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Ben

San Jose, CA, USA

31
HELPFUL VOTES
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  • 1 titles in library
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  • The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Eric Weiner
    • Narrated By Eric Weiner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (409)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (150)

    Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness". This uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is.

    Ben says: "Brew your coffee, get some cookies"
    "Brew your coffee, get some cookies"
    Overall

    Thoroughly enjoyed it. I haven't listened to many books - but the author does a great job here. His narration was fun, fluid, and when he makes attempts to replicate accents, it's funny. He does Arab accents, new york accents, Thai, British, and it's not always good, but always funny.

    The book starts strong and starts to lose it's intensity toward the end. The first countries seem to take hours to investigate, but he seems to rush through the last few places which include; Florida, North Carolina, England and India.

    Basically, Weiner, uses an academically based "Happy Scale" to find the happiest places on earth. The scale is measured on a number of attributes. These attributes are given good exploration at the beginning. If anything, it is the basis for the entire book. Each visit, incidentally, seems to confirm the scale's validity.

    It starts in the Netherlands at a hash bar and just gets more colorful from there.

    In his search for happy people, he decides to visit an unhappy place; Maldova. supposedly Maldova is one of the worlds unhappiest places. Indeed, the country seems so miserable that I caught myself laughing out loud a number times. Even the Peace Corp volunteers agree (they're interviewed). The worst place was a highlight for me and the happiest places seemed far less colorful (like Switzerland). Ugliness and misery make for character I guess.

    In the end, I felt as confused as the author. It was refreshing that he spared us a sanctimonious lecture on happiness and instead seemed to honestly theorize that happiness is more about basics, general rules of thumb, then anything else.

    Then it ended and, man, I was sad for a few minutes..

    31 of 31 people found this review helpful

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