The Pursuit of Happyness: Book Review

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Hello people! How’s it going? For the record, I am having a pretty terrible week (sigh). The Big Bang Theory is ending this week and we might never see Dr. Sheldon Cooper and his antics again… With so many epic sagas ending this year, it’s going to be difficult to find happiness in our lives once again, right?

Coincidentally the book I had been reading recently, is ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’. Wow! Is there a divine power at play these days?

So coming to the book, I really could not understand, why the title of the book was chosen to be ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’? I have come up with two possible theories for that. One maybe, it is a story of life and struggling against the odds to find happiness (which seems likely). And the other inspired by the daycare where happiness was spelled with a ‘y’, and the protagonist was determined to let his son know the right thing. Maybe, maybe he was also determined to let the world the right thing about himself too; his worth, his potential underneath his dark skin. Which of the two, do you think is the most appropriate theory?

While you read a book, you either like a book or do not like it (although it seldom happens)! But this book has forced me to choose a middle path of partially liking this book.

” The world is your oyster. It’s up to you to find the pearls.”

Plot

It begins with the author Chris Garner, a successful stockbroker, taking us on a tour through his life, his struggles, his failures, his decisions and finally his victories. Carving his escape through an abusive childhood, without a father figure, he enrolls to render his services into Navy. With time he becomes an able medical practitioner(the only black on the team of whites) practicing in the Navy later joining his senior and dabbling in the field of research. He marries a woman as he prepares for medical school. Infidelity causes his marriage to drift apart and him embracing fatherhood for the first time. Determined to make it big, he decides to work as a stockbroker against the wishes of his family. He faces extreme shortage of money, rejections and failures but ultimately he wins big and establishes a multi-million company.

Characters

Chris Gardner: The protagonist of the novel. He begins his journey of life,aspiring to be Miles Davis, an actor and later leads his life as a Navy soldier-turned-medical practitioner and researcher- successful stockbroker. His experiences as a childhood, mold him as an adult and is reflected in his ways of upbringing his children. One relates to the struggle he goes through to reach to the top and gets inspired oneself to move along no matter how difficult the path is.

Christopher Gardner Jr.: The only guiding light in his Poppa’s world, when his path becomes too dark. Although only his childhood is reflected in the book, his antics are enough to melt your heart and his words are enough to leave a lasting impression on your soul.

Bettye Jean Triplett: The protagonist’s mother and his first guide to the world beyond. It is her belief in her son that leads to him believing in himself and ultimately meeting his destiny. Her actions seem serene and timid all her lifetime, which sows seeds of serenity and calmness in her son, an attribute of whose worth he realizes much later in his life.

There are other characters in the protagonist’s life, who impress him, inspire him, torment him, help him, teach him and ultimately make him a bigger and better person. It would take the entire space of blog post to describe each one of them, so how about you guys read the book and you describe the various characters to me in the comments section?

Writing Style

This novel is mostly written in the first person perspective with a prologue and epilogue by the author himself. The book is divided into different parts, each describing a phase of his life. You begin the book by reading about his childhood and finish it as you read about his roller coaster ride to success. His journey of establishing his own company and running it, is not shown in the book. This is one aspect which the readers, I am sure ,would have loved to read. Only if he had taken us with him on a trip to his company scaling the heights, this book would have been more interesting to read.

Book Review

Well the book is quit an amazing read, but there are some things which could have been presented in a better way. The struggle of a boy (transitioning into manhood) among abuses, poverty, violence and lack of a father figure sure generates empathy in the readers’ minds and makes us applaud the author for coming out of bad memories of childhood so beautifully. We are then transported in his youth and his ‘misadventures’ in that phase of life. While I was impressed at how high he was soaring profession, I cannot help but felt indignant about his infidelity. Had he not committed this blunder, I sure his life way have turned out to be happier right from the beginning. Although this blunder resulted in him having his bundle of joy (or joys, should I say)in his hands, but any satisfaction, any gift cannot justify this deed of his. We then meet a young father, testing his destiny and working hard to meet both ends meet and at the same time waiting to fly. The words in these pages sting your heart hard and you cry with the author and wipe your tears with the motivation provided by his son. As I have said earlier as well, the book ends abruptly. If only the authors have provided an insight into the world of the author’s company, this book would have soared heights. Also, the topic of the author’s relationship with his biological father and mentors is touched upon briefly and not explored fully. Encounters and relationships like these need more in depth writing. Apart from these glitches, this book is a good read over the weekend and acts as the best gift for budding entrepreneurs. You remember those childhood stories, completed with ups, downs and many morals at the end. This book is just like those stories, only for adults and not for children.

For me, this book stands at 3/5. I con’t believe I am saying this, the movies with the same name moved me more than the book. Probably it was Will Smith’s acting and presence on screen. Never mind, it’s always better to read the book than to watch a movie. Just for the heads up many parts are omitted from the movie, the focus being on the last part of the book only. So you will have to read the book anyways, to know the complete story. Or you can just refer to my blog (wink)!

I hope you had a better week than mine and you guys are better at handling your emotions when some faced with some tragic ends!!!

Until the nest next time, let’s reminisce about the good ol’ Big Bang Theory days!

Don’t forget to press the cute, little, white and blue ‘Follow’ button on my blog!

Cheers!

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