Book - 2002
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From the author of the critically acclaimed Hokkaido Highway Blues comes this hysterically funny debut novel, a searing and compulsive satire on the concept of self-help and contemporary America. When an enormous self-help manuscript arrives on the desk of Edwin de Valu, a stressed-out, overworked, and underpaid editor at New York's Panderic Press, its fate seems destined for the bin. Edwin's cynicism about self-help books, coupled with his filthy mood that morning, results in his dismissing Tupak Soiree's What I Learned on the Mountain in the most ignominious fashion: he doesn't even bother to reply. However, during an editorial meeting Edwin is confronted by a questioning publisher, one desperate for the next big thing. Without thinking, and in need of something to report, Edwin begins to extol the virtues of What I Learned on the Mountain, and the excitement around the table is palpable. With every reason. Tupak Soiree's doorstopper becomes a very unique thing: a self-help book that actually works, and it launches a chain of events that will have enormous consequences not just on Edwin's life but for the world at large. Ferguson's first novel is a masterpiece of comic fiction, a must for anyone who has choked on Chicken Soup for the Soul or ever wanted to kill Dr. Phil. "Mean, wonderful, hilarious, both a poisonously funny satire and dead-on indictment. The nature of True Evil exposed." -- Anthony Bourdain "A must-read, in short, for people ... who still remember how to laugh without turning off their brains." -- Jonathan Coe, author of The Winshaw Legacy or What a Carve Up! "Hilarious ... Ferguson serves up his true thematic feast." -- The Globe and Mail "Mr. Ferguson is a verygifted writer." -- Bill Bryson "If Douglas Adams and P.J. O'Rourke ever had an extraterrest
Publisher: Edinburgh : Canongate, 2002
ISBN: 9781841952758
Branch Call Number: FER
Characteristics: x, 309 p


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andreas1111 Jul 05, 2013

This book begins totally brilliant and finishes still pretty strong. If the second half had been as funny as the first i would have given it five stars. Among other things this is a great send up of the self help industry.

May 25, 2011

This book was a keen, biting, unapologetic comment on our society. The "untranslatables" were the best part of the whole thing! The book actually led me to purchasing "They Have A Word For It", which was Ferguson's main source for these powerful words.

zed33 Nov 12, 2009

This book made me laugh, it made me think and it made me read everything Ferguson has written since.
He is a very intelligent, funny writer. He occasionally angered me with some of his opinions about Canadians and what it means to be one, but again made me think, which I like from an author. Fiction or Non.

Grover Aug 06, 2009

This book sounds very cool, thanks for the suggestion HeatherS!

Aug 06, 2009

A brilliant critique on our penchant as human beings to buy into the latest fad. Close to a satiric masterpiece, Ferguson provides razor-sharp observations regarding the outrageously successful self-help industry and how this reflects on our society. Hilarious and scathing!

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