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
Very philosophical but easily digestible, Happy delivers plenty of lines that make you stop and think, finding a different perspective and, perhaps, a better way to live
"I wish it was read by Derren Brown..."
Derren didn't read.
One of the most memorable moments of Happy was that it wasn't read by Derren Brown.
Instead of Jot Davies and Derren Brown, I would have cast Derren Brown as narrator for the book in its entirety.
I had an extreme reaction to this book. It was when I was disappointed that it wasn't read by Derren Brown.
I would have paid more money to have it read by Derren Brown.
"Lovely book - but read, don't listen"
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.
The narrative gives a very helpful approach to different aspects of life with many references to ancient Greec philosophy.
The tone of his voice went up every few words. This made it very annoying to listen to his voice.
The book is good. It espouses the benefits of stoic philosophy. It gives good examples. It teaches you about languaging and how you can control your reaction to things. Which is why I'm not upset that Derren didn't read it *sob* no really I'll be ok. Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes them so...... If you need me I'll be in my room.
"Good book bad narration"
Really hard to get pass the narration, wished Derren narrated it. Good points explored and brought up! Although Derren likes to ramble on a bit at some instances, I would have enjoyed all of it if the narration could have delivered it better.
If you can't get past the narration, its still worth buying the book~
Yes, loved the books and ideas and it was very well researched. Life changer.
That it challenged my beliefs but that's what I loved most about it. You can have competing beliefs at the same time. Use knowledge and wisdom to serve you in whatever way you need them to serve you.
OMG THE WORST NARRATOR - He had this horrible sarcastic tone THE WHOLE TIME! I couldn't even tell if the author was being serious or not. This was a real issue. I like the fact that I had it on my phone and could re-listen, but man the narrator is painful. So sad for this amazing book.
The importance of being logical and all the history on philosophers. The book grounded me.
I mean, if you are more of a reader, I would read, but if you need the audio you will get used to the narrator eventually. I would hate for that to be the only reason you pass on the book. Also, the book may agree that this bad narration will make you appreciate all the good ones =)
I had no idea what to expect going into this book. What I got was a blistering attack on the fact-mutilating stupidity of religion (Yay!!) and a pretty good primer on Stoic philosophy (DOUBLE YAY!!). All in all, this book has A LOT in it. It goes is many different directions, which isn't a bad thing for a book talking about a topic as vague as "Happiness". The closest thing I can equate it to would be a really well-read, interesting person's own unique philosophical views on life.
The narrator isn't great, but he isn't terrible either. I don't know who this Darren Brown guy is, so he may very well have been (as other reviewers assert) the best person to read this, but I can't speak to that. While the narrator's voice definitely started out as somewhat annoying, I think I just got used to him after a while.
"Fantastic book! but the voice..."
I'm awfully sorry for expressing this but the narrator's voice makes the book quite painful to listen to.
"Narration is awful and distracting"
It even says in the blurb for the audio book that it's narrated by Derren Brown and Jot Davis. In fact it's entirely Jot Davis and he's not doing a good job, the way he reads the book is truly distracting from the contents which is a massive shame. I'll be reading this on kindle instead. Giving up half way through. Luckily audible refund without a quibble.
"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.
not read by derren brown and what is it with the gasp of breath. I could not get past the first chapter. What a shame I was so looking forward to this book. Surely Audible listen to these people before sending this rubbish out
never got to read it
stop gasping, the bit I read was gasp after after sharp intakes of breath
These should be vetted by audible
"Impossible to follow due to the narration"
Like several others, I'm really disappointed by the narration of this book. Not being narrated by the author wasn't a deal breaker but this guy's inflections and sing-song tones are so annoying it makes the book impossible to follow.
I don't think I'll be able to get to the end of this book. The narrator's overly sing-song style makes it really hard to follow what's going on. He somehow removes all the meaning from the words so I lose concentration really fast and am not getting anything out of it.
I'll probably try again if someone else rerecords it though.
"Look at the reviews before you buy this!"
The narrator is truly awful! I am so annoyed with myself that I didn't look at the reviews prior to the download.
Not if Jot Davies reads it!
To stop reading each sentence as if it were the only one on the page - someone else has mentioned the upwards inflection of each sentence - deeply, deeply irritating - sapping each sentence of life and meaning,
It may have done but I couldn't get passed the narrator.
"RUINED BY DREADFUL NARRATION!!"
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.
Imagine my dismay when I discovered that this is yet another good book that has been ruined by Jot Davies!
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.
I haven't been able to get past the first 5 minutes. I'll be returning it and buying the paperback book instead.
Derren Brown. Failing that LITERALLY ANYONE ELSE.
Please stop ruining good books with this narrator. Please.
The narrator really is terrible. It's strange how he has no connection to the text. It's a shame because many people won't download this now due to the bad reviews. The content is very interesting, but, who signed the narration off? They want sacking. Derren really should have done this himself
The hard of hearing
Read it himself (or got anyone else to read it other than Jot Davies)
The upwards inflection of every sentence, the short gasps of breath. I disliked everything about the narration of this book.
Any and all read by Jot Davies
I was really looking forward to this book after hearing Derren on Radio 4, I preordered it back in October. After the first sentence I laughed at the narration, it reminded me of Dale Winton on Supermarket Sweep, after 1 minute I was irritated, after another 5 furious. I would rather have the deluxe package at Guantanamo than listen 18 hours of this. impossible. Returned.
"Disappointed the Derren didn't read his own book"
I really don't feel Happy any more.
I was looking forward to this being released as an audiobook, hoping - and quietly expecting - Derren Brown to be the narrator.
I bought the book on kindle when it was released, but held back reading it until the audiobook was made available. Turns out, I should have just read the book from the off. Why - because some other bloke is reading the work. All 18 hours of it. Not that he does a terrible job - although it's just a bit too clipped and measured and soulless for my liking - but it has to be a poor substitute for having Derren B himself.
It doesn't feel good criticising the narrator for just doing his job - but this seems like a missed opportunity. It's always a treat to hear Derren Brown talk - so to have 18 hours of it would have been heaven. It worked so perfectly on his Confessions of a Conjurer. Plus there was that freebie download with Derren Brown talking about the book with Audible as a pre-release teaser, which led me to believe that of he'd be the narrator.
It really is beyond me why he didn't narrate. Why would you spend years writing a book, only to choose not to narrate it with that ever so famous and sellable voice.
I'm sure I've said one thing about ten times in this review. Well ... time to take an anti-depressant and then get cracking reading the book the hard way.
I feel as if I should put this footnote in as a bit of a disclaimer - I haven't listened to the whole 18 hours, god forbid no - but I've dipped into most of the chapters to see if Derren B shares the narration - but as far as I can tell, he doesn't. It's just Jot doing his thing. If this is the case, it's misleading to have Derren Brown listed as a first, joint narrator.
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