My American Unhappiness
“Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” The answers he receives—a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint—create a collage of woe.... show more
“Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” The answers he receives—a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint—create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain custody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a women’s magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some “prospects”: a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola (“Why not aim high?”). A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.
Publish date: June 7th 2011
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages no: 288
Edition language: English
I was first drawn to Dean Bakopoulos’ second novel because of the title My American Unhappiness. This phrase sums up a lot of what I spend my time thinking about – how convenience, consumption, expansion, and similar American values deemed good by the population actually wreck havoc on our happiness...
Yes, this is actually a laugh-out loud book about unhappiness. Zeke's funding for his Inventory of American Unhappiness Project is running out. In the meantime, while gauging the unhappiness of everyone around him, he ignores his own well-being. Zeke is a likable narrator that just needs a good waki...
Zeke Pappas, is the engaging - and unreliable - chronicler of American unhappiness in this absurd, sad and funny second novel by Dean Bakapoulos. He begins to unravel personally and professionally as he embarks on a search for a wife in this disturbing view of America during George W Bush's reign of...
"We see ourselves in a struggle of epic, or at least interesting, magnitude, and so we go about documenting it ourselves, not waiting for some future historian, anthropologist, or novelist to find our tale and tell it to us. YouTube, FaceBook, blogs - all of these things are ways for us to make ours...
4 stars is a rather oddly high rating to give this book.After all, near the end I realized I wanted Zeke to die, not in a punishment sort of way but because I found his insanity so annoying.