contact with some of this stuff for real, I felt compelled to read it - and it was marvellous. Having unleashed this powerful book on the world, our protagonist, Edwin de Valu, then has to try and get things 'back to normal' (for reasons that are clear when you read the book).
If you've ever read anything you could classify as self-help and would enjoy poking fun at the 'industry', and yourself, then you should read this. Ferguson's satire is something just about anyone can identify with and, as his story reveals, the prospect of all this stuff actually working is a nightmare. Yes, we could be more self-aware, but to embrace most of what the self-help 'gurus' suggest would be disasterous - the world around us just doesn't tolerate it.
Contrary to other reviewers, I was satisfied with the ending. Up until the final pages I didn't know which way it was going to go, and I enjoyed that.
If you ever feel like you've been taken in by some rose-tinted self-help, then read this book, and laugh as you discover the reason why you probably don't need it.
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on 18 June 2002
In 'Happiness' we see the terror of what would happen if everyone in the world did in fact find peace and inner happiness and the result is not a happy one! Our hero comes to realise that are misery is as big a part of who we are as our happiness is. As he struggles to convince the rest of the world the readers find themselves wanting to drink, smoke and basically do all things you arent supposed to do if you want to be happy!
This is a life-affirming read of a book that keeps you entertained and amused as our hero fights for the right to be miserable. The ending is satisfying and uplifting in an unexpected manner. I would recomend all self-help book enthusiasts to throw away the drivel and read this instead, as the quote of the cover says, after reading this book '..if i wasnt already a smoker, drinker and a misanthrope I'd start tomorrow'!
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Happiness™ is a caustic look at the vacuous world of the self-help book. Set in the very near future, say 10 minutes from now. Happiness tells the story of Edwin De Valu and how he publishes the first self-help book that actually works. The book ‘What I learned on the mountain’ becomes a run away success, changing the lives virtually everyone who reads it.
As people become self-actualised, centred and aware the economy and the whole United States begin to unravel around them. Both a hilarious romp, and an examination of what really defines happiness, this book is worth its’ weight in chicken soup for anyone who ever had a cynical thought.
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on 28 March 2007
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 thinks jim davidsons talented. this book had

me totally hooked from start to finish, the observations will makes

in this book are both sharp and funny,is there any limit to this

mans wit, if you have not read this and enjoy black humour go and buy

this NOW, alternatively you could by jim davidsons-how to be obvious

and bland
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on 13 September 2002
I laughed out loud reading this book -- and there can be no better recommendation as far as I am concerned. In fact I liked it so much I would give it six stars if I could. This is a review, not a synopsis, so all I will say is that if you like good story, good plotting,good pacing and good dialogue with lots of funny lines and wry humour you should invest in this book. I suspect you will read it in one sitting if you get the chance.
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on 18 September 2002
I first bought this book based on a review I read in the 'Big Issue'on it. I was intrigued so I bought it. I have to say, this book is fantastic! It's satire humour is an incredible exaggeration of the reality that exists in the 'Self-Help' industry. You will never read another self-help book after this book, in quite the same way again. It's so well written, you will simply not be able to put this book down. I strongly recommend Happiness TM, it is definitely a brilliant read :D
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