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The Happy Mutant Handbook Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; 1st edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573225029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573225021
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.7 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,075,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In the wrong hands, this book would receive a dousing of gasoline and a quick flick of the Bic. In the right hands, this is a delightfully subversive manual for a lifetime of fun.

This is the do-it-yourself handbook for enjoying our media-saturated world by tinkering with how it works. Pulls together the kookiest and most engaging ideas from the Internet, great suggestions on "culture jamming" (a practice of co-opting the resources, messages, and brain-washing machinery of existing media, pioneered by Adbusters magazine), and generally jam-packed with loads of fun ideas and funny material.

Notable contributors include Bruce Sterling, Rudy Rucker, R.U. Sirius, Richard Kadrey, and that most prolific of all authors, Anonymous.

(Editor's note: In some ways, the Happy Mutant philosophy is the cyberspawn of the behavioral shenanigans of the Dadaists, Surrealists, or the lesser-known but more interesting Situationists. )


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Baroness Von Grim on June 10, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Do you laugh at authority, enjoy silly putty, get a kick outta kitsch, appreciate goofy pranks, take pride in being a do-it-yourselfer? Do your knees get weak over Water Wiennies, Sea Monkeys, Crazy Straws, or Esquivel? If you answered "yes" to a few or more of these then you are probably a happy mutant and this book is for you.
It's great. You'll find tips on building hacking, how to do "your" work while appearing to be doing "their" work, turning the tables on telemarketers, creating your own personal anti-marketing strategy, getting your zine seen, and The Urban Absurdist Survival Kit which offers official looking signs you can copy and stick around to confuse and amuse. It also includes character profiles of idiots you are likely to run into on the net, conveniently printed up as cards to cut out and keep handy for quick identification. Plus, articles on Ivan Stang, Roger Corman, Jim Ludtke, and Patch Adams (oooh, even scarier than Robin Williams).
Get your giggles off while undermining the Man. But, this book isn't all just fun and games, it contains a degree of seriousness, yet it is also serious fun. *The Happy Mutant Handbook* possesses teeth but when it nips it aims for the funny bone.
Buy this book, read it, play with it, give it a hug. You two kids could become really good friends.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Willow on September 9, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Everything from prank calls, odd types of hacking, and Wham-o products to strange but simple foods, comix, and the Happy Mutant Hall of Fame, the Happy Mutant Handbook has most everything that the other 10% of the human population, who aren't Normals, could want to know. There are lots of fun little pranks that can always be used. One is standing in an elevator and giggling the entire time you're reading the phone book. It's quite entertaining and your able to read it again and again, each time knowing that there are actually other people like you out there. If there weren't this book wouldn't exist. So worship it and read it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 5, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What appears to be, at first, a critique on pop culture, is instead a guidebook to subverting the dominant paradigm. Make your own diesel fuel. Start a newsletter. Adapt technology for more "creative" uses. Create your own conspiracy. This is one of the few books that actually make you want to go out and do something after you read it (or in my case, WHILE you read it). Highly, highly recomended. This might become the STEAL THIS BOOK of the 90's!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By squalorholla on January 26, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I first read it, I had never before heard of the Cacophony Society, bOING bOING magazine, the Billboard Liberation Front or Burning Man, and I had no idea what "culture jamming" was. But my eyes were opened, and my life has gone all *kinds* of strange and wonderful new directions, all because of the resources in this incredible little book.

It's a damn shame it's out of print, but it's howling for a sequel. How about it, Carla?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 20, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
No one seemd to get it. We would rampage the streets frightening the impressionable, and disturbing the normal. We all thought that we were loose cannons without a name. Now we have names. We are Happy Mutants. We delight in the wonderful weirdness, and dark back-coners of culture. This new wonderful book (no assembly required) will allow your inherent whimsey rise to the surface and awaken a bizarrity that you never knew existed. The new hobbies, activites, and general attitudes presented within will tickle your uvula, and leave you standing in the humidifying mist of the Gods
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 8, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book has warped my brain. Well, warped it more than it wasalready. When walking to work the morning after I finished it, I foundmyself wondering how the mannequins in the department store windows would look with mustaches. And listing creative ways to make the tourists (can't believe they're here *already*) nervous. And thinking that my own guide to life is just what the world needs right now.
The opening chapter is right: if you're the sort of person who finds comfort in authority, or if you think that spray-painting a huge "A" on one of the Space Needle stanchions is any way to express your individuality, this book will either change your life or make you very, very scared.
For everyone else, this book is a fun, inspiring guide to building a cultural phenomenon on your own sense of the absurd. What greater goal in life could there be?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 6, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Back when paper zines were cool.....

An eclectic, entertaining, interesting and thought provoking collection of people, organisations and ideas expressed as only a combination of Boing-Boing (the original 'zine) and Wired could.

Sex, drugs and cyberspace as seen in 1995
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