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Furiously HappyReview - Furiously Happy
by Jenny Lawson
Macmillan Audio, 2015
Review by Christian Perring
Mar 8th 2016 (Volume 20, Issue 10)

 

Jenny Lawson writes a popular blog, The Bloggess, and she published a memoir of her crazy life, Let's Pretend This Never Happened. In Furiously Happy, she talks about her own mental illnesses and how she has determined to live to the full despite it, aiming to be furiously happy. The idea is that although she has depressive, anxiety and many other disorders, she does not want to let her problems get the better of her, so she aims to be irreverent and silly as much as she can. Published in late 2015, the book has already been on the best seller lists. Apart from her mental illness, she is unusual. For example, she is a fan of taxidermy and one of the chapters here is about receiving a box of dead cats. She writes about her blog, her blogging experience, her readers, her husband Victor, her travels in Australia with a friend where they went around in koala costumes, and her ineptitude with finances. The chapters are apparently organized randomly: there's an epilogue in the middle of the book.

Her readers really like her, and she is a passionate and articulate chronicler of living with mental illness. She experiences a lot of pain, which she occasionally describes. She sometimes hides away and she has hurt herself. But she is also married with a daughter, and she has achieved success with her blogging, writing, and appearances at conferences. So many people find her inspirational, and they enjoy her brand of wackiness mixed with vagina jokes. She performs her own unabridged audiobook and she comes across strongly as a rounded person who is really sincere, kind and thoughtful, but often inappropriate. She delivers her book with a lot of energy, and she tailors the audiobook to her listeners, occasionally describing the photos that are in the hard copy and acknowledging how the audiobook is different from the hard copy.

Note however, that this book is not for everyone.  It might help to be drunk or high to find it funny. Often, it feels like 350 pages of blog posts, which will be too much for some. But if you are in the right mood, then short bursts of it can be really enjoyable.

 

© 2016 Christian Perring

 

Christian Perring, Professor of Philosophy, Dowling College, New York


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