Customer Reviews for

The Pursuit of Happiness: A Novel

Average Rating 4
( 76 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(27)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

highly recommend

Good book. Covers areas of late 1940s and early 1950s and what went on with the communist phobia and blacklisting.

posted by jzl on April 7, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Tedious at best....

While there is a fairly interesting story to be told here, it could have been pared down by a couple hundred pages. Page after page explaining various bouts of "writer's block" and money/financial issues left me feeling bored and unsatisfied. While I did want to find ou...
While there is a fairly interesting story to be told here, it could have been pared down by a couple hundred pages. Page after page explaining various bouts of "writer's block" and money/financial issues left me feeling bored and unsatisfied. While I did want to find out about the final outcome for the characters, I found the journey fairly painful and tedious. Unfortunately, the final outcome also seemed anemic and unemotional. It was a "nice" ending, but it was completely forgettable.

posted by WowWow on March 7, 2011

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  • Posted March 7, 2011

    Tedious at best....

    While there is a fairly interesting story to be told here, it could have been pared down by a couple hundred pages. Page after page explaining various bouts of "writer's block" and money/financial issues left me feeling bored and unsatisfied. While I did want to find out about the final outcome for the characters, I found the journey fairly painful and tedious. Unfortunately, the final outcome also seemed anemic and unemotional. It was a "nice" ending, but it was completely forgettable.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2011

    highly recommend

    Good book. Covers areas of late 1940s and early 1950s and what went on with the communist phobia and blacklisting.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2011

    wow!

    I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it is a little long, but we can truly know the characters by the way they live, talk, react. Sara's story is really engaging. All in all, a great read that would have escaped me had it nit been free! Ihighly recommend it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 3, 2011

    maybe a little too tragic, but good

    I enjoyed this book, but modtly kept reading it thinking that things would have to turn around for Sara. The writing was a bit erratic-sometimes choppy, sometimes too wordy, and then the story would skip four years in two pages. And Kate's story wasn't nearly as engaging as Sara's. However, overall it was a good story that really makes you think about how McCarthyism tore people's lives apart. Great for a Free Friday read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 29, 2011

    Good story, too many pages

    The storyline itself is decent enough, but it's so bogged down with tiny, insignificant details that I wanted to quit reading a couple hundred pages in. I found it a bit ironic that the main character is constantly paring down her writing and eliminating excess words when the author of this book was clearly unable to do that. The book is dragged along with a million simple sentences. It felt like I was reading a student's essay on something historical and boring. There are entire chapters that read like,"I made coffee. I typed a sentence. I sipped the coffee. I hate my life. I finished the coffee. I ripped the page from the typewriter and banged my head on the hard keys of the typewriter. It hurt." I made it through the book and really liked the heart of the story, but it would have been so much better had it been a hundred pages shorter.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Couldn't put it down!!!

    It's one of those stories that I keep thinking about days after I've finished it. I love stories set in post WWII. This one will keep you turning the pages. It has really made me rethink what defines happiness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    You will love this one!

    Ever wondered your self, whether or not you could be such an intriguing writer as Mr. Kennedy? I loved this story very much. I never been to Manhattan, or Brooklyn or New York, but this story, is so real about what life throws your way.Certainly, back then America dealt with WW II and Europe, soldiers were sent over seas. Many families had to make sacrifices. It is a hard wrenching story. I truly admire the many women characters in this book, that did not let them brand mark them of the momentous married house wife, behind the herd, and herding a bunch of children and taking care of house, garden and husbands. They rather portrait a very, early stance on pre femmenine politics. Which probably back then in the early 40,s and 50' s were rather debuncled!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    Love!

    This might be my most favorite book. These people just cannot get it together and its so tragic and captivating!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2011

    Waiting to see how it ends........

    I downloaded the sample to see if I would like the book. It seems to be an interesting read and I am anxious to see how the story unfolds. (Cannot give the full amount of stars yet)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I loved this book. I would never have read it without it being a Free Friday book. Thanks so much!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2011

    Highly recommended!

    This book kept me reading way into the wee hours. I've not come across such a thought provoking book in a long time!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A good book club read!

    If you like period pieces, you will love this book. I love the setting of Manhattan back in the 40's and 50's. I also don't like many male authors especially when they try to write famale characters. Douglas Kennedy really pulls this off. He is an excellent writer and story teller. This is light reading and although it is around 500 pages, I was able to finish it in just a few days. There is a lot of background in this book and contrary to another review I read the financial dealings are a good example of how to and how to not handle your money.
    Give Douglas Kennedy a try. You probably will like his writing style.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very good read. Highly recommended.

    I absolutely loved this book. It did start a little slow and I wondered how I would make it through. But with page I became more and more involved withe the characters, with their story. The book is awesome and I am glad I read it. I'll be looking for more of his work in the very near future.

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  • Posted February 18, 2011

    Great Read

    Loved all of these womens journeys. Too quick of a book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2010

    LOVED

    This book was amazing! I finished it in less then a week didn't want to put it down!

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  • Posted September 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a timely exhilarating post WWII epic drama

    In 1945, wannabe writer Sara Smythe decides to join her playwright brother Eric in New York. Her parents are horrified that their single daughter will live the bohemian lifestyle in the notorious Greenwich Village. However, heeding Eric's advice that their hometown of Hartford is known for Twain losing money and Stevens selling insurance between writing edgy poetry, she leaves home.

    Surprisingly she obtains a prestigious position at Life magazine. At one of her sibling's frequent bashes attended by Communists, artists and probably FBI agents, Sara and Stars and Stripes reporter Jack Malone meet. They share a night of passion. However, the McCarthy inquisition is just beginning tearing families and lovers apart. Years later at the funeral of Jack's wife, Sara meets his daughter divorced single mom Kate.

    This is a timely exhilarating post WWII epic drama in which the tragedy of McCarthyism is what it did to split families. None of the cast is fully developed as the insightful story line focuses on what happened and what might have happened if the optimism coming out just after war ended was allowed to blossom and not be killed by unchallenged phony patriotic pedagogues. Douglas Kennedy provides a powerful profound tale with applications to subsequent eras.

    Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2014

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    Posted August 24, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2011

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