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Happiness (2001)

Written by Will Ferguson

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. (Copyright © Canongate Books. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Canongate Books.

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