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.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
How I Became Stupid Paperback – November 30, 2004
|New from||Used from|
Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
A wild yet powerful book. (Elle)
Top Customer Reviews
Now, this may seem like an idiotic thought, but to Antoine it makes sense because his attempts at becoming an alcoholic failed, after only a half-glass, and his suicide instructor accidentally led him away from the morbid path. Go figure.
Overall, this book is a glimpse, as one reviewer put it, into Antoine's "wonderful existential journey." Not too deep mind you, and that is one of the main faults. This book, sensibly enough, is especially alluring to the reader who finds that he or she relates to Antoine - pre-stupidity attempts. In this sense we feel his pain, and see a tidbit of ourselves. However, as previously mentioned, this book is short and does not offer us the expanded view, into either ourselves or existentialism in general, that we might have wanted.
(Also especially poignant for the Huckabees fan)
Despite the delightful cover and promise of a rather light read - Martin Page gives us anything but; the book, though short, is densely compact and wholly absorbing. Beneath its quick and sharp charm lies a more nuanced truth that reaches near apocalyptic suppositions. Yet, despite the "runaway train" effect that the acerbic story impresses, Martin Page dismisses the social pessimism that his character embraces in favor, however grudgingly, of a more optimistic outlook. By pointing out all the logical fallacies of such black thinking with spry humor - most especially when spiraling in the deepest depths of human misery - we are able to be left only amused and so then embrace the positive message written behind the (comically) dark events.
The premise of the book is that its main character, Antoine, believes that intelligence leads only to sufferance. With this conclusion, he embarks on a twisted odyssey to find happiness - by becoming stupid. This takes him everywhere from alcoholism, to suicide, to worldly success, and beyond.
It stands true that, throughout the novel, there remains a constant fracture between the author's stance and that of his characters.Read more ›
The protagonist of the story is bedeviled by his own understanding, and he suffers from the curse of the self-aware: his existence is bourgois and has no point. Seeking to avoid this realization, he attempts to find ways to deprive himself of this knowledge, including the aforementioned alcoholism, suicide, HappyZac (not to be confused with that other well-known SSRI), and other delightful distractions of modern life.
My biggest problem with the book, surprisingly, was not its pretentious nature, which I enjoyed, as it was perfect typecasting for the narrator. Rather, I didn't accept the nature of the character development. Most people will read this and understand what I mean, so I won't spoil the story. Suffice it to say, the results of spilling coffee on your keyboard are not what he was looking for, and the suggestion that this somehow led him where he ended up was a bit farcical and forced.
I must also confess a sort of bitter ambivalence toward the book as a result of having seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind recently, and the Conclusion of the book had a rather Deus ex Machina result that left me feeling a bit like Alice. The only thing that I could connect to was the movie, and I felt that was unfortunate.
A good book, well worth the afternoon it takes to read it. Read it, share it, pass it on. Don't consider it an instruction manual, though. Unless you are into that kind of thing. In which case, Backa!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The story seems cool, but its seems the author have a vision too simplistic of the matterPublished 1 month ago by nfd2109
How I Became Stupid was the oldest book on my to-be-read list; I added it to my Amazon wishlist in June 2010, so it's been up there for about 6 years. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Briane F. Pagel Jr.
Very enjoyable read if you have an intellectual streak. Clever, tongue in cheek humor with an existential twist.Published 3 months ago by ManicMachine
Just started but I'm amazed at how this came into my possession.Published on July 12, 2014 by Zachary Parker
This is one of those books that you will end up buying ten times to give away as gifts. It's a quick, clever read that appeals to anyone who suspects that maybe being well-informed... Read morePublished on December 8, 2013 by Book Addict
A smart man decides that being a genius is too sad and isolating and decides to become stupid. The narrator himself, for someone who thinks he's so intelligent, is an unfunny,... Read morePublished on September 7, 2013 by Kaitlin Kelly
A fun satirical read that pokes fun at ourselves. I agree that life would be easier, but not better, with blinders on. Read morePublished on July 19, 2013 by Pete Nice
We order these monthly and love them. The best gluten free snack bar we have eaten by far. Highly recommend.Published on January 21, 2013 by susan carpenter
I bought this book after reading a sample. I love the main character and the premise of the story. It's funny but there's more to it than that. Read morePublished on January 17, 2013 by jg