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How Happy to Be Paperback – Jan 3 2006
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“Pop culture geeks will go nuts for Onstad’s brutal dissection of the life of a media whore. . . . A triumph.”
— NOW Magazine
“Katrina Onstad’s How Happy to Be is an acerbic, hilarious and culturally astute page-turner of a debut.”
“Young women will relate profoundly and personally . . . . A working woman’s Nick Hornby, Onstad has created a pithy, poppy text about being adrift.”
— Globe and Mail
“Katrina Onstad’s debut novel is wickedly funny, with a biting edge that makes How Happy to Be a must-read for those cold winter nights.”
— Weekly Scoop
“A deft meditation on nostalgia, grieving and familial relations. . . .Fresh, compelling and flawless.”
— Toronto Star
“[An] ambitious and impressive first novel . . . intelligent and arresting. An auspicious literary debut.”
— National Post
“Witty. . . fine writing.”
— Montreal Gazette
“How Happy to Be successfully mixes funny and frothy chick-lit scenarios with an ambitious emotional reckoning.”
— Fashion Magazine
“Katrina Onstad finds that magic place between fact and fiction and charms the reader with her discovery. A wonderful book.”
“Katrina Onstad writes poignantly about the failed ideals of one generation and the lack of ideals in this one. From communes to movie stars, this book is an act of redemption, one that is funny, wise and honest.”
“Katrina Onstad offers a sharp, new edge to the Canadian literary landscape. How Happy to Be jumps out at the reader with a hip, ironic voice that offers a poignant mixture of sassy humour and raw exploration of human alienation.”
About the Author
Katrina Onstad is a film and culture writer for CBC Arts Online and has had her work published internationally. She was formerly the National Post film columnist. Katrina Onstad lives in Toronto.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The story teems with simplistic assumptions: that our celebrity-driven culture spawns vacuous beings, that, if a woman owns a cat, she must be lonely and desperate, that parents from rural BC display too many oddball tendencies to provide any real guidance to their children.
From the outset, Maxine garners no sympathy from the reader; she represents the vacuity of entertainment journalists. Why, if her newspaper position is so insufferable, does she not simply quit? And, since she professes to hate the entertainment world, why did she take the job in the first place? Throughout, our protagonist blames her dissatisfaction on everything around her, but never on herself. She completely lacks introspection.
The novel does include moments of wit and at times Maxine’s paranoia contains welcome hints of self-deprecation. Ultimately, though, "How Happy to Be" lacks both profundity and a relatable protagonist.
I did not find one charming or likable trait about Max and although her relationships with Theo and Sunera were interesting enough, it wasn't enough, in my opinion, to make this book a winner.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I read it in one night, stayed up all night and loved it. You won't be sorry!