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Happy Hour Is for Amateurs [Kindle Edition]

Philadelphia Lawyer
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.99
Kindle Price: $10.99
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Book Description

For some people, happy hour is never enough

This is a book about escape. It's also about laughing gas. And bourbon and dope and sex and mushrooms and every other vice millions of us indulge in to forget our jobs, the office, and the stifling, corporate caricatures we're forced to become for paychecks. This is a book about a decade lost in a senseless career no one likes and all the ridiculous things I did to run from it. In the end, it's probably your story as much as mine. We're everywhere. We just can't say it out loud.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this nihilistic memoir, the author, creator of the Philadelphia Lawyer blog, addresses both the bankruptcy of the American legal system and his own predilection for substance abuse. His pseudonym, he says, refers both to the city where the author practiced and to a disparaging term for an unscrupulous lawyer. A former frat boy, the author entered law school for lack of better ideas only to find that the material bored him and his studies interfered with getting drunk. Still, he persisted, and his quest for big money led him through criminal law, civil litigation and personal injury law. Although he never gets rich, he is able to ingest large quantities of drugs in the company of equally debauched friends. The author writes with intermittent brio, and his critiques of his profession are pointed and astute. However, the endless tales of sleazy sex and drunken escapades might go over well with bar-stool buddies, but on the page they make a depressing blur. Other people barely seem to exist for him: of his future wife we learn little more than that she has a dancer's ass and amazing nipples. With a lot more empathy and self-awareness, the author might have created a devastating portrayal of the current debasement of the American professional classes. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“The Philadelphia Lawyer leaps off the printed page like a seersuckered superhero -- a literary lothario Hunter S. Thompson would have been proud to call ‘Counselor.’”

Product Details

  • File Size: 330 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 006184506X
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (September 30, 2008)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001FA0SSI
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #459,354 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, Accurate, and Insightful October 2, 2008
By Bart
Half-memoir, half-gonzo, Happy Hour Is For Amateurs is greater than the sum of its autobiographical parts. Ultimately, the book is a morality play; the deadly sins are sacrificing happiness for a paycheck and perpetuating the status quo in a morally bankrupt industry.

Some readers may object to the author's profanity and depiction of drug and alcohol use--of course, some readers call Mark Twain "racist" and Aldous Huxley "immoral." In other words, if you have a weak constitution or delicate sensibilities, this book probably isn't for you.

This book is for: (1) every worker who's ever felt like a cog or an itinerant, (2) every person who thinks, "this is as good as it gets for me," and (3) anyone who enjoys funny, insightful writing on topics most people can relate to. From the book: "There's an accidental wisdom in following. Letting something else define you narrows the decisions you have to make. It gives you parameters, a track to follow and a holiday from all the angst that comes with carving your own path." `Following' is exactly what some people need--this book is for everyone else.

Happy Hour Is For Amateurs is not a book about being a lawyer, it's a book about being unsatisfied with what you do. (Though it's completely, depressingly accurate if you want to know what the actual practice of law is like for the majority of attorneys.) It's about settling and the push-pull of childhood dreams--and adult dreams--against the weight of responsibility and expectations. Philalawyer escaped, and most of us haven't, a fact sure to generate equal measures of envy and hostility. Either way, this book is compulsory reading for every disaffected office monkey, every fungible bureaucrat.

The writing is always serviceable and frequently soars.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
The introductory author's note concludes with Sergeant Hulka's memorable line from Stripes "Lighten up, Francis" and it sets the tone for what's to come. Occasionally, pre-release examination copies will cross my desk, but this was the first book to inspire me to jump on Amazon and write a review.

Happy Hour is for Amateurs is not for everyone. If you're easily offended, you might do better to avoid the book. More importantly, if you rely on cognitive dissonance to get through 9-5 life, then the book might shake your fragile mental farce a little too violently.

Philadelphia Lawyer tells the story of a young man fresh out of college who is beaten down over the course of a decade in the legal profession. The lines between work and play, misery and happiness are often blurred, and each chapter is a slightly different take following an overarching theme of discontent leading to self-actualization. Perhaps the author's greatest strength is his ability to maintain a fast-paced, page-turning plot while interspersing insightful anecdotes that put into words all the random thoughts I've had about corporate culture, leaving me wondering "why the hell didn't I write this?" Yet, at the same time, I realize that it takes great craft to make life's mundanity compelling.

Philadelphia Lawyer writes like a man who isn't afraid to write. So often writers are concerned with what others might think; what literary conventions or technicalities to abide by in order to appeal to a certain crowd, but in this book the language comes relentless and unrestrained. Pop culture references from the last half century blend seamlessly with serious deliberations on legal culture and its implications on sanity.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging, brutal and hilarious September 22, 2008
This was an enormously entertaining book.

But before I jump into the superlatives, I think it's important to make a distinction between this book and the other bourbon-soaked tales of anal sex and professionally hazardous hangovers that this emerging genre has seen over the past few years. This book is more than the sum of its drugs, fornication and booze - it is a crushing social critique of a respected profession and of thousands of its practitioners. The author attacks the American legal system as a complicit antihero, publishing a decade worth of subversion. He portrays the frenetic courtroom, the golden shackles that bind him to his work and the familiar (for some of us) haze of substance abuse. Based on 10 years that would have driven most to a Xanax prescription, he manages to write one of the funniest books I've ever read.

And that's really what matters, right? Sure, there are strokes of brilliance and the sort of introspection that makes you want to step back and re-examine your own life. But there is also a swimsuit model trying to shoot herself in the face with a taser, a hockey team locked in the back of a Uhaul with a keg and few naked lesbians thrown in for good measure. And that's what life should be about.

Formulating my thoughts on this book took me a little while. This is due in part, I feel, to the author's willful disregard for the molds I like to fit books into. It's refreshing to read books like this - ones that challenge you. Fortunately, for all its complexity, it never loses itself; the tangents of the narrative never detract from the point. It is painfully funny and brutally honest; the sordid confession from a man who is not the least bit sorry.

I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This generations Montaigne
You do not become a ''dissident'' just because you decide one day to take up this most unusual career. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Nathaniel
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and well written
If you like Tucker Max, read this guy. His stories are hilarious and actually believable. The book flows well, and the author actually progresses and learns from his mistakes and... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Traveling Hobo
4.0 out of 5 stars This book can be applied to many different professions
I tossed this book into my "Wish List" and finally got around to purchasing it and reading it now (May 2013). Read more
Published on May 20, 2013 by Naterade
3.0 out of 5 stars This book wasn't what I thought it would be
Before I ever went to law school, a bunch of people recommended this book as a must read. I thought it was mildly entertaining at best. Read more
Published on March 25, 2013 by Adam Rosengard
2.0 out of 5 stars A Tucker Max wannabe
A compendium of sexual conquests, misogyny, and debauchery, but not much more. A few good lines here and there, but not engaging enough to hold my attention. Read more
Published on January 27, 2013 by
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, but could have been perfect.
This is a book that is about pursuing something you think you'd love, achieving it, and then ending up hating it but being afraid to leave it. Read more
Published on September 8, 2011 by Shane
1.0 out of 5 stars Read Tucker Max instead
What a waste of a book! The author is obviously trying to copy Tucker Max but fails miserably. This book is not funny or remarkable in any way. Read more
Published on May 17, 2011 by Travis
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Happy Hour is for Amateurs by Philalawyer is good read. It is funny and says all the things everyone wants to say about their jobs. Read more
Published on February 16, 2011 by Robert
4.0 out of 5 stars Happy Hour is for Amatueurs
This is a good book for people to read if they are thinking about going into law school, to give them a view of what life would be like as a lawyer. Read more
Published on November 5, 2010 by JGS350
1.0 out of 5 stars The stories are repetitive and the writing is amateurish; I hope he...
While this book might arouse interest for the first few chapters, the entertainment value drops off quickly. How many times can the same tweaked story be retold? Read more
Published on August 5, 2010 by Joseph Copeli
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