Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Gifts Gifts Under $50 Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $15 Off All-New Fire Kindle Black Friday Deals Outdoor Deals on DOTD

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Kindle Price: $5.99

Save $9.01 (60%)

These promotions will be applied to this item:

Some promotions may be combined; others are not eligible to be combined with other offers. For details, please see the Terms & Conditions associated with these promotions.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Flip to back Flip to front
Audible Narration Playing... Paused   You are listening to a sample of the Audible narration for this Kindle book.
Learn more

The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking Kindle Edition

230 customer reviews

See all 22 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"

Length: 257 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Audible Narration
Switch back and forth between reading the Kindle book and listening to the Audible narration with Whispersync for Voice. Add narration for a reduced price of $3.99 when you buy the Kindle book.
Audible Narration: Ready

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: The you-can-do-it, life-is-one-big-smiley-face ethos of our contemporary culture has its value: Aggressive positivity helps many triumph over addiction, say, or build previously unimaginable businesses, even win elections and wars. But according to Oliver Burkeman, this relentless pursuit of happiness and success can also make us miserable. Exploring the dark side of the theories put forth by such icons as Norman Vincent Peale and Eckhart Tolle by looking to both ancient philosophy and current business theory, Burkeman--a feature writer for British newspaper The Guardian--offers up the counterintuitive idea that only by embracing and examining failure and loss and unhappiness will we become free of it. So in your next yoga class, try this: breathe deep, think unhappy thoughts--and feel your soul relax. --Sara Nelson


“Burkeman's tour of the ‘negative path' to happiness makes for a deeply insightful and entertaining book. This insecure, anxious and sometimes unhappy reader found it quite helpful.” ―Hector Tobar, The Los Angeles Times

“Some of the most truthful and useful words on [happiness] to be published in recent years . . . A marvellous synthesis of good sense, which would make a bracing detox for the self-help junkie.” ―Julian Baggini, The Guardian

The Antidote is a gem. Countering a self-help tradition in which ‘positive thinking' too often takes the place of actual thinking, Oliver Burkeman returns our attention to several of philosophy's deeper traditions and does so with a light hand and a wry sense of humor. You'll come away from this book enriched--and, yes, even a little happier.” ―Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and A Whole New Mind

“Quietly subversive, beautifully written, persuasive, and profound, Oliver Burkeman's book will make you think--and smile.” ―Alex Bellos, author of Here's Looking at Euclid

“Addictive, wise, and very funny.” ―Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist

“What unites [Burkeman's] travels, and seems to drive the various characters he meets, from modern-day Stoics to business consultants, is disillusionment with a patently false idea that something as complex as the goal of human happiness can be found by looking in a book . . . It's a simple idea, but an exhilarating and satisfying one.” ―Alexander Larman, The Observer

“This is an excellent book; Burkeman makes us see that our current approach, in which we want happiness but search for certainty--often in the shape of material goods--is counterproductive.” ―William Leith, The Telegraph

“Fascinating . . . After years spent consulting specialists--from psychologists to philosophers and even Buddhists--Burkeman realised they all agreed on one thing: . . . in order to be truly happy, we might actually need to be willing to experience more negative emotions--or, at least, to learn to stop running so hard from them.” ―Mandy Francis, The Daily Mail

“Splendid . . . Readable and engaging.” ―British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, The Times (London)

Product Details

  • File Size: 672 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (November 13, 2012)
  • Publication Date: November 13, 2012
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0080K3G4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,402 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images or tell us about a lower price?

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 176 people found the following review helpful By Dustin G. Rhodes VINE VOICE on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a sucker. Feature a writer on National Public Radio, and the interview is mildly entertaining, I will buy the book. I will also probably read it -- the only question remaining: will I actually like it?

The Antidote, for sure, is personally fascinating. I abhor positive thinking, gravitating instead toward reality. But I didn't come by this easily. In my early 20's, I became obsessed with all manner of self help, positive thinking and new age spirituality. I devoured (embarrassing) self help books, feeling temporarily inspired by them while making feeble attempts to put the words into practice. Inevitably, I'd feel like a failure for not being able to be perfect -- or even slightly "better" than I was before; I'd feel consumed with anger and resentment, too, that my problems didn't magically go away; that life wasn't easier. It took me a LONG TIME to realize that my faux spirituality was primarily the cause of my dissatisfaction and pain.

My actual problems were far less annoying than the books I was reading to solve them.

I wish I'd read The Antidote 15 years ago.

The Antidote travels familiar -- to me, a junkie, at least -- terrain. If you've ever read a book on buddhism (through a pop culture lens), for instance, much of this won't be new: accept life as it is. But the context will; the author blends storytelling, cutting edge research, personal anecdote and wry humor into this compelling case for what he refers to as the negative path; the wisdom of the Stoics as a sane approach to life.

I am torn as to how many stars to offer; for whatever reason, I wasn't in love with the book as a whole. The author is certainly a talented writer, but I felt like the book went on and on. And on.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
70 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Andersen on December 1, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I picked up Antidote after hearing an interview with the author on The book is well-written, concise, interesting, and doesn't labor any point too much. The author clearly spent a lot of time researching the book, and some of his experiences were memorable, being presented in a witty, self-deprecating way.

The discussion presented in the book is more philosophical than of the self-help variety. Self-help books are traditionally positive thinking books while philosophy books are not, so it is a natural choice. That is not to say that the book is dense or inaccessible. It is highly accessible to any reader with copious examples to illustrate its points.

I came to this book with previous experience with Buddhism, some knowledge of Stoicism, and a tendency to feel nauseous when encountering the positive thinking mantra. Before reading this book, I assumed that this made me a bad, "negative" person, but after reading it I realized that, if anything, my so-called negativity was more beneficial to me than the positivity that many people are desperate to cultivate in themselves. As the book explains, being "negative" doesn't mean harping on the downside of everything, but it does mean taking a path away from strict positivity. It explains that most people ignore the negative sides of life, trying to wish them away in rosy colored aphorisms and mantras. Those negative aspects, however, are part of life and being unable to confront them and help people accept them is a big part of why the positive thinking manuals fail.

Some of the best parts of the book:

- I found the idea that "you don't have to feel like doing something to do it" a relief.
Read more ›
3 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By MichaelInVenice on December 3, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For those who walk around with a scowl on their face all day and hope to find in this book the secret to being happy while being angry, depressed or forlorn, this books will probably not the mark, because there is no mark to hit.

But if you're just one of those many people out there like myself who's trying to avoid being angry and upset, but who doesn't buy the "be happy and wonderful things will happen to you" mantra, this book will be interesting. I say "interesting" not "enlightening" because it is a surface treatment covering everything from ancient stoicism to Buddhism to modern-day Santa Muerte beliefs and as such can't possibly be deep enough to be enlightening. It does go deep enough to show the common theme running through many beliefs, that happiness is ultimately related to finding a way to be content and productive in the world as it is, without devoting too much of our energy to struggling against it. The book does not suggest that we not try to better ourselves or the world around us, but does make the point that it is the struggle against our condition that is likely to make us unhappy far more than the condition we're in to begin with.

I found this book to be an interesting departure point, suggesting several others that I suspect will be more enlightening, rather than merely interesting.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By The Emperor on September 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This was certainly a lot more enjoyable to read than most self-help books.
I actually liked reading it which is a lot more than you say for the usual change your life, awaken the fear within, visualise success and ask the universe type books.

The writing style is quite informal and discursive and despite the modesty of the author it is certainly a lot more rigorous and useful than the usual stuff from the snake oil salesmen. He recognises that what seems to work for him might not work for everyone.

It probably isn't an essential read if you do always look at his column in the Guardian though obviously in this book he gives each subject a more in depth treatment.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in