Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Pursuit of Happyness” as Want to Read:
The Pursuit of Happyness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Pursuit of Happyness

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  21,846 ratings  ·  814 reviews

The astounding yet true rags-to-riches saga of a homeless father who raised and cared for his son on the mean streets of San Francisco and went on to become a crown prince of Wall Street

At the age of twenty, Milwaukee native Chris Gardner, just out of the Navy, arrived in San Francisco to pursue a promising career in medicine. Considered a prodigy in scientific
Paperback, 320 pages
Published October 24th 2006 by Amistad (first published May 23rd 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Pursuit of Happyness, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Arianny He just hanged to his dreams, but not just dreamed about the things that he wanted, he fought for it, he worked for it and sacrificed for it. His set…moreHe just hanged to his dreams, but not just dreamed about the things that he wanted, he fought for it, he worked for it and sacrificed for it. His set up his mind to be different, to make a difference in his family and to everyone who surrounded him. This is just a summary of the way I see he made it through his obstacles. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  21,846 ratings  ·  814 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Pursuit of Happyness
Feb 28, 2007 rated it it was ok
I liked the story, but the writing left something to be desired, I think... and (don't hate me) there were aspects of Gardner's personality that came out in his book that made him a little bit less of a likeable character for me. Not that I didn't respect what he did or how he helped himself and his son... he just came across such that his personality rubbed me the wrong way a few times... Anyone else who can back me up on that?

I still haven't seen the movie. Maybe I should.
Loy Machedo
Jan 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Chris Gardners ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ is surprisingly not your usual feel-good, decent, role-model kind of a book. It is a book that is brutally honest, bad and bloodied in its language and breathtakingly realistic in its approach.

For those of you who have seen the movie with the same name starring Wills Smith, well let me be clear - what you saw was in the cinema or DVD is hardly a fraction of what you will read in this book. What I realized after reading the book was, the storyline in the
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 03, 2008 rated it did not like it
I enjoyed this movie and so I checked out the book. The first half tells of his life growing up. It was not a happy life. Some of the scenes are quite graphic and there is lots of foul language. I hoped part two would be less so, but it was even worse. Really, it should be the pursuit of a carnal, sensual and develish happiness...not what I truly define as happiness. (Lots of women, drugs, and behavior that I believe should not be emulated.) If I could recommend any of it, it would only be the ...more
May 10, 2007 rated it liked it
I rushed to read this before seeing the movie. Surprisingly, I preferred the movie. While I was deeply moved by Gardner's life and accomplishments, a great writer he is not. I had recently read the Glass Castle (MASTERFULLY TOLD) and this did not measure up. Unfortunately, the childhood accounts are all told not from a child's perspective, but with the adult Chris's notions inserted regularly. We all know a five year old wouldn't be making the observations and conclusions that the narrative ...more
Errol Fern
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Must read for every dreamer out there.
Sarezh kamla
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: saw-it-s-movie
* Don't ever let somebody tell you YOU can't do something - You Got a Dream Protect it - If you Got something Go And Get it *

. I saw The Movie and Makes me hopeful . so surprised . and so Enthusiast
it is all About how much you desire something - and How much you can resist the Hard Time - How much You Won't Give Up !
Then I read it And have same and More Eager Impression To ward every single Goal .
Nice mind - nice courage

-- set A goal
-- Make sure You want IT
-- you will Get what ever the
Apr 24, 2012 rated it did not like it
I was very very disappointed by this book. I loved the movie, and I have seen Chris Gardner on a number of TV appearances, and have been very impressed with his story.
Unfortunately this book was trash both in language and subject matter.
The language was incredibly course and made it very difficult to wade through. In the beginning, it was tolerable because he was telling the story of his childhood, and those were real words that someone spoke to him. So although it was difficult to stomach, I
Anil Swarup
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An inspiring autobiography of a common man with usual frailties but unusual ambition. However, this is one of the rare incidents when the movie scores over the book. It is also a trifle difficult for an Indian to relate to the earlier part of the book as family ties are not as tenuous as they appear in the west. The book still sweeps you off the ground. Some of the events are touching. The ultimate compliment to the father comes from the son "You are a good Poppa" and the one from Nelson Mandela ...more
Afton Heckman
Jun 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
This was one of the best books I've read in awhile! I was sad when I finished reading it. It leaves you with that feel good feeling and the notion that you can achieve anything you put your mind to with a little hard work and determination!

** I saw the movie after I read the book. I love Will Smith's performance; however, I felt like the movie only highlighted 1/10 of the novel! It holds true: The book is always better than the movie.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it did not like it
Watch the movie, it is a lot more inspirational than the book. The language is crass and offensive in the book and the author is conceited.
Oct 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars,but I will up it to 5 only because I would actually read this again.

I really enjoyed this book. I did the audio and highly recommend that version. It felt personal and intimate like having lunch with an old friend from way back. It was definitely raw, but it was tempered with honesty and he offered no excuses. I can completely respect that.

I hate foul language, especially when used in books. I think it is usually a weak crutch and is used to shock the reader. I always think, ‘you’re a
Jan 26, 2008 rated it it was ok
After enjoying the incredible movie based on this book, I was expecting great things. Alas, I was disappointed. Not by the story itself, but by the ridiculous usage of the f-word. It was over the top and took away from the story. The story itself was inspiring. It was interesting to read the book after seeing the movie and take note of the many differences. Chris’ son was only about nineteen (or so) months old when they became homeless. My baby was twenty-one months old while I was reading this ...more
Fahad Hossain
May 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Dont get me wrong, there were some thoroughly enjoyable parts in this book and let's be honest Freddie though a deplorable SOB, was a character of epic proportions

I loved the movie too much to like this book though. I had this whole image of Chris that I imagined reading and learning more about but it didn't get that "inspired" feeling. Maybe it was just Will Smith but I think I'm going to have a deep dislike for the editor of the book. Indecisive at the moment.

This isn't your typical rags to
Nov 11, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: biography-memoir
3.5 stars

If you saw the movie and wanted to know more about Chris Gardner, this book fills in the gaps by going into detail about his childhood and the years before his son was born. The movie comprises about 1/4 of the book. The book goes on to explain what happened after he became successful, which I have to admit was a tad boring, but overall I enjoyed this memoir and thought it was incredibly uplifting and inspiring.

I listened to the audiobook read by the excellent Andre Blake.

I liked the
Jordan Curry
The book I read was The Pursuit of Happyness, I have seen the movie and I know that the book is usually always better than the movie so I am excited to read further into the book. It has sadness, happiness, faith and even funny parts. This novel is an easier book, but has a mature meaning behind it. The book was published in 2006 by Chris Gardner. He is also known for his other books such as: Influence, Until Victory Always and many more. His style of writing is very unique, his vivid ...more
Henrik Haapala
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Act as if: “No matter what I had in my pocket, no matter what my suit cost, nobody could prevent me from acting as if my problems were all in the process of being solved. Pretty soon, my acting as if was so convincing that I started to believe it myself. I began to think futuristically, as if I had already passed the test as I weighed what would happen next.” 222

Believe: “Moms, standing at the ironing board just behind me in the next room, says very clearly, as though she has been sitting next
Jun 12, 2008 marked it as wishlist-‎a-k-a-buku-buruan
Baru nonton filmnya, belum pernah baca bukunya.
suka banget sama dialog ini:

Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something. Not even me. All right?
Christopher: All right.
Christopher Gardner: You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it.
(sumber: )

Tabik bapak, nasehat untuk anaknya keyen!

Btw, kenapa lagu "Can't Take that Away" Mariah Carey gak jadi
I've never had a desire to read this book or even see the film. Truly even the interviews on talk shows didn't interest me some 15years ago. The only reason it's on my Read shelf now is because I'm spoiled by my public library's MP3 audiobook app.

Nevertheless, an okay rags to riches story. Rushed and Naturally flawed because no one is perfect-- not especially a man. There are moments where Gardener sounds like a sex-crazed ass but then again he was only 24. Other moments he sounds like a
Aug 30, 2012 rated it did not like it
Cannot express how deeply disappointed I was in this book! I'd seen the movie soon after it came out, and found it inspirational and even heart-warming. I knew immediately after starting this book that the author's writing style would be difficult to follow. He has a poetic way of writing but tended to jump around a lot in timeline and in perspective. I found I had to skim a lot because of writing style but mostly awful language and graphic details of his childhood and adulthood. All in all, I ...more
Georgie Bartlett
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
I did not get to finish the pursuit of happyness because the book was quite long and very heavy for someone my age. I think that the style of writing quite mature and very heavy. There were about 15-30 pages per chapter and that made it harder to read because there was so much detail in the one chapter and it made it quite boring. There were many paragraphs per page and the writing was quite small. It seemed like a interesting story but it was hard to read it and enjoy because it was way to ...more
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Caution Notice: Ain't a seasoned reader or Critic.
The start especially about the childhood and his mother's struggle seemed to be kind of slow and wasn't entrancing. For which I had to literally drag me through to complete.

Fast forward to second half, the part when he meets the Ferrari guy and after, was amazing and intriguing. And that's when, actually first half of the book makes sense. Chris ensures that you realize the importance of his childhood which was the source of his strength over
Mar 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
The movie was great, but I did not enjoy the book. Kudos to the screenwriter for polishing the gem and cleansing the filth from the book. Christ Gardner's efforts to raise his son and succeed in spite of so many obstacles is wonderful, and I applaud him for his efforts. However, I did not need or want so many details about his sex life. Just not my cup of tea.
Apr 06, 2008 rated it liked it
I saw the movie which glorified the author. The book goes into a lot more details of the author's childhood, marriage and life and I was a lot less enamoured. A lot of the author's poor choices are led by his libido. I felt a lot less empathy for him. Yes, it is horrible to be homeless, but he made some devastating choices himself which hurt people.

Matthew Tessnear
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve wanted to read this story for a long time to see how it compares to the film it inspired. Chris Gardner is like most people—because he has so much to overcome. It helps me, all of us, to read about a man with a completely different background than mine who encountered so many obstacles, kept persevering and eventually succeeded.
Nov 05, 2008 added it
I liked this movie and was at the library one day looking for something to read so I checked the book out. It was terrible! I had to finally put it down because the language and content was horrible. The movie was pretty clean, so I was appalled. I do NOT recommend anyone to read this book.
Apr 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: This is a personal experiment, not actually a review. Its just my experience and thoughts while I read the book. A biography of reading the biography :) Also, massive spoilers.

Reading One:
Finally reading this book and that too the first edition published May 2006 which says on the cover "soon to be a motion picture starring will smith". I remember watching this movie probably in 2007 and having goosebumps all over while doing so. I am hoping reading the book is as much as
Tarek Sabry
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Arguably the most enjoyable book I’ve read, maybe of all time. I watched the movie last year as well. It’s pretty good but of course doesn’t match up to the book.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Critical aspects of the movie didn't follow the book but still and inspirational story.
William Lee
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Pursuit of Happyness is about one pathetic father who seeks happiness for his family and himself. He sells a bone density scanner for living. However, the problem is that he rarely sold them. He later applies for an internship at Dean Witter. During his internship, he got kicked out of a motel. He even ended up sleeping in the bathroom. I first experienced the story with a movie. I later wanted to read the book to see his life with a broader perspective. I was able to see even harsher ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Promises 1 2 Mar 29, 2017 12:57PM  
im reading the book "pursuit of happiness" any questions 1 3 Mar 08, 2017 10:24AM  
The Pursuit of Happyness 1 1 Mar 08, 2017 10:11AM  
Syria Readers Ass...: 008-Pursuit of Happyness 3 41 Sep 22, 2013 08:10AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Beautiful Mind
  • A Beautiful Mind: The Shooting Script
  • Forrest Gump (Forrest Gump, #1)
  • Braveheart
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Catch Me If You Can: The True Story of a Real Fake
  • The Devil's Advocate
  • Dances with Wolves (Dances with Wolves, #1)
  • Good Will Hunting
  • Pay It Forward
  • Million Dollar Baby: Stories from the Corner
  • Shakespeare in Love: A Screenplay
  • Sleeping with the Enemy
  • The First Wives Club
  • Legally Blonde
  • James Cameron's Titanic
  • The Shawshank Redemption: The Shooting Script
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in His Adventure on Earth
See similar books…
Christopher Gardner is the owner and CEO of Gardner Rich LLC with offices in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Conquering grave challenges to become a successful entrepreneur, Gardner is an avid motivational and aspirational speaker, addressing the keys to overcoming obstacles and breaking cycles. Gardner is also a passionate philanthropist whose work has been recognized by many esteemed ...more
“The future was uncertain, absolutely, and there were many hurdles, twists, and turns to come, but as long as I kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, the voices of fear and shame, the messages from those who wanted me to believe that I wasn't good enough, would be stilled.” 136 likes
“Others may question your credentials, your papers, your degrees. Others may look for all kinds of ways to diminish your worth. But what is inside you no one can take from you or tarnish. This is your worth, who you really are, your degree that can go with you wherever you go, that you bring with you the moment you come into a room, that can't be manipulated or shaken. Without that sense of self, no amount of paper, no pedigree, and no credentials can make you legit. No matter what, you have to feel legit inside first.” 94 likes
More quotes…