“A remarkable journey. I laughed. I cried. I got another cat.” —Lily Tomlin
“Paula Poundstone is the funniest human being I have ever known.” —Peter Sagal, host of Wait Wait . . . Don’t Tell Me! and author of The Book of Vice
“Is there a secret to happiness?” asks comedian Paula Poundstone. "I don’t know how or why anyone would keep it a secret. It seems rather cruel, really . . . Where could it be? Is it deceptively simple? Does it melt at a certain temperature? Can you buy it? Must you suffer for it before or after?” In her wildly and wisely observed book, the comedy legend takes on that most inalienable of rights—the pursuit of happiness.
Offering herself up as a human guinea pig in a series of thoroughly unscientific experiments, Poundstone tries out a different get-happy hypothesis in each chapter of her data-driven search. She gets in shape with taekwondo. She drives fast behind the wheel of a Lamborghini. She communes with nature while camping with her daughter, and commits to getting her house organized (twice!). Swing dancing? Meditation? Volunteering? Does any of it bring her happiness? You may be laughing too hard to care.
The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness is both a story of jumping into new experiences with both feet and a surprisingly poignant tale of a single working mother of three children (not to mention dozens of cats, a dog, a bearded dragon lizard, a lop-eared bunny, and one ant left from her ant farm) who is just trying to keep smiling while living a busy life.
The queen of the skepticism-fueled rant, Paula Poundstone stands alone in her talent for bursting bubbles and slaying sacred cows.
Like George Carlin, Steve Martin, and David Sedaris, she is a master of her craft, and her comedic brilliance is served up in abundance in this book. As author and humorist Roy Blount Jr. notes, “Paula Poundstone deserves to be happy. Nobody deserves to be this funny.”
Customer ReviewsSee All
What happened to my sides!
I’ve just laughed my sides off reading this terrific, and heartwarming book! You could say I was out of the loop as I had not heard of Paula Poundstone and just liked the title. The flow of her words and her take on life was refreshing to my soul and she talked “real” in a way I would love to have done! Now she has me thinking of ways to add a hep of happiness to my life, or maybe a whole balous....thanks, Paula.
The totally unscientific Study....Search For Human Happiness
Oh my Goodness, Paula Poundstone, thank you for having undertaken your totally unscientific study. Your book made me laugh heartily and it made me realize that it’s all in the pursuit .... happiness doesn’t just happen. Your children and your schedule and your sixteen cats and your dogs are now part of the big picture for me. The ballon game in the senior living center is a key to unlocking the laughter we should all hope for as we “Boomers” stagger into the twilight. I sent a paper copy of your book to my overworked-under appreciated-working mother of three kids-daughter in California. (Commas are great but dashes are cool, too) Peace and love and a good laugh to you. Keep up the good work on “Wait Wait....”
TERRIFIC book! Very funny. Introspective