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You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am
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You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  854 ratings  ·  89 reviews
This book is fun, smart, manic and ecstatic; it puts on a clean shirt before it loads the gun. You Are a Little Bit Happier Than I Am has the energy and oddness of a thing that is rising very fast that is not supposed to be rising, or that is supposed to be rising but for a moment you forget that, and for a moment this ordinary thing looks very strange and exciting
Paperback, 72 pages
Published November 30th 2006 by Action Books (first published November 1st 2006)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,216)
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I actually love this book. I hate Tao Lin's novel and find his collection of short stories to be just okay. In fact, I am annoyed by Tao Lin as a persona. I saw him read in Oakland and he read a bunch of obnoxious work including a story that was a transcribed google chat that was excessive, boring, and tedious. I stole one of his grapes when he wasn't looking. I tried to talk to him and he smiled nervously and drew pictures in my copies of his books that I had just bought. I still have the books ...more
Amar Pai
Typical Tao, it mostly feels like tossed-off gimmicky nonsense, but there are occasional worthwhile moments. This barely seems like poetry though; it's just sentences with weird line breaks and no capitalization.

if that's all that's needed
for something to be a poem
then i'll just reformat this review
i am a poet

Here's one poem from this collection I did like, entitled "pessimism? or robotics?"

pessimism? or robotics?

i am able to sit through an extremely funny movie
without makin
Megan Boyle
I think "you are a little bit happier than i am" is usually the first book people read by Tao Lin, as it is his first. I read it last. I think when people always refer to "Tao Lin" style poetry they're referring to this book. Seems like the iconic first doctrine of self-conscious, disappointed with people/the universe/the self (to some degree) poetry.

Death is an abstraction to anyone who is alive, but it's also inevitable that everyone will die. The person writing this book seems to have known
Sep 15, 2007 Peter rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: high school kids? hipsters?
Shelves: poetry
When I bought this book I wanted to like it a lot. I ended up liking a few individual poems and individual lines within poems. But overall the poems seem very self-absorbed. I can't help but think they are chock full of pretentiousness. I don't know how else to describe it. The titles are sort of gimmicky. Like one of them is good but all of them get old pretty quick. The style or tone or voice or whatever one might want to call it ends up sounding like a flimsy imitation of an insecure fifteen ...more
Jun 09, 2009 Greg rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: poetry
I don't know if Tao Lin writes good poetry, but he is entertaining. A bonus is that Karen makes a cameo in one of the poems, and I had the excitement at being the first person to find it.

This - stolen from Tao Lin's blog - captures the essence of the book, even though he wrote it about one poem in particular:

"If this poem were a parrot it would fly calmly around a room four feet above the ground saying something stupid repeatedly. Someone would find out it was a robot parrot, but then when someone hit the parrot with a baseball bat in order to knock it out of the window, to be funny, the parrot would hit the wall and real blood would come out, because it is not a robot parrot b
"So this is where it all started." That's what we'll say in the future, when Tao Lin is Poet Laureate of the United States, and reads his poems at inaugurations and state dinners, and the people in the audience clap because they are supposed to, but what they actually feel like doing is shivering because they are unsettled, but they do not know the thing that unsettles them. That thing is Tao Lin. Buried in his detachment and depression are little bits of happiness that mean more than ordinary h ...more
I loved Tao Lin's previous book of poetry Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, and I lost you are a little bit happier than i am and was really disappointed because I was very eager to read it.

Lin is still witty but some the poems in the collection are negative and/or mean-spirited, so this book wasn't as fun for me.

I was hoping to see recurring characters but there weren't any, really. His mom was in maybe a few poems and there was one about a hamster (which was everywhere in the first book) near th
Kara Brightmeyer
people i've known who call themselves poets and like saying "i'm a poet" seem to have this certainty about what poems are and what it means to call themselves "poets." my friends have invited me to poetry readings, which i've sat through mostly feeling bored and annoyed and like everyone is in on something i'm not, and i've just thought "okay, poetry isn't for me, poetry is like sports." i don't think i would've bought "you are a little bit happier than i am" (or "cognitive-behavioral therapy") ...more
i enjoyed every minute of reading tao lin's collection of poems. i want tao lin to write and publish at least 50 more books so i can spend all of my time in his world.

"and if i had three wishes
i wouldn't be able to sleep
and i would feel like shit all the time
finally i'd wish i didn't have three wishes
then i'd feel cheated and want those wishes again
and i'd wish for a million wishes
but the genie would be like, 'you can't do that; it's against the rules'
and i'd be like, 'what, do you work at burge
Tao Lin's You Are A Little Bit Happier Than I Am is a very funny book of poems that, despite just a tad too much mopery, is also profoundly moving.

This book is so post-modern reading it is like driving a golf cart backwards along a Möbius strip of highway through a CGI version of Las Vegas. Or something. But instead of confusion, the constant self-referential absurdity actually enhances the book's detachment and places it squarely in the middle of our hopelessly fragmented world.

On the mopiness
It's easier to follow Lin's poetry than his prose, though I usually enjoy the prose more. These poems give the latter part of the previous statement a run for it's money, though. I enjoyed these poems more than some of Lin's prose, though some of his prose is still my favorite Lin work. Either way, I got into these poems more than the poems in "Cognitive-Behavior Therapy." They just seemed funnier and more playful, as well as more insightful and moving. In short, this is a good Lin one to check ...more
This surprised me and wasn't like what I expected. These poems are actually sweet and lovely. I think I understand this part of Tao Lin's writing career a lot more than I understand things he made later. But it's okay because once Meghan and I had a band called Forever Wolf that we thought was really really funny for some reason even though nobody else did.
Colin N.
Lin is really wonderful at evoking feelings of loss, loneliness, and disconnect, and his ability to capture these emotions is on full display in this collection of poems. Not poems in a strict sense, more like prose-poems, these bits of people's lives read like fragments of the stories in his other works. I loved Bed and EEEEE, so reading this work was enjoyable, visiting similar themes but rendered in a different format.

It's also interesting to see someone younger writing poems (lots of refere
I would say something between poetry / short story / prose.
This is a really nice read. Sometimes vulnerable and delicate, other times strong or mean, which makes it seem honest and sincere.

What I like is that somehow Tao Lin is able to combine meaningless ramblings with really meaningful insights about life, death, relationships, time, space, reality etc. He blends the line between banal and profound so you are not sure what you just read is meaningless rambling or really insightful, which make
Wendy Trevino


i click a link on the internet
i watch a video
a bullfighter in spain
pushes a sword into a bull's shoulder
the entire sword goes down into the bull
like a toothpick into a plum

and the bull keeps moving and bucking
and as it moves around
the sword cuts up its insides
and i want to see the bull's eyes
but the video is quicktime
and the size of a baby's for
Ryan Smith
I really enjoyed this book, almost completely inexplicably. The superficial layer of this book is forgettable, nothing altogether special, but what boils up beneath the surface and around the edges borders on the incredible. There's an interesting conflict of sorts, almost from poem to poem, between a feeling of absurdity, a refusal to be serious and an honesty, almost despite itself, that I was unable to not be compelled by.

There's a kind of abstract rebounding back and forth going on, and I t
Connie Cann
I had high hopes for this poetry collection, because though I think that Lin's prose is lackluster, there are moments of light in his fictions in which he gets close to small, simple truths- a strength I look for in short stories and thought his poetry would exploit. However, his poetry reads exactly like his fiction: it is self-indulgent and overly verbose. Tao Lin has a way of using a lot of words to say very little.

The minimalist layout of this book is a false promise to readers; I found the
Daniel Bryan
"i wake up at 2 p.m.
i am alert
i feel strange and alert
panic is moving through me, tentatively, like it’s not sure of itself
panic is saying, ‘is this right?’
my panic is saying, ‘is this how to do it? slowly like this?’ and i am saying, ‘yes,

just keep on moving through me and never go away, that’s it,’ and i am being sarcastic, but my panic has no sense of irony and it gets a little confident and moves through me a little quicker now and it is smiling now too and moving through me with confidence
May 12, 2014 Neil rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
on goodreads dot com i rate almost all the books that i have read three stars out of five or four stars out of five because i feel like that is sufficiently non-committal especially since i always rate them right after i've read the book when i don't know what i think yet,
but even when it's been a while since i read the book and i think i've made up my mind if i rate the book five stars out of five or two stars out of five or one star out of five i usually regret it but i cant be bothered changi
Tom Bensley
I think the appeal of Tao Lin's poetry (and maybe of the whole alt-lit/hipster-lit/new sincerity movement) at least for me, is that the writing always tries to speak to the little voice you don't listen to, the feelings you have that disappear quickly enough for you to believe they didn't happen and the ideas you have in your head that you dismiss as "weird and pointless". What I mean is, sometimes the poetry in this book had me acknowledge something in myself that I never thought existed, but a ...more
Ok, so I think Tao Lin's poetry is better than his prose, at least more engaging. I didn't like everything here but it was mostly intense and interesting, which can't be bad. I loved the poem Spring Break, I would have given this a five for that alone had most of the others been just slightly better. A very intriguing author - I'm not sure if I like his style but I really want to read his work.
I think this one's a lot better than his second poetry collection, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I could tell this one was written by a human. I read it over a length of maybe four days, while I was reading other books, and every time I cracked it open to continue reading it, it was always like returning to something vaguely comforting, like watching muted TV at 3am when you can't sleep.
Anne Heide
i used to work with retards for money, not because i care about retards. we would go bowling, and the retards would bowl 140s and get strikes. i can only bowl like 90 and get no strikes. one day one of the retards called my a retard for doing something stupid.
After reading this, i am pretty sure i am a little bit happier than Tao. I loved it, every poem had a pile of emotions that i could feel, maybe it sounds pretentious but this is the best "*~alt lit kind of~*" ever.
Tao Lin is so right about those moments on AOL instant messenger, fantasy of getting hit by a truck, being unemployed/going to interviews, what loneliness is, that you are a little bit happier than I am, etc.
Collection of poems. Obscure to say the least. Makes me wonder if style of writing is by choice or if that is the author's character. Just a thought.
Closer to a 4.5 but still a 4. It's AMAZING in the beginning but starts to lose steam as it goes on. Favorite poem is "i am unemployed."
DeWitt Brinson
I would read this book even if I were a mole and had no understanding of language, but not if I were an advances robot from the future.
Bed is better, but this is a good start. Some of the poems are WAY too indulgent but better than if he hadn't written anything.
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7.5, wow! 1 16 May 21, 2007 10:47PM  
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“and i don't think you should lie to me with any nature poems
because you know you don't think sand is beautiful
unless you are in a good mood, which you never are”
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