Happiness Comes from Nowhere (Paperback)
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- Published: 25 June 2012
- Format: Paperback
- ISBN 13: 9781908742032 ISBN 10: 1908742038
- Sales rank: 112,285
Reviews for Happiness Comes from Nowhere
Unusual in a good way.
I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. The start is unexpected and draws you in. Than it keeps your attention by changing angles and views, seeing the story through the eyes of the different characters in different stages of their life.
Having lived in Dublin it was nice to see so much of this in the book too, Ireland/Dublin being a character of is own.
The subject of the book suicide is a heavy one, but it does not feel like it in this book. A book so unusual in many ways, I can only recommend it. by Annemiek
- Top review
A book that engages from the start
This is a book that engages from the start; the story beginning in the middle with the attempted suicide of Dirk Horn. We return to this point later, having travelled back to before his birth, tracing his close relationship with his mother and to beyond his father's early death.
Dirk is marked out as different by his name alone; the son of Mary, an Irishwoman, and her German husband Sepp. Like all the characters in this book, he is lost, isolated, despite outer appearances. Dirk tries to break out of this state by his friendship with Dave - drinking, dancing, meeting girls - yet when faced with the chance of happiness with his girlfriend Angela, he backs away.
The stories are skillfully told from different points of view, both in terms of characters and moving from 1st the 2nd and 2rd person narration. Tangents to the narrative are followed - the friend of a woman that has an affair with Sepp, taking the hotel room next door to theirs; Dirk's aunt Sheila heartbreakingly making cakes for the man that paints her front door once a year.
A difficult book to describe - a novel in stories; experimental and readable. I look forward to reading more from Shauna Gilligan. by Maria C McCarthy
Serious themes, lightness of touch
This is a highly inventive and compelling first novel by Shauna Gilligan. The intertwining of the characters' lives and loves spring surprisingly from multiple sources, in ways that make you really care for them. I wanted to intervene in their lives, to stop them self-destructing. Gilligan's play with names and eras lightens the serious themes, and she effortlessly floats over time, space and gender. This novel is full of imaginative power and edgy prose, a must-read for those grappling with contemporary themes of alienation and introversion. by Brid Connolly