Happiness

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Canongate, 2002 - Fiction - 309 pages
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From the author of the critically acclaimed Hokkaido Highway Blues comes this hysterically funny debut novel, a searing and compulsive satire on the concept of self-help and contemporary America. When an enormous self-help manuscript arrives on the desk of Edwin de Valu, a stressed-out, overworked, and underpaid editor at New York's Panderic Press, its fate seems destined for the bin. Edwin's cynicism about self-help books, coupled with his filthy mood that morning, results in his dismissing Tupak Soiree's What I Learned on the Mountain in the most ignominious fashion: he doesn't even bother to reply. However, during an editorial meeting Edwin is confronted by a questioning publisher, one desperate for the next big thing. Without thinking, and in need of something to report, Edwin begins to extol the virtues of What I Learned on the Mountain, and the excitement around the table is palpable. With every reason. Tupak Soiree's doorstopper becomes a very unique thing: a self-help book that actually works, and it launches a chain of events that will have enormous consequences not just on Edwin's life but for the world at large. Ferguson's first novel is a masterpiece of comic fiction, a must for anyone who has choked on Chicken Soup for the Soul or ever wanted to kill Dr. Phil. "Mean, wonderful, hilarious, both a poisonously funny satire and dead-on indictment. The nature of True Evil exposed." -- Anthony Bourdain "A must-read, in short, for people ... who still remember how to laugh without turning off their brains." -- Jonathan Coe, author of The Winshaw Legacy or What a Carve Up! "Hilarious ... Ferguson serves up his true thematic feast." -- The Globe and Mail "Mr. Ferguson is a verygifted writer." -- Bill Bryson "If Douglas Adams and P.J. O'Rourke ever had an extraterrest

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