Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $24.95

Buy Now for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Abia Biography of the Year 2021.

Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. It is up to you.

Eddie Jaku always considered himself a German first, a Jew second. He was proud of his country. But all of that changed in November 1938, when he was beaten, arrested and taken to a concentration camp.

Over the next seven years, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors every day, first in Buchenwald, then in Auschwitz, then on a Nazi death march. He lost family, friends, his country. 

Because he survived, Eddie made the vow to smile every day. He pays tribute to those who were lost by telling his story, sharing his wisdom and living his best possible life. He now believes he is the 'happiest man on earth'.

Published as Eddie turns 100, this is a powerful, heart-breaking and ultimately hopeful memoir of how happiness can be found even in the darkest of times.

Shortlisted for the Aba Nielsen Book Booksellers' Choice - Adult Non-Fiction Book of the Year 2021.

Shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards for Non-Fiction 2021.

Longlisted for Matt Richell Award for New Writer of the Year 2021.

©2020 Eddie Jaku (P)2020 Macmillan Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"This simple, moving account of a remarkable life offers plenty to think about and reflect on...Highly recommended." (Canberra Weekly)

"I have never met Eddie Jaku, but having read his book I feel like I have made a new friend...This is a beautiful book by a truly amazing man." (Daily Telegraph

"A reminder of the power of love, kindness and hope...A life-affirming story, beautifully told." (Sydney Morning Herald)

What listeners say about The Happiest Man on Earth

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,170
  • 4 Stars
    172
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,685
  • 4 Stars
    153
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,717
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Inspiring | Sad | Inspiring | Life Changing

This bought me so many emotions some of which I was not aware of. This book is the best book I have ever listened to by far and I have listened and read a lot of books. It has changed my life and my perspective on so many levels.

31 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This is a must read!

This is an amazing book, although Eddie and his family endured such terrible things, Eddie is such an inspiring man and honestly put a lot into perspective as to how lucky we are, even in this troubling year of 2020
Thank you Eddie for sharing your story. I want to hug you!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A wonderful book

This was a wonderful book. Simple, honest and full of hope. It really brought me back to the things that matter the most. I Highly recommend it.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

oh my heart

loved it, at times I found myself talking back to Eddie...his story is astounding! This book should read in schools so that we never repeat what was done to Eddie and his people.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just.. wow! Life Changing! An IncrEDDIEble Story!

A masterpiece. When I read Man's Search for Meaning it changed me. Now Eddie has moved me further, and his story is even richer and more relatable. His constant drive to help others and his resilience are a wake up call to us all. A truly beautiful man who has had a remarkable impact. Thank you, Eddie, from a new friend.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This audio book changed my outlook on life

Eddies story is a hard to take in and it unbelievable what he went through and what he endured to survive in a Nazi concentration camp

He teaches amazing lessons of friendship, giving, kindness, forgiveness, courage, family and education just to name a few.

I was humbled listening to Eddie’s story. I have changed my outlook on life and doing my best to show more kindness to everyone I interact with.

This is definitely one of the best stories I have heard.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The happiest man on earth....

.... is a must read. Heartbreaking, inspiring, deeply moving. The true story of a courageous and loving man. It will change you forever.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Everyone should read this book!

What an incredibly moving and inspiring. I started it and finished it in one go. If anyone needs a little bit of a perspective adjustment I urge you to get it into your ears. Heartbreaking, but joyful.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

Eddy, your story it's truly humbling. thank you so much for taking the time to share it.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Emotionally challenging

I enjoyed this story but it wasn’t a happy one and not one to listen to when you want something light and breezy and uplifting. It’s not as uplifting as the author wants it to be. It’s quite frightening in some ways, in terms of what we are capable of. It made me feel a bit flat for a few days while I was reading it.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rosemary
  • Rosemary
  • 01-02-2021

The kindest way to share such horrors

I came across this book by accident, and I am truly blessed to have found it. This is a kind person sharing a true and heartbreakingly cruel story not only about the Nazis and antisemitisime but about a cruelty and darkness that is inside all of us. Eddie shines a light on the darkness to remind and warn us how fragile a line there is between good and evil and how easy it is to lose one’s decency. But Eddie also shines a light on hope and goodness and the power of love to help and heal. It was a privilege to share Eddie’s life and to see how he and his loved one’s survived and overcame such horrors born through hate. I take off my hat to you sir. You are a treasure and your lessons will never be forgotten. Eddie opened my eyes in many ways. Thank you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alberto Gomes
  • Alberto Gomes
  • 25-11-2020

Really deep on details and keep our attention

Full inspirational! Makes us be more grateful in life. Kindness is the key to a better world.
“Make yourself a better friend to the world”

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Infragelis
  • Infragelis
  • 20-08-2020

As good as it gets - 6 stars

Resilient. Loving. Graceful. Tragic. Loving. Memorable. Beautiful. This book truly is life changing. Simply breathtaking. What a gentleman.

This should be compulsory reading in schools.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lawrence Dembo
  • Lawrence Dembo
  • 03-07-2021

Uplifting and sad and happy and graceful.

I wish it never ended
I wish it never started so we didn’t have to listen to and remember the stories he tells. No wish humans just knew them and I wish history didn’t repeat.
The book is brilliant because it’s true and it’s written free of hyperbole.
Eddie is 100 and looks back with the voice of a man that can’t be hurt. The truth sets him free.
Narrator was pitch perfect and even sounds in tone and pitch like the author in real life.
Can’t find a single fault

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Joshua
  • Joshua
  • 09-06-2021

Goodness me!

I've read a few holocaust survivour books, this one is arguably the best.
The reason, for me it takes the listener full circle through the emotional spectrum.
Very good listen, worth the credit for sure!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 15-03-2021

Wonderful inspiring true life story

I've never before heard of the terrible suffering of the Jews, disabled and human misfits as deemed in the Nazi Germany, in such passionate and truely horrific detail. Many other cruel events have happened before and since the holocaust, but the holocaust is a modern day event that must never be forgotten. Thank you Eddie Jaku for creating an enduring memory for us all.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for George
  • George
  • 13-03-2021

Makes one appreciate what we take for granted

Powerful story and a profound message. Makes you stop to smell the coffee and reflect on your own life. History as told by the people who were there is extremely insightful and powerful. I am so glad I read this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lynn Powers
  • Lynn Powers
  • 01-03-2021

Beautiful heart wrenching story

Narrator does a wonderful job. The story is astonishing and I'm so glad my new friend Eddie decided to share it with us all. I made sure to give my mama an extra hug and told her I love her, Eddie.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 31-12-2020

A must for everyone to hear

A harrowing story with lessons that everyone can heed. Fantastically written and performed. Very much recommend.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Satha
  • Satha
  • 26-12-2020

Great Read..

enjoyed this book immensely.. Highly recommend it as a read and the message for life..

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for P. Hannon
  • P. Hannon
  • 15-11-2020

A must listen

100-year-old Eddie tells a story that will connect with today's world where genocides begin, often in plain sight, and by one set of blind eyes at a time.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jannike
  • Jannike
  • 24-10-2020

Deeply touching, a life lesson!

I listened to this entire audio book (with few pauses) in one day, I couldn't stop listening. I have read and watched many holocaust stories and find Eddie's voice (figuratively) unique. With the focus on the help, kindness, friendship and love he found along this life journey. This story goes way before and long after the concentration camps... It is deeply moving without being overly sentimental, it has within it so many nuggets of valuable life lessons with a very powerful and impacting ending. Definitely worth the listen!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ed M.
  • Ed M.
  • 20-10-2020

A reassuring listen.

It's always hard to listen to the suffering of European Jews during the Holocaust, but it's incredible that Eddie Jaku could regain his faith in humanity and live a productive and optimistic life. Simple and worthwhile life lessons to be learnt from this book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sharon M
  • Sharon M
  • 15-09-2020

An Amazing Life Story!

what an incredible journey this man takes you on as he tells you the story of his life and his survival against the odds and the gestapo. what an incredible attitude of positivity he retains despite the atrocities he has witnessed and had inflicted on him. it's like he's lived the life of 5 people not just one. amazingly uplifting despite the subject matter. I listened to this story in one go, i really couldn't stop listening! highly Recommend.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.