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Spectacular Happiness: A Novel
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Spectacular Happiness: A Novel

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  69 ratings  ·  10 reviews
In his bestselling Listening to Prozac, Peter Kramer asked how much happiness we have a right to expect, and how quickly we should demand it. In Should You Leave? he questioned whether trading up has replaced loyalty in intimate relationships. Critics have praised his intellect and writing, comparing him to Roth and Updike, and have anticipated his turn to fiction.
Now Kr
ebook, 320 pages
Published January 27th 2002 by Scribner (first published July 17th 2001)
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Got through 100 pages of this book and decided there are too many other books I want to be reading. Too dry for fiction, not an interesting enough topic to spend non-fiction time on.
Marc Kohlman
I read this book as part of an English course I had taken the Spring of last year on Protest Literature. What really made the novel appealing to me was Chip Samuels love for his son and explaining to him his reasons for doing what he did. I compared their relationship much to that of my own with my Dad, who I rarely saw as a kid. I did admire Chip for his belief that the beachfront belongs to all, not just the wealthy. Also, his practice of neutrality in not taking stands on either side. At its ...more
I like other, non-fictional books of Kramer's as well, but that had not made me expect good fiction-writing from him, and I approached the novel skeptically at first, but it didn't take long before I was interested. The narrative is conventional and steers away from experimentation, the language is sparse yet adequately smart, and (thankfully), Kramer does not attempt to isolate himself from his authorly self when writing; psychotherapy-inspired observations, recalling moments of "Should You Le ...more
Rochelle Tangonan
I was reminded of this book in reading Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. The difference is that while I felt this book made sense during the process because the acts were given justification, the ending was a bit underwhelming for me. Fight Club on the other hand was confused with the storytelling, but it was put together in the end. Their biggest similarity is that both lead characters are radical and wanting change while they struggle.
This is a god first novel of a non-fiction writer. The discussions of demonstration and spectacle were interesting, though at times the political tone fell flat.

As a card-carrying feminist, I must add that this ultra-lefty guy was pretty damn condescending towards the women characters. Oh, and he also slept with each one of them.

But the book was good overall.
Kept my interest enough that I finished, but overall left me disappointed. Reads too much like the attempt at a novel by an academic that it is - too much explication of ideas and name-dropping, not enough showing of ideas through other means.
I don't remember much about this book except thinking wow, this is unbelievable (as in it's not believable at all, not as in those fireworks are unbelievably great) and that he shouldn't have ventured to fiction yet (or maybe ever)?
A good story with a pretentious and macho New England narrator. Enjoyable, but doesn't give the pure pleasure of an Ozeki or Hiassen.
This book gives great insight into anarchism in its most sincere form.
Borrowed from Karen.
ecoterrorism with an absurdist ending.
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