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Customer Review

100 of 124 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely Sentimental (And That's Being Nice), February 19, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Chicken Soup for the Soul: 101 Stories to Open the Heart and Rekindle the Spirit (Paperback)
Perhaps, I am too cynical. Perhaps, I have lost my innocence. But once again, I picked up a book, I thought might reach deeper, might have meaning . . . but alas, I found a book that made happiness and meaningfulness seem easy, too easy. I didn't buy it. This book tries so hard to please that it smacks of a cheesy attempt to make money on a public truly searching for meaning. Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful stories in here but too often they are surrounded by those quick anecdotes about someone who would have comitted suicide if a stranger hadn't said I love you to them on the bus and now their life is wonderful. Or Big Ed who after one seminar finally learned to love his wife and ended-up executive vice-president. To me, this book makes me wonder why I have such a difficult time changing my life and finding true happiness. It seems so easy to these people. If you lower your expectations, feel free to read this book, you'll find a few gems. If you want short stories filled with more depth try Anthony de Mello's One Minute Nonsense or Song of the Bird. And if you are truly looking for books that will get you thinking about the meaning of it all go try John Irving's Prayer for Owen Meany or David James Duncan's River Why or Daniel Quinn's Ishmael. I found this book to be less like Chicken Soup and more like lifesavers. They sound good and taste good, but if you are really hungry they do not come close to filling you up
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 27, 2007 7:37:20 PM PDT
Thanks to your review I did not buy this book. I hate inspirational books: 1.) they are all the same, and 2.) they are all written by the same type of people. "Smile and put money in my pocket".

That said, I was willing to give this one a try, despite the smarmy title, but you said the magic word, "sentimental." That did it for me.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2013 8:12:18 PM PDT
axfv says:
Grumpy Cat says: I was inspired once. It was terrible.

Posted on Aug 31, 2013 7:04:59 PM PDT
Dan says:
The problem is most people make happiness out to be difficult to achieve, the fact is it's inherently within us all. Babies can be great unintentional teachers ;) Sometimes we need to stop being the victim and take control of our lives, perception makes the world of difference.

Posted on Dec 29, 2014 10:19:11 AM PST
DolphinBlue says:
I also tend to dislike easy, one-size-fits-all mushy stories. However, sometimes there are gems that are truly touching. And as I age,I realize happiness is a choice, not an outcome, and stories like this can inspire one to choose joy and happiness.

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 11:08:42 AM PDT
I fully agree with this review. I only got as far as the first 20 pages and found the stories contained in them not only superficial, corny and sentimental, but also irritatingly condescending. If happiness was as easy as portrayed, everyone (except the terminally stupid) would long be happy and content, and there would be no need for such books.
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