My American Unhappiness

My American Unhappiness

3.29 (994 ratings by Goodreads)
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"Why are you so unhappy?" That's the question that Zeke Pappas, a thirty-three-year-old scholar, asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, "The Inventory of American Unhappiness." The answers he receives--a mix of true sadness and absurd complaint--create a collage of woe. Zeke, meanwhile, remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his daily routine, opting instead to focus his energy on finding the perfect mate so that he can gain custody of his orphaned nieces. Following steps outlined in a women's magazine, the ever-optimistic Zeke identifies some "prospects" a newly divorced neighbor, a coffeehouse barista, his administrative assistant, and Sofia Coppola ("Why not aim high?").
A clairvoyant when it comes to the Starbucks orders of strangers, a quixotic renegade when it comes to the federal bureaucracy, and a devoted believer in the afternoon cocktail and the evening binge, Zeke has an irreverent voice that is a marvel of lacerating wit and heart-on-sleeve emotion, underscored by a creeping paranoia and made more urgent by the hope that if he can only find a wife, he might have a second chance at life.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 277 pages
  • 149.86 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 453.59g
  • Boston, MA, United States
  • English
  • 0151013446
  • 9780151013449
  • 1,754,130

Review quote

"My American Unhappiness ""shimmers with mischief and offbeat charm. A dark entertainment infused by a bluesy yearning for a better America."
-"Kirkus Reviews" "Bakopoulos writes with great heart and a cold eye, and his limpid, ironic prose will appeal to those who like the early work of Martin Amis."
-"Library Journal"""My American Unhappiness" is a smart, funny, charming novel - an incisive critique of the way we live now, but aremed, unlike contemporary satire, with a big, generous heart. I got addicted to the misadventures of Zeke Pappas. I didn't want the book to end."
-Dan Chaon, author of "Await Your Reply"
"In Zeke Pappas, Dean Bakopoulos has invented a man for all rainy seasons - a horny, heartbroken cousin of Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe, telling a long, tall tale of anomie in the heartland."
-Tom Piazza, author of "City of Refuge
"If the nature of despair, as Kierkegaard wrote, is to be unaware of itself, then Zeke Pappas is its perfect spokesman: a blithely deluded nebbish whose epic longings--to document the emptiness at the center of American life and to win the heart of Sofia Coppola and/or his local Starbucks barista--propel him into ever more twisted predicaments. There's no such thing as unhappiness when you're holding a Dean Bakopoulos novel in your hands."
- Jonathan Miles, author of "Dear American Airlines
""Vivid as a searchlight gliding across suburban picture windows, MY AMERICAN UNHAPPINESS displays its author's saddened comic wisdom, as apparently self-effacing as it is marvelously inventive and observant. Dean Bakopoulos is a writer to watch, a novelist to cherish."
- Peter Straub, author of "A Dark Matter
""Zeke Pappas, the visionary behind the American Unhappiness project, is the perfect hero for our times - an age of J. Crew catalogs and Starbucks lattes, of political absurdities and almost-fractured families barely holding themselves together. In telling Zeke's story, Dean Bakopou
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Rating details

994 ratings
3.29 out of 5 stars
5 11% (107)
4 33% (330)
3 36% (353)
2 16% (160)
1 4% (44)
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