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Publisher's Summary

Everyone says they want to be happy. But that's much more easily said than done. What does being happy actually mean? And how do you even know when you feel it?
Across the millennia philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness. They have defined it in many different ways and come up with myriad strategies for living the good life.
Drawing on this vast body of work, in Happy Derren Brown explores changing concepts of happiness - from the surprisingly modern wisdom of the Stoics and Epicureans in classical times right up until today, when the self-help industry has attempted to claim happiness as its own. He shows how many of self-help's suggested routes to happiness and success - such as positive thinking, self-belief and setting goals - can be disastrous to follow and, indeed, actually cause anxiety.
This brilliant, candid and deeply entertaining audiobook exposes the flaws in these ways of thinking and poses challenging but stimulating questions about how we choose to live and the way we think about death. Happy aims to reclaim happiness and to enable us to appreciate the good things in life in all their transient glory. By taking control of the stories we tell ourselves, by remembering that everything's fine even when it might not feel that way, we can allow ourselves to flourish and to live more happily.
©2016 Derren Brown (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Esmee on 11-12-16

Lovely book - but read, don't listen

Would you listen to Happy again? Why?

No unfortunately not. I would definitely re-read the book, but I didn't like Jot Davies's voice at all. I pre-ordered the audiobook, while it still said Derren Brown would narrate it. I listened to his other audiobooks - narrated by himself - which I immensely loved. I was therefore quite disappointed to find it was narrated by someone else, and unfortunately with a voice that wasn't easy to listen to. However, taking a more Stoic approach: nothing to do about it and fortunately I have the story in book-form. No harm done.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narrative gives a very helpful approach to different aspects of life with many references to ancient Greec philosophy.

What didn’t you like about Jot Davies’s performance?

The tone of his voice went up every few words. This made it very annoying to listen to his voice.

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8 of 9 people found this review helpful


By Lawnchair King on 05-04-17

Well supported and thought out. Terrible narration

What did you like best about Happy? What did you like least?

It is a light approach to some serious subject matter. I think Derren Brown has put a lot of thought and work into it. But the entire narration is painful to listen to, as though every word or every other word is emphasized to be 'happy'. Literally, I have to repeat what is said in my head to make sense of the reading that is much more suited for a Dr. Seuss book read for kids. It is a shame. It is almost a parody or sarcastic tone. I sampled some other narrations by Jot Davies, and he does a much better job on those. Perhaps he needs a plot and characters to be able to visualize what he is reading.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jot Davies’s performances?

Not without sampling it. Sorry to be so critical, but listening to him narrate this is painful, distracting and frustrating.

Any additional comments?

It is a harsh review I know, but now that there is an Audible version of 'Happy', I suppose it will be almost impossible to have another made.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By JackJack on 11-10-16

A disastrous narrator. I'll be asking for a refund

I pre-ordered this book because I enjoyed Derren Brown's previous book, "Confessions of a Conjuror". That previous work had a few flaws with regards to the text itself, but the perfomance (by the author) was superb. It quickly became one of my favourite audiobooks of all time.

This is quite the reverse. The material seems very interesting indeed (if quite similar to "The Antidote" by Oliver Burkemann), but I was unable to finish even the first chapter due to the lifeless droning narrator. Seriously, a text-to-speech program could have done a better job.

I have been an Audible user for a few years now, and have over 100 books in my library. This is the first time I have ever asked for a refund.

A message to the publisher: withdraw this book, and get the author to narrate it himself. I don't care how long it takes, or how much it costs. We can wait.

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81 of 83 people found this review helpful


By Hazel on 11-13-16

RUINED BY DREADFUL NARRATION!!

What disappointed you about Happy?

I pre ordered this audiobook. It didn't say who the narrator was. I had hoped it would be Derren Brown, but was still looking forward to listening even if it wasn't.<br/><br/>Imagine my dismay when I discovered that this is yet another good book that has been ruined by Jot Davies!<br/>It's just unlistenable. Every sentence is delivered with exactly the same irritating cadence which gets more infuriating every time you hear it until, after about 2 minutes, you have to turn it off to stop yourself from punching something. Such an effort is being made to try to add inflection to each individual word that the overall modulation is jarringly unnatural and bears no relation to the message of the sentence, making it impossible to follow. <br/>

Who was your favorite character and why?

I haven't been able to get past the first 5 minutes. I'll be returning it and buying the paperback book instead.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Jot Davies?

Derren Brown. Failing that LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE.

What character would you cut from Happy?

Jot Davies.

Any additional comments?

Please stop ruining good books with this narrator. Please.

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24 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 06-23-17

great read

really useful and interesting book. I read it over a few times as there was so much to learn.

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By P J Beard on 05-26-17

Would have been a 5 star if Derren had narrated.

Concepts in the book are well thought out but the narration left me feeling I'd sat through one very long sermons/lecture. Narrator needed more passion for the subject.

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