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The Happiest People in the World

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

“[A] dark and funny satire . . . Infidelities, secret identities and double-crosses . . . Reflects the absurdity of any country obsessed with spying on its own people.” —The Wall Street Journal

Take the format of a spy thriller, shape it around real-life incidents involving international terrorism, leaven it with dark, dry humor, toss in a love rectangle, give everybody a gun, and let everything play out in the outer reaches of upstate New York--there you have an idea of Brock Clarke’s new novel. Filled with wonder and anger in almost equal parts,The Happiest People in the World is a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of paranoia and the all-American obsession with security and the conspiracies that threaten it.

“A literary first: a book that feels like the love child of Saul Bellow and Hogan’s Heroes, full of authorial cartwheels of comedy and profundity.” —GQ

The Happiest People in the World begins with a raucous bar scene featuring party streamers, smoke, prone bodies, spilled fluids and a stuffed moose with a surveillance camera in its left eye . . . [Clarke has] success in dreaming up oddball originals that have instant appeal.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“[Clarke] creates books that taste like delicious cuts of absurdity marbled with erudition.” —The Washington Post

“A whiz-bang spy satire bundled in an edgy tale of redemption . . . His comedy of errors is impossible to put down.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A darkly hilarious novel . . . The writing is clever, the dialogue snappy and understated, and the effect is as pleasantly unsettling as anything Kurt Vonnegut Jr. ever wrote.” —The Portland Sun

“A zany and fast-paced book that explores the myriad ways people of all nations make themselves and others unhappy.” —Chicago Tribune, Printer’s Row

“Ranks among the funniest and most relevant social satires I’ve read . . . It might just make you the happiest reader in the world.” —The Dallas Morning News

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 08, 2014 – The latest from Clarke (Exley) is a whiz-bang spy satire bundled in an edgy tale of redemption. Impulsive cartoonist Jens Baedrup leaves his wife and home in Denmark with the help of love-lorn CIA spy Locs (aka Lorraine). The reason: an impressionable and lonely immigrant takes offense at Jens's drawing of Muhammed with a bomb in his turban, hovering above the "happiest people in the world... frowning inexpertly." And so begins clueless cultural criminal and eternal optimist Jens's transformation into Henry Larsen, a Broomeville, N.Y., high school guidance counselor. Henry woos Ellen, a heartbroken bar owner. Meanwhile, Locs is futilely and obsessively in love with Ellen's husband, Matty, a school principal. These mismatches ultimately set off a violent chain reaction of discovery and revenge. As Henry's world comes undone, the identities of his unlikely protectors are revealed in a hilarious series of bloody blunders. The bizarre moose-eye view opening to this culture-clash horror tale expertly sets the tone for what's to come. Clarke dazzles with a dizzying study in extremes, cruising at warp speed between bleak and optimistic, laugh-out-loud funny and unbearable sadness. His comedy of errors is impossible to put down.
The Happiest People in the World
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Nov 04, 2014
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books
  • Seller: Workman Publishing Co., Inc.
  • Print Length: 368 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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