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Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe Paperback – January 17, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (January 17, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393322815
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393322811
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,301 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Self-help satirist Andrew Boyd (Life's Little Deconstruction Book) manages to turn the affirmations genre on its head and still offer some inspirational wisdom in Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe, a collection of brief meditations that urges readers to embrace sorrow and pain as the way to personal growth. Under tongue-in-cheeck headings like "Living a Worthless Life," "Keeping to the Dark Path," and "The Trajedy of Commitment," Boyd emphasizes that failure in work and love is a necessary part of conscious life, and that a person can recognize the darkness and futility of life yet still dive into it headlong.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Andrew Boyd is a writer and activist living in New York. He is the author of Life's Little Deconstruction Book: Self-Help for the Post-Hip

Customer Reviews

It's very funny.
R. W. Rasband
The book is the perfect holiday gift for the conflicted, hyper-sensitive worldchanger on your list.
Anthony Lappe
I just got the book this weekend and read it from front to back in a feverish 4 AM session.
Anthony Lappé

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jenny Levison on December 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
You want to buy this book. No, actually, you want to buy 30 copies of this book, and you want to wrap them up in recycled wrapping paper, and you want to give them all your friends. Why? Because Brother Void understands you. And he understands your friends. (And he understands why your friends haven't been returning your calls.)
He groks the essential nature of your artistic passion, he understands your ambivalence, and he clearly gets your misguided attempts at finding true love. Not only does Brother Void understand you -- he understands Nietzsche (and he knows how to spell Nietzsche too.)
Daily Afflictions is an incredibly insightful, funny, intelligent, and meditative take on mortality, love, work, failure, politics, life in American society, and the 21st century self.
It's a small, beautiful book which can be read and re-read. It's perfect for the bus, for the beach house, for the bathroom, or for the bartender (who should probably memorize pages 37 to 43.)
There is not a wasted page in this work - it's a perfectly-crafted read from the introduction to the index.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Leslie Hall on March 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
...
I picked up Daily Afflictions as an afterthought, expecting it to be a relatively trite satire of self-help books. But as I read it, I laughed. And then I bought it. And then I bought another one.
The book sits by my bed and has, on occasion, helped me to get out of it--I have lost track of the times I've read particular passages (one of my favorites is the tragedy of commitment: "the future is full of possibilities that I must shoot in the head"). And what was originally just amusing is now actually inspirational. Daily Afflictions is a synthesis of philosophies I find persuasive, particularly existentialism, and it encourages me to plunge into things without fear of failure and wallow around in the hopelessness of it all.
Sound cheerful?
Boyd begins with an Oscar Wilde quote I enjoy and he seems to take to heart: "If you are going to tell people the truth, you had better make them laugh or they will kill you."
Boyd both makes me laugh and tells the truth--what more can you ask for?
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Lappe on December 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
I just got the book this weekend and read it from front to back in a feverish 4 am session. Boyd somehow combines the ideas of Nietzsche, Buddha, Camus, Gandhi and Lenny Bruce into a paradoxically coherent worldview that sums up everything I feel and think about politics, sex, drugs, love and hope. "Daily Afflictions" is often angry, morbid, and bleak - and it is the most inspirational thing I have read in years.
The book is the perfect holiday gift for the conflicted, hyper-sensitive worldchanger on your list.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mark Dery on December 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
Hey, that Anthony Lappe guy *really* likes Boyd's book. But I concur with him wholeheartedly, four times over. I once saw Boyd go head-to-head with Deepak Chopra in a sweaty, no-holds-barred round of quantum mysticism and when the ectoplasm cleared, Chopra's Giant Within looked like a whimpering Inner Child. Not pretty. But don't take *my* word for it; take *MY* word for it, from the backcover blurb I wrote for this brain-wrenching blend of agape and schadenfreude:
Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Unless, of course, it's your *last*, in which case this little book is all that stands between you and the yawning maw of endless night. Brother Boyd preaches the gospel of being *in* nothingness---facing, and embracing, the brutal truth that the Cosmic Web of Interconnectedness is Zoloft for bliss ninnies, that we are motes in the unblinking eye of a godless cosmos. Forget New Age gruel like Chicken Soup For The Soul; Daily Afflictions is *ammonium nitrate* for the soul, calculated to reduce your most comforting self-delusions to scattered atoms. A Stuart Smalley for people who live their lives inside quotation marks, Brother Boyd teaches us to work through our irony, turning irony about irony into sincerity, even profundity. And I mean that from the bottom of my heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By R. W. Rasband VINE VOICE on January 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Andrew Boyd's brilliant "Daily Afflictions" purports to be a satire of self-help/spirituality books; a kind of "power of negative thinking." It's very funny. But much of it also happens to be true. There is an invigorating power in squarely facing just how bad things can be, and Boyd's amusingly paradoxical "affirmations" will show you how to make the darkness visible (to quote Jung, one of Boyd's mentors; along with Nietszche.) Learn to find your inner corpse; embrace your inner psychopath; enjoy the boot camp of a dysfunctional family; intensify your failure; experience the wonder and power of the Void (which seems to be Boyd's word for "God") and much, much more. Boyd's basic message: pain and suffering are good for you. If that doesn't make you laugh, then go read Dale Carnegie.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Hedy Hilburn on January 15, 2002
Format: Paperback
Daily Afflictions
Daily Afflictions
I confess. I felt both repelled and attracted to the title of Andrew Boyd's new book Daily Afflictions. You see, I practice affirmations--you know--like saying to my reflection in the mirror each morning, 'This will be a wonderful day.' But my attraction to Afflictions overwhelmed me. I bought and read Afflictions and it has changed my entire life without turning me into a toad.
Forget those comments on his book that say Boyd's a master philosopher serving up a really philosophical potpourri of writings. Afflictions is a dash of awful truth tempered by irony-laced humor with a little sunshine thrown in.
I knew it was the book for me after I read the affliction about getting in touch with your creative self only to find he's a moody, drunken s.o.b. I flopped my head down on my arms and laughed until I cried. Then I picked the book back up to reread the section, just in case I'd interpreted it wrong. Nope!
Then there's the affliction Suburb Within. Reading it spurred me to move out of the comfort zone of my familiar inner suburb. I've taken up residence in my inner inner city to find the answers. These may not be your particular afflictions, but Bros. Void and Boyd discuss enough afflictions that you're sure to hit several that have their own special meaning to you.
I read the book cover to cover; from Brother Void's ramblings to the Afflictions; from the glossary through the immeasurable thanks to the index. Boyd's distinct, sardonic humor isn't limited to just the afflictions. It afflicts his entire book.

When I'd finished reading Daily Afflictions, I felt like I'd lost a friend, so I started reading it again. And with each affliction, I think of yet another friend that I should share the book with.
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More About the Author

Andrew Boyd is an author, humorist and 25-year veteran of creative campaigns for social change. He led the decade-long satirical media campaign "Billionaires for Bush," and co-founded Agit-Pop Communications, an award-winning "subvertising" agency, as well as the netroots social justice movement The Other 98%. He's the author of a slew of articles on contemporary social movements, as well as three books: Daily Afflictions, Life's Little Deconstruction Book and, most recently, the creative action manual Beautiful Trouble: A Toolbox for Revolution. That last book grew into an international network of art-activist practice and training of which he is currently Wrangler-in-Chief. Unable to come up with with his own lifelong ambition, he's been cribbing from Milan Kundera: "to unite the utmost seriousness of question with the utmost lightness of form." He and his laptop live in New York; you can find him at andrewboyd.com and beautifultrouble.org.

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Daily Afflictions: The Agony of Being Connected to Everything in the Universe
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