Regular price: $25.58

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Everyone says they want to be happy. But that's much more easily said than done. What does being happy actually mean? And how do you even know when you feel it?

Across the millennia philosophers have thought long and hard about happiness. They have defined it in many different ways and come up with myriad strategies for living the good life.

Drawing on this vast body of work, in Happy Derren Brown explores changing concepts of happiness - from the surprisingly modern wisdom of the Stoics and Epicureans in classical times right up until today, when the self-help industry has attempted to claim happiness as its own. He shows how many of self-help's suggested routes to happiness and success - such as positive thinking, self-belief and setting goals - can be disastrous to follow and, indeed, actually cause anxiety.

This brilliant, candid and deeply entertaining audiobook exposes the flaws in these ways of thinking and poses challenging but stimulating questions about how we choose to live and the way we think about death. Happy aims to reclaim happiness and to enable us to appreciate the good things in life in all their transient glory. By taking control of the stories we tell ourselves, by remembering that everything's fine even when it might not feel that way, we can allow ourselves to flourish and to live more happily.

©2016 Derren Brown (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    97
  • 4 Stars
    21
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    75
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    13

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    87
  • 4 Stars
    20
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Lovely book - but read, don't listen

Would you listen to Happy again? Why?

No unfortunately not. I would definitely re-read the book, but I didn't like Jot Davies's voice at all. I pre-ordered the audiobook, while it still said Derren Brown would narrate it. I listened to his other audiobooks - narrated by himself - which I immensely loved. I was therefore quite disappointed to find it was narrated by someone else, and unfortunately with a voice that wasn't easy to listen to. However, taking a more Stoic approach: nothing to do about it and fortunately I have the story in book-form. No harm done.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The narrative gives a very helpful approach to different aspects of life with many references to ancient Greec philosophy.

What didn’t you like about Jot Davies’s performance?

The tone of his voice went up every few words. This made it very annoying to listen to his voice.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

Unbearable narrator

I'm a fan of Derren Brown and was looking forward to this book, however, the narration voice is unbearable. It's as though Jot Davies is reading a children's novel to a room of 5-year-olds. Not happy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Well supported and thought out. Terrible narration

What did you like best about Happy? What did you like least?

It is a light approach to some serious subject matter. I think Derren Brown has put a lot of thought and work into it. But the entire narration is painful to listen to, as though every word or every other word is emphasized to be 'happy'. Literally, I have to repeat what is said in my head to make sense of the reading that is much more suited for a Dr. Seuss book read for kids. It is a shame. It is almost a parody or sarcastic tone. I sampled some other narrations by Jot Davies, and he does a much better job on those. Perhaps he needs a plot and characters to be able to visualize what he is reading.

Would you be willing to try another one of Jot Davies’s performances?

Not without sampling it. Sorry to be so critical, but listening to him narrate this is painful, distracting and frustrating.

Any additional comments?

It is a harsh review I know, but now that there is an Audible version of 'Happy', I suppose it will be almost impossible to have another made.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

I wish it was read by Derren Brown...

If you could sum up Happy in three words, what would they be?

Derren didn't read.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Happy?

One of the most memorable moments of Happy was that it wasn't read by Derren Brown.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Jot Davies and Derren Brown ?

Instead of Jot Davies and Derren Brown, I would have cast Derren Brown as narrator for the book in its entirety.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had an extreme reaction to this book. It was when I was disappointed that it wasn't read by Derren Brown.

Any additional comments?

I would have paid more money to have it read by Derren Brown.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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

No Derren

The book is good. It espouses the benefits of stoic philosophy. It gives good examples. It teaches you about languaging and how you can control your reaction to things. Which is why I'm not upset that Derren didn't read it *sob* no really I'll be ok. Things are neither good nor bad but thinking makes them so...... If you need me I'll be in my room.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Good book bad narration

Really hard to get pass the narration, wished Derren narrated it. Good points explored and brought up! Although Derren likes to ramble on a bit at some instances, I would have enjoyed all of it if the narration could have delivered it better.

If you can't get past the narration, its still worth buying the book~

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Thought provoking

Interesting book, very thought provoking and made some very good points. Read it for yourself, but if you listen...I hope you can cope with moronic interrogative. I almost turned it off because of the narration. I shall avoid this narrator at all cost.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Couldn’t listen to another minute

The content sounded like it might be worthwhile but I was too distracted by the narration. Imagine having Siri read to you in a male British voice and that’s pretty much what this is like. Or, even worse, it sounded almost like he was trying to sing the words, to make them have a musical cadence or...something. Maybe a Brit would love it? I don’t know. I did not.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

I never finished the book.

Although the content appears interesting and I love me some Derren Brown the sound of the Jot's voice reading the book along with his tonal changes is impossible to endure. I thought I could but I need to get better at picking up on the performance of the reader. Another book I can't stand another minute of listening to. I will read the paper back instead.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Great Psychology, but biased

This is a book about philosophy, especially STOICISM. I am a Bible teacher, and it is amazing for me to now realise that Stoicism is very similar to the philosophy of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes!!! (Originally written c. 450–200 BCE, the same time that Stoicism began!)
I consider myself a "fan" of Derren Brown, but Derren's well known and very obvious bias against God and Christianity is a little too evident in this book. He has had some unfortunate bad experiences with the false side of modern Christianity, which causes him to "throw out the baby with the bath water." His own philosophies are spoiled by this bias, because it makes him completely shut out the Bible's wisdom in favour of other ancient writings. Amazingly, Derren's own conclusions in the book seem to be drawn directly from the aforementioned book of Ecclesiastes!
Yet in spite of this huge subjective bias, Derren's book is an awesome PSYCHOLOGY textbook (probably the best book on Psychology that I've ever read) and accurately describes how and why we think what we think! More than how to be happy, it's really a book on how to be emotionally mature. And in today's society full of "spoiled brats," this is something we all need!

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • miriam
  • 11-12-16

Narration is awful and distracting

It even says in the blurb for the audio book that it's narrated by Derren Brown and Jot Davis. In fact it's entirely Jot Davis and he's not doing a good job, the way he reads the book is truly distracting from the contents which is a massive shame. I'll be reading this on kindle instead. Giving up half way through. Luckily audible refund without a quibble.

87 of 88 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dot
  • 11-17-16

Can't take any more!

I'm 3 hours into this book and have given it a good go but the narrator is doing my head in and I'm feeling quite un-"HAPPY" listening to it sorry Derren.

33 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 11-11-16

Bad narration

I don't think I'll be able to get to the end of this book. The narrator's overly sing-song style makes it really hard to follow what's going on. He somehow removes all the meaning from the words so I lose concentration really fast and am not getting anything out of it.
I'll probably try again if someone else rerecords it though.

59 of 60 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JackJack
  • 11-10-16

A disastrous narrator. I'll be asking for a refund

I pre-ordered this book because I enjoyed Derren Brown's previous book, "Confessions of a Conjuror". That previous work had a few flaws with regards to the text itself, but the perfomance (by the author) was superb. It quickly became one of my favourite audiobooks of all time.

This is quite the reverse. The material seems very interesting indeed (if quite similar to "The Antidote" by Oliver Burkemann), but I was unable to finish even the first chapter due to the lifeless droning narrator. Seriously, a text-to-speech program could have done a better job.

I have been an Audible user for a few years now, and have over 100 books in my library. This is the first time I have ever asked for a refund.

A message to the publisher: withdraw this book, and get the author to narrate it himself. I don't care how long it takes, or how much it costs. We can wait.

149 of 153 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Jon
  • 11-15-16

Impossible to follow due to the narration

Like several others, I'm really disappointed by the narration of this book. Not being narrated by the author wasn't a deal breaker but this guy's inflections and sing-song tones are so annoying it makes the book impossible to follow.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • tony
  • 11-10-16

terrible narrator

What disappointed you about Happy?

not read by derren brown and what is it with the gasp of breath. I could not get past the first chapter. What a shame I was so looking forward to this book. Surely Audible listen to these people before sending this rubbish out

What was most disappointing about Derren Brown’s story?

never got to read it

How could the performance have been better?

stop gasping, the bit I read was gasp after after sharp intakes of breath

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Happy?

change narrator

Any additional comments?

These should be vetted by audible

83 of 85 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Optimus Fine
  • 11-18-16

Buy the physical book

I like Derren, and preordered this audiobook. With great excitement I started listening to it, but alas I could not. Some stranger was narrating it - badly. Actually that's probably unfair: the bottom line is he's the wrong choice of narrator. It doesn't *have* to be Derren, but at the same time he detracts so much from the content that believe me when I say you won't get through the book by listening to it. If you can get the actual copy to read, then please do so. It's a great book, with some profound insights. Just avoid this version.

21 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mr. R. W. Johnson
  • 11-13-16

Very disappointing .

Content was rambling and lacked purpose. Narration was worse. I like the author normally, but don't bother with this one.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Fifilefluff
  • 11-12-16

Look at the reviews before you buy this!

What disappointed you about Happy?

The narrator is truly awful! I am so annoyed with myself that I didn't look at the reviews prior to the download.

Would you ever listen to anything by Derren Brown again?

Not if Jot Davies reads it!

How could the performance have been better?

To stop reading each sentence as if it were the only one on the page - someone else has mentioned the upwards inflection of each sentence - deeply, deeply irritating - sapping each sentence of life and meaning,

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It may have done but I couldn't get passed the narrator.

46 of 48 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Badger
  • 11-10-16

Disappointed the Derren didn't read his own book

I really don't feel Happy any more.

I was looking forward to this being released as an audiobook, hoping - and quietly expecting - Derren Brown to be the narrator.

I bought the book on kindle when it was released, but held back reading it until the audiobook was made available. Turns out, I should have just read the book from the off. Why - because some other bloke is reading the work. All 18 hours of it. Not that he does a terrible job - although it's just a bit too clipped and measured and soulless for my liking - but it has to be a poor substitute for having Derren B himself.

It doesn't feel good criticising the narrator for just doing his job - but this seems like a missed opportunity. It's always a treat to hear Derren Brown talk - so to have 18 hours of it would have been heaven. It worked so perfectly on his Confessions of a Conjurer. Plus there was that freebie download with Derren Brown talking about the book with Audible as a pre-release teaser, which led me to believe that of he'd be the narrator.

It really is beyond me why he didn't narrate. Why would you spend years writing a book, only to choose not to narrate it with that ever so famous and sellable voice.

I'm sure I've said one thing about ten times in this review. Well ... time to take an anti-depressant and then get cracking reading the book the hard way.

I feel as if I should put this footnote in as a bit of a disclaimer - I haven't listened to the whole 18 hours, god forbid no - but I've dipped into most of the chapters to see if Derren B shares the narration - but as far as I can tell, he doesn't. It's just Jot doing his thing. If this is the case, it's misleading to have Derren Brown listed as a first, joint narrator.

48 of 51 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-30-18

Great Book

Fantastic Book once again by Derren Brown, this book can really calm you down, or teach you stuff. It's a shame about the narrator though...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Richard
  • 07-28-18

Best book I've read this year!

If you are trying to find a better approach to life and live in a considered way, rather than just through your default settings, this is an engaging and insightful read...Brilliant.

Derren Brown's writing is delightfully self-effacing and lacking in ego.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-23-17

great read

really useful and interesting book. I read it over a few times as there was so much to learn.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • P J Beard
  • 05-26-17

Would have been a 5 star if Derren had narrated.

Concepts in the book are well thought out but the narration left me feeling I'd sat through one very long sermons/lecture. Narrator needed more passion for the subject.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt Johansson
  • 05-24-17

Don't normally do reviews, but ...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I don't normally recommend books, but in this case I feel a moral obligation to do so. I've already recommended this book verbally, to friends and loved ones. An amazing look at human happiness, from of all people a hypnotist and mentalist. Forget the tsunami of self help books that have spewed forth from the mouth silver tongued self help sales men and woman (Rhoda Byrnes the Secret to name one). After reading Happy there's no need at going on any other direction other than Derren Brown's indicated direction of self awareness, and taking responsibility for ones own emotions, and position in life. By under standing what happiness really is in relation to who we are makes life all the more sweeter. The removal of self expectation and pressure from ones self after reading Happy is a very powerful realisation.

Very very well researched, and with good back ground on mans search for happiness, leading to powerful conclusions on self

What did you like best about this story?

Awesome!!! Life changing information and in the very real sense of life changing.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The whole book

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

stoicism

Any additional comments?

Loved it!!!!!

Thanks Derren Brown, not just a good entertainer. This one leaves a legacy

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Clinton
  • 02-28-17

Simple truths hit home

Very philosophical but easily digestible, Happy delivers plenty of lines that make you stop and think, finding a different perspective and, perhaps, a better way to live