Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Will Ferguson's talent as a satirist is to be treasured. His wit enlivens every page,
and what starts as an amusing book about publishing expands into a glorious
romp though modern life." Literary Review
"Will Ferguson is a very gifted writer." Bill Bryson
"As a genuine example of feel-good cynicism, it is a novel in a world of its own. If
this book doesnt appear on a at least four broadsheet best of year round-ups
come December, then I'll eat my hat." Birmingham Post
"HappinessTM is a shrewd and often hilarious examination of contemporary
mores, anxieties and desires. And it loudly proves the point that laughter is
probably the best therapy we are likely to get." Scotland on Sunday
About the Author
was born and raised in the former fur-trapping
settlement of Fort Vermilion in the backwoods of northern Canada.
Fortunately, he managed to escape, and he has since travelled
throughout Latin America and East Asia. Indeed, he prides himself
on having gotten utterly and hopelessly lost in more than a dozen
exotic locales, including Ecuador, Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, China,
Korea, and Japan.
"How I ever became a travel writer is beyond me," he confesses. "I
have absolutely no sense of direction."
Ferguson has a B.F.A. in screenwriting from York University,
Toronto, and is the author of six previous books, including the
satirical bestseller Why I Hate Canadians, which was all-but
banned from export (though it can be ordered online at chapters.ca
he advises). His other works include a nuts-and-bolts traveller's
bible, The Hitchhiker's Guide to Japan, as well as a humorous
expose about his experience in a mis-guided drunken government
youth program, entitled I Was a Teenage Katima-victim! He has
also written an insightful and highly scientific political analysis:
Bastards & Boneheads (it was a study of our leaders).