Derren Brown – Happy: Why More or Less Everything is Absolutely Fine
Most people will recognise Derren Brown’s name as the man of magic and mystery, who seamlessly blends entertainment with psychology to wow us in his performances. He’s an incredibly smart, personable and creative guy, though not as many will be aware he’s also written a book that almost transcends the self-help boundary (though not quite, as you’ll find out).
On a side note : I actually bumped in to Derren Brown once after attending a literature festival. He was getting a coffee and nobody seemed to recognise him, so I quietly ran up to him to say hello; he was absolutely lovely, he shook my hand, I told him he was incredible and fumbled over my words, and it made my day!
In his book Happy, he outlines various theories, studies and words of wisdom when it comes to the nature of happiness. It tends to be something we feel we need to strive for, work towards and achieve, which is further complicated when factoring in limitations, life changes and all the emotions we face around chronic illness.
Derren’s analysis of happiness is a breath of fresh air, opening up new ways of thinking about this elusive concept. I also love how he puts modern self-help and aspirations of happiness in their place. He combines wit with comedy and lightness, research, reflection and common sense suggestions, resulting in an entertaining yet educational and interesting read.
It’s not a quick read, nor it simple to pick up and flick through. There are big words and heavy thought-provoking elements to get your head around, so it’s one for reading if you’re interested in digging a little deeper. I found it to be an engaging and provocative book that was incredibly well written and well planned out. There were various bits and pieces I recognised in terms of his own shows when he gave examples and numerous psychological studies I remembered, but also plenty that challenged my views and taught me something new.
If you want something to get your teeth into, whilst quenching your curiosity over what Derren Brown could bring to the table when it comes to happiness, then I’d definitely recommend it.
Even after the book has been out for a while, I hadn’t seen it reduced anywhere so this is why I wanted to post about it now. It’s currently on sale! Woohoo (if only I hadn’t already bought it…)
Book Depository (free worldwide shipping)