Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why Are You So Sad? by Jason Porter

I always consider myself lucky to be chosen as a recipient for an ERC (Early Reviewer Copy) of a book from librarything, even if I do not entirely love the book.

Case in point...

Librarything does a great job on their website of displaying and describing each book, making it fun to browse their ERC offerings. Of course I try to choose that I think I will like, which is why I selected WHY ARE YOU SO SAD? by Jason Porter. Described as hilarious and poignant, it looked like a book I would enjoy. I like hilarious. I like poignant.


Why Are You So Sad? is a novel about a guy, Ray, who ruminates about being sad. Why is he sad? Is it out and out depression? Isn't everybody pretty much depressed? How could he find out if other people feel the way he does (as he suspects) or if it's just him? Ray devises an emotional wellness survey, purporting it to be from the higher ups in his company, to see how depressed other people around him might be. He uses questions like, "If you were a day of the week, would you be a Monday or a Wednesday?"

I liked how Ray sneaked the survey to co-workers, and reading some of their responses was fun. Ray squirms a bit when he has to explain where the survey originated. Also amusing.

He leaves the survey for his wife as well, hoping she'll complete it, even though he knows that she is rather impatient with him and all his ruminations.

I found myself being a bit impatient with Ray too. While there were a few injections of creativity in the story - I liked some of the co-workers' responses to the survey - it seemed a bit self-indulgent to have a character who did so much ruminating and not much living. I wanted him to figure out what he wanted to do in his life and just do it.

Thank you to librarything for allowing me to receive an ERC! You can check out librarything here: Clicking on the book cover will take you to Amazon's web page for this book. Clicking on the underlined book title will take you to Powell's web page for each book. Purchasing through these links helps support the blog!

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