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My American Unhappiness (2011)

by Dean Bakopoulos(Favorite Author)
3.26 of 5 Votes: 1
0151013446 (ISBN13: 9780151013449)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
review 1: I started this book really liking Zeke Pappas. I felt in many ways like I was Zeke Pappas. Then, as the book progressed and I learned more about him, his life, his work, and his somewhat narcissistic and self-centered endeavors I liked him less, though my connection to him remained the same.I really enjoyed reading this novel - the writing was sharp and funny, yet reflective (even if Zeke often was not). Watching Zeke's very personal journeys and his obsessive dedication to his increasingly self-satisfying "American Unhappiness Project" provided great lens through which I could examine my own thoughts and views. Perhaps Zeke is right in asking "Why are we so unhappy?" I don't think he found his answer. Perhaps, in the end, that's the point.
review 2: I greatly
... moreenjoyed this novel. Dean Bakopoulos made me laugh out loud and I found myself underlining passages, which is a sign that I am really into the work. It took me a couple chapters to get in sync with the narrator, as I found him rather egotistical at first, but I believe this was the author's intent. The protagonist, Zeke, behaves more and more wildly as the novel progresses and this is his unraveling, which, again, is intentional. I loved the author's wit, the political commentary(some tongue-in-cheek), the setting of Madison, WI and the suggestion that Starbucks and Noodles are modern America in microcosm. And I quote from one of my favorite passages: "These are the sales reps away from home, killing time before they retire to their nonsmoking rooms at the Country Inn & Suites. These are the single software engineers who have worked too late again, who have not gone grocery shopping in weeks, and who simply want to eat something dense and heavy that will help them fall asleep on the couch moments after getting in the door of their drab apartments with the new carpet. These are the newly divorced marketing specialists and law clerks, still not used to living in solitude and silence, longing for more social engagements--book clubs, Ultimate Frisbee leagues, open mike nights--to fill their barren evenings, This is the collective pulse of unhappy America, right there in the Noodles at six forty-eight in suburban Madison, Wisconsin.The novel is funny and poignant, too. I'll read it a second time one day. less
Reviews (see all)
Great book! It's like a comedy but the ending was a bit abrupt and left a lot of things unresolved.
Well written but ultimately fails to deliver with a poor ending.
This book was so beautifully sad.
Enjoyed this!
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