Fiction happy are thhe happy

Published on June 30th, 2014


Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza

| Press reviews | Buy the book | Have your say |

Blurb: 1 novel. 18 people. 18 lives. Infinite combinations: families and friends, colleagues and patients, lovers and mourners… But sometimes a crowd is the loneliest place to be. (Harvill Secker, July 2014)

Louise Jury, The Independent

“Most readers, bar those blessed with perfect powers of concentration and an excellent memory, will miss some of the ties at first reading. But Reza evidently expects that. As the frosty relations – the “wordless war” – emerge between Robert and Odile, the wife is reading a book in bed where she is repeatedly forced to recap who is who, turning back to check. The parallel must be deliberate. And if that makes it sound hard work, well, it is true to say Reza is a rather particular delight. Her cool detachment, reinforced by the voice-per-chapter form, limits bonding with her characters who, with a few exceptions, are hard to warm to. Yet, somewhat surprisingly, the strictures of the structure do allow some emotions to flow.”

Read full review

Dominic Maxwell, The Times

After a while I stopped chafing against the deliberately dense form. She has a superpower for zeroing in on each beat of an argument, each buried emotion … You can read some of these chapters as self-contained short stories. And, yes, there were times when I longed for Reza to flesh out some characters and cut back on others, succumb to narrative convention. Yet the mood gets more morbid, the picture gets filled in, the resonances start to stack up.

Read full review

Anita Sethi, The Observer

“Reza, as you’d expect, creates moments of intense drama, exhibiting the tensions and conflicts crackling through lives. The Toscanos compare themselves to their friends the Hutners, who seemingly have the perfect life. And yet the Hutners are pretending that their son is on an international internship when in fact he’s in a mental institution, believing himself to be Céline Dion. The author skilfully peels away the veneer of life to reveal the secrets seething within.”

Read full review

India Ross, The Financial Times

“The result is a loosely tessellated map, an array of personalities each of whom has slotted themselves into place within civilised society. But Reza’s question, embodied by the elderly Ernest Blot contemplating the disposal of his own ashes, is whether conformity, in the end, brings happiness.”

Read full review

Victoria Moore, The Daily Mail

“It’s a book about love, loneliness, relationships of all kinds, between husbands and wives, wives and lovers, actresses and their drivers, and their fumbling attempts at romance. Bittersweet, yet beautiful to read.”

Read full review

Buy the book

Amazon | Foyles | Hive | Waterstones

Share Button
Happy are the Happy by Yasmina Reza The Omnivore



Tags: , , , , ,

Back to Top ↑