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Happiness TM (edition 2002)
Happiness by Will Ferguson
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 006052510X, Paperback)"The Age of Nice is at hand, and there's nothing we can do about it." But the protagonist of Will Ferguson's Happiness, 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. There's the murderous cartel of drug and tobacco barons who want Edwin's head on a plate, as well as 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 realize, except that Happiness clubs its readers into submission with the sort of zany, almost otherworldly wit that makes us profoundly glad to be alive. --Matthew Baylis, Amazon.co.uk
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:28 -0400)
Lowly editor Edwin de Valu's life moves at a pretty humdrum pace, until he discovers the manuscript for Tupak Soiree's book on his desk. This self-help tome is different--it actually works. And soon the world turns upside down thanks to the advice of this mysterious guru.
(summary from another edition)
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