Sorry for my delay in posting. A quick trip down to Savannah consumed much of my attention. Before leaving I was in search of an audiobook/s to listen on the drive. Coming up short and feeling the pressure to fill my time, I decided to re-read “Happiness” by Will Ferguson (not to be confused with the movie “Happiness” which is thoroughly fucked up in the best ways).
I don’t typically read a book a second time. I attribute this to being a late bloomer when it comes to reading for pleasure. Yes, I’ll enjoy reading a book, but the idea of going back and doing it all over again seems like so much work and such a commitment (see previous posts on issues with commitment). Anyway, I first read this book probably 10 years ago. When asked what my favorite book is, I always answer this one…even though I only read it that ONE TIME. (I even purchased a second copy to have on hand to loan anyone.) I guess part of it too is fear of disappointment. What if I go back and realize I’ve changed so much that I no longer relate to the book or maybe it wasn’t all that great to begin with?
Fears dispelled, this book is awesome! Basic premise: someone writes the ultimate self-help book and all the world’s problems are “solved”. It’s narrated from the perspective of the extremely cynical publishing editor who is immune to the happiness™ that infiltrates everyone around him. He writes as though its the end of the world, hilariously and dramatically taking the reader through the journey of how society unravels under the boring state of bliss. If you’re a writer, editor, or cynic with a miserable sense of humor, PLEASE read this book! I’d loan you my second copy, but I left it in the care of my friend Jeromy in Savannah.
2 comments on “Happiness™”
This sounds like a great book! I agree the film by the same name is amazing =)
Pretty cool to re-read a book. Did you experience any differences the second go around?
I help teach a MOOC on Modern Poetry and we do (mostly) the same poems every year. It’s amazing how time can really shift perception even if we remember parts of a book or poem. Pretty neat stuff.
Well, I was equally surprised by how much I remembered and how much I forgot of the story. Usually, after reading a book or watching a movie I only remember if I enjoyed it or not, but tend to forget the details of the story line. (It’s because of this goldfish memory I was able to enjoy Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in both it’s formats while many fans were annoyed by the movie.)
I remembered the main character had a thing for the woman he worked with, but completely blocked out the fact that he was married this other awful woman. And then there was this subplot that I totally forgot about.