"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 ourselves protagonists on a very crowded, violent, and unjust stage."(p.252)
I chose this book to take with me on my trip back home to visit my parents and I'm really glad this was my companion there, during, and back, as it read like a good old friend telling me a story; which I totally need when I go back to the town I grew up in, since the energy of the place has always been constricting and claustrophobic, at least to me.
This is the yang to THE HAPPINESS PROJECT. It is fiction and is narrated by Zeke Pappas, who seems to have everything - an interesting career in Humanities, a caring mother, and two lovely twin nieces. However, as the story unfolds so does the unraveling of the narrative, and as a reader you get to see his "American Unhappiness" first hand.
I really liked Zeke's ironic sense of humor, his poignantly true insights on humanity, our culture, and work, while giving smart literary references and an interesting narrative on his unraveling, all at the same time. The only time I was annoyed with him was when he's trying to find love, as he says all the wrong things, all of the time. However, the ending was good as it left me with a little bit of hope that Zeke has learned from his past mistakes and when he goes to Michigan that in starting over he might find the love he's been looking for.
All in all, a really good read that has made me think a lot about my own American Unhappiness. I only hope that my journaled narrative will be as witty and engaging as Dean Bakopouls'. I really need to read more from this author as well.