Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by Richard Layard; The Pursuit of Happiness: A History from the Greeks to the Present by Darrin McMahon; The Secrets of Happiness: Three Thousand Years of Searching for the Good Life by Richard Schoch; Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert - review by Christopher Bray

Christopher Bray

Christopher Bray is Cheered Up By Four Books on Happiness

  • Richard Layard, 
  • Darrin McMahon, 
  • Richard Schoch, 
  • Daniel Gilbert
 

Never have I felt more justified in my misery. A while back, you see, I had lunch with my agent. ‘So what’s your next book?’ asked he.

‘How about a socio-cultural history of the ways people have sought happiness? It’s so zeitgeisty it could make me a fortune.’

‘No way, Chris. We won’t be able to sell it.’

Oh yeah? Because here we are, a couple of years on, and what do I have in front of me? Four books being published almost simultaneously on the subject of happiness. Something tells me my take on the spiritless spirit of the age would have found an audience. I mean,

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

East of the Wardrobe

Follow Literary Review on Twitter