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Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? [Hardcover]

Jeanette Winterson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 28.08 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

March 6 2012
Bob Howard may be humanity’s last hope.
Start praying…

For outstanding heroism in the field (despite himself), computational demonologist Bob Howard is on the fast-track for promotion to management within The Laundry, the super-secret British government agency tasked with defending the realm from occult threats. Assigned to “External Assets,” Bob discovers the company—unofficially—employs freelance agents to deal with sensitive situations that may embarrass Queen and Country.

So when Ray Schiller—an American televangelist with the uncanny ability to miraculously heal the ill—becomes uncomfortably close to the Prime Minister, External Assets dispatches the brilliant, beautiful, and entirely unpredictable Persephone Hazard to infiltrate the Golden Promise Ministry and discover why the preacher is so interested in British politics. And it’s Bob’s job to make sure Persephone doesn’t cause an international incident.

But it’s a supernatural incident that Bob needs to worry about—a global threat even The Laundry may be unable to clean up…
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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"Stross gives his readers a British super spy with a long-term girlfriend, no fashion sense and an aversion to martinis."
(San Francisco Chronicle)

"Bond and Bourne never faced the adversaries Howard confronts."
(Alternative Worlds) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He holds degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs including pharmacist, technical author, software engineer, and freelance journalist. He is now a full-time writer.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I have no idea what happens next Nov. 6 2011
Ever since my very dear friend Marc quoted from Jeanette Winterson's "Sexing the cherry"("No safety without risk, and what you risk reveals what you value") over dinner earlier this year, which led to my reading that book and, as soon as I could get my hands on them, her other books - I have been fascinated by the way the author tells her story through her stories; genuine and utterly vulnerable,brutally honest and direct, knowing both the limit and the interconnectedness between words and feelings, hauntingly beautiful.

"Why be happy when you could be normal" follows this tradition, but transcends it with a humanity that is deeply moving. While as a reader I agreed with her statement "I do not want to cry. I am crying."(page 184), despite sitting in an open air restaurant in Toronto for lunch on a beautiful day, by page 205 she had this reader in tears ("Darling girl").

The vulnerability that Jeanette (Janet) describes as her experience as an adopted child constructing her identity is really universal: adopted or not (and I am of course not in any way belittling the specific and highly problematic additional burden that adoption may bring) we are all living our lives doing our best to create meaning and understanding for what it is all about and for what we are all about.

One of the best books I have ever read - with greatest admiration for its author: for the skill of her writing, and for the humanity she portraits.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Honest and True Survival Story Aug. 6 2014
This is an edgy, sharply honest story, (worts and all )filled with insight and understanding.

If Winterson had not decided that she was the mistress of her own ship, her story could have turned out very differently.

Winterson's memoir is an emphatic reminder that no matter what, each of us CAN earn our own autonomy.

Eleanor Cowan, author of : A History of a Pedophile's Wife: Memoir of a Canadian Teacher and Writer
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5.0 out of 5 stars gritty and tender May 15 2014
By marcie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An amazing and truth filled story from a brilliant writer. Makes more sense if you have read some other of her work, especially oranges are not the only fruit, but still flows. Interesting history lessons along the way and insight into faith and family. Highly recommend and hope she will write more later I'm life too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars outstanding April 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a choice for my book club and I loved it. Her writing is engaging and the story fascinating. I will be reading other books by Winterson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing, Insightful, and FUNNY Sept. 20 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Read one life-loving woman's account of her horrendous childhood, how she dealt with it. Jeanette ultimately wouldn't let a severely dysfunctional upbringing extinguish her joie de vivre. Damaged but undefeated, she shares all.
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Format:Kindle Edition
Heartbreakingly sad and very, very funny, This was my favourite read from last year. At the time I finished, i immediately picked up Why Be Happy again and reread it because I didnt want to be separated from this young woman and her story so brilliantly told.
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