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Editorial Reviews

"The incredible quests Chris Guillebeau explores in The Happiness of Pursuit, including his own to visit every country, left me feeling exhausted. Of course, as a person who works from home, I limit my quests most days to taking a shower. Bottom line: these stories are inspiring--and very, very entertaining." (Joel Stein, columnist, Time magazine and author of Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity)

Publisher's Summary

A remarkable book that will both guide and inspire, The Happiness of Pursuit reveals how anyone can bring meaning into their life by undertaking a quest.

When he set out to visit all of the planet’s countries by age thirty-five, compulsive goal seeker Chris Guillebeau never imagined that his journey’s biggest revelation would be how many people like himself exist – each pursuing a challenging quest. And, interestingly, these quests aren’t just travel-oriented. On the contrary, they’re as diverse as humanity itself. Some involve exploration; others the pursuit of athletic or artistic excellence; still others a battle against injustice or poverty or threats to the environment.

Everywhere that Chris visited he found ordinary people working toward extraordinary goals, making daily down payments on their dream. These “questers” included a suburban mom pursuing a wildly ambitious culinary project, a DJ producing the world’s largest symphony, a young widower completing the tasks his wife would never accomplish, and a teenager crossing an entire ocean alone - as well as a do-it-yourselfer tackling M.I.T.’s computer-science course, a nerd turning himself into real-life James Bond, and scores of others writing themselves into the record books.

The more Chris spoke with these strivers, the more he began to appreciate the direct link between questing and long-term happiness -- how going after something in a methodical way enriches our lives -- and he was compelled to complete a comprehensive study of the phenomenon and extract the best advice. In The Happiness of Pursuit he draws on interviews with hundreds of questers, revealing their secret motivations, their selection criteria, the role played by friends and family, their tricks for solving logistics, and the importance of documentation.

©2014 Chris Guillebeau (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

" The Happiness of Pursuit is smart, honest, and dangerous. Why dangerous? Because it is as practical as it is inspiring. You won't just be daydreaming about your quest - you'll be packing for it!" (Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, author of the number one New York Times best seller Daring Greatly)
"It's not easy to dream big - and it's not easy to turn that dream into reality. The brilliant Chris Guillebeau provides the essential blueprint for those of us for whom the happiness of pursuit - such as Chris's successful quest to visit every country in the world - is a key part of the pursuit of happiness." (Gretchen Ruben, New York Times best-selling author of The Happiness Project)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good ideas about life purpose

Useful for me as over the last years I've lost my life direction due to some personal and family setbacks. The idea is simple (find life quests like "visit every church or sports stadium in your country", "hike 1000 km") but well elaborated. Some filler in the book, but not excessively so.

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  • Nagy Barnabás
  • 31-01-2015

Inspirational and motivating - highly recommended!

I found this book incredibly inspirational and motivating at the same time. It was simply amazing to see how many people took on various quest from different backgrounds and different goals. The author is only one of them not trying to be the main character but very well describing and summarizing. The individual efforts. Anyone who is interesting in goalsetting and want to put more adventure in their lives should really listen and relisten to these stories. Well worth hearing them again and again. The yearly review is also something very beneficial to do which I would suggest for everyone to do each year.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ally Martinez
  • 27-09-2016

Good Story, wrong narrator

Would you try another book from Chris Guillebeau and/or George Newbern?

I think I would have enjoyed this book much more if I hadn't just finished other books that have similar themes that are just much better. I think the overall story and advice were good but I recommend many other books (Grit for instance) that offer a much more fleshed out idea than pure conjecture in this book. Secondly, the narrator was just so wrong for this book. I couldn't hear any passion or excitement in the tone or voice. This book offers stories more than actual fact, so why didn't the narrator show some passion in conveying these stories? He read it like a science book, when in reality, this book is more of a novel.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P. Matthews
  • 01-06-2015

Too much narrative not enough dialogue

These stories could have been more engaging but were kept mostly factual and somewhat boring.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Timothy R.
  • 10-08-2015

ok book but definately not a page turner

Would you try another book from Chris Guillebeau and/or George Newbern?

Decent book but definitely not a case of hanging on for the next sentence. I listened from start to finish but found it difficult in parts. There were definitely good parts & the author has a fantastic person story. However, many of those showcased we just a bit boring.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

The author visiting every country in the world was very interesting, the least interesting were many of the stories showcased.

Would you listen to another book narrated by George Newbern?

I am neutral on this. I would not going specifically looking for his reads but would not shy away either.

Could you see The Happiness of Pursuit being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

no

Any additional comments?

not awful by any means but for my taste a bit boring.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-02-2018

Questing in Life

I really liked this book, It help solidify my desire for quests even prior to reading this book, and realizing it is a form of happiness. I keep making new quests each year to better and improve, and I felt this book really outlined a lot on what to expect and even to accept when you must stop or postpone a quest. Definitely recommending to my friends and family.

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  • Kendra Beseler
  • 29-06-2017

inspirational and gives practical tips for success

inspirational and gives practical tips for success. feeling down or in a rut about where your life us going? read this book

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Nell
  • 23-06-2017

Some will find inspiring...

Others not so much. Well read and delivered no doubt. People less familiar with the concept of "questing" may find the book inspiring and informative. I found it a little flat and clinical.

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  • S. Kats
  • 06-05-2016

Inspirational

It is inspirational book. Sort of like $100 startup. People out there just like you and me do incredible things, and you can to.

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  • Naomi
  • 25-03-2016

Always inspiring!

I have listened to Chris's books over and over and over again every time I need to be inspired to action when my life gets too boring and monotonous. This book has done that again.

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  • amy
  • 11-05-2015

Wheels Turning

Entertaining quests taken on by so many folks at different stages in life for unique reasons. Sprinkled with advice a humor.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Joseph Sherburn
  • 17-06-2015

what reason is there for going everywhere?

after a while of listening I can't help feel there is no reason for checking off all the nations on earth (one's recognised by the UN) as the only border is in the human mind.

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  • Russell tolliday
  • 19-02-2015

Good but definitely not on the level of $100

Really good overall, very interesting but it's mainly just a collection of interesting stories, doesn't give you as much to go away with when compared to $100 startup. Chris's writing style is slick and well executed though so I would deffo recommend it if you're a fan :)