As I read Martin Page's soliloquy on the penalties of intelligence, I felt almost frightened by some similarities to recent thought patterns of my own. Despite this, I enjoyed the book.
The protagonist of the story is bedeviled by his own understanding, and he suffers from the curse of the self-aware: his existence is bourgois and has no point. Seeking to avoid this realization, he attempts to find ways to deprive himself of this knowledge, including the aforementioned alcoholism, suicide, HappyZac (not to be confused with that other well-known SSRI), and other delightful distractions of modern life.
My biggest problem with the book, surprisingly, was not its pretentious nature, which I enjoyed, as it was perfect typecasting for the narrator. Rather, I didn't accept the nature of the character development. Most people will read this and understand what I mean, so I won't spoil the story. Suffice it to say, the results of spilling coffee on your keyboard are not what he was looking for, and the suggestion that this somehow led him where he ended up was a bit farcical and forced.
I must also confess a sort of bitter ambivalence toward the book as a result of having seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind recently, and the Conclusion of the book had a rather Deus ex Machina result that left me feeling a bit like Alice. The only thing that I could connect to was the movie, and I felt that was unfortunate.
A good book, well worth the afternoon it takes to read it. Read it, share it, pass it on. Don't consider it an instruction manual, though. Unless you are into that kind of thing. In which case, Backa!