Wake Up Happy Every Day: A Novel

Wake Up Happy Every Day A Novel For decades Nicky and Russell have kept up the friendship they began in childhood and for decades Russell s annual birthday celebration has reminded Nicky of how much successful Russell is how ast

  • Title: Wake Up Happy Every Day: A Novel
  • Author: Stephen May
  • ISBN: 9781620403518
  • Page: 235
  • Format: Paperback
  • For decades, Nicky and Russell have kept up the friendship they began in childhood, and for decades, Russell s annual birthday celebration has reminded Nicky of how much successful Russell is, how astronomically rich he is, and how much further he has come since their suburban childhood But on his fiftieth birthday, Russell drops dead in his San Francisco mansion, wiFor decades, Nicky and Russell have kept up the friendship they began in childhood, and for decades, Russell s annual birthday celebration has reminded Nicky of how much successful Russell is, how astronomically rich he is, and how much further he has come since their suburban childhood But on his fiftieth birthday, Russell drops dead in his San Francisco mansion, with Nicky as the only witness.And now Nicky has come up with an uncharacteristically daring plan If he were to become Russell and leave his old life lying dead on the bathroom floor, then he, his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Scarlett, could start again Only with better clothes, better hair, better stuff, and a better future everything that money can buy Especially happiness.But when the foundations of their glittering new existence start to crack, the impact of Nicky s hasty decision is felt by all those around him by his daughter by his own distant, confused father by a young English woman who has come to America in search of her father and by the mysterious Catherine, an ex soldier who seems to take an unhealthy interest in Nicky s activities.Sharp, funny, warm, and acutely observed, Wake Up Happy Every Day is a novel about dreams and delusions, family and friendship, and what happens if you actually find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    One thought on “Wake Up Happy Every Day: A Novel”

    1. Ever read a book that has an excellent premise, which starts off well, and then utterly loses momentum and its way by the end?Yeah, I have, too. And now I can add Stephen May's Wake Up Happy Every Day to that list.Nicky Fisher and Russell Knox were childhood friends growing up in England, although over the last few years they haven't been as close. Although they shared the same upbringing, their adult lives couldn't be more different—Russell is spectacularly rich, a business giant with money a [...]

    2. 'Wake Up Happy Every Day' sets out at a ripping pace - and then gets pacier! If you need an outline of the plot (or at least the starting point, as too much info would ruin your enjoyment) read the blurb above. The narrative is complicated - or maybe complex is a better description, as it's never muddly - as we follow half a dozen characters whose lives interact with and impact on that of our 'hero', Nicky Fisher. Just when you think you can see where it's going, May throws a curve ball and we'r [...]

    3. This is NOT a self-help book. I promise. The writer is British, very wry, and sets up a complicated series of events that I, at least, found worthy of unraveling. The setting is very contemporary San Francisco. The first person narrator, Nicky, along with his wife and special needs 3 year old have come for a visit to Nicky's childhood pal, Russell, whose main goal seems to be sending first class plane tickets to create the opportunity to dump all over his old buddy. Russell is obscenely rich, li [...]

    4. I loved this - with its great characters and a delightfully far-fetched storyline it's a cracking fun read. It also subtly has a lot to say about about different people's perceptions of events and each other. But above all it's infinitely quotable:"Take it from me, local government offices are mostly about flexi-time and cake. Cake comes in for birthdays, for house moves, for news of engagements, births, weddings, christenings, driving tests, kids making the cross-country team or passing grade o [...]

    5. “Wake Up Happy Every Day” is an astonishing achievement. Stephen May’s third novel centres around Nicky Fisher’s opportunistic decision to assume the identity of his dead friend Russell, and the catastrophic implications of this sudden choice. It is a brave and ambitious story which weaves together five narrative strands that slowly become connected. Often when an author attempts such a feat the potential danger is an epic fail; as a reader you only want to follow one thread and quickly [...]

    6. Picked this up at the library because the cover intrigued me - paper dolls: mother, father, little girl - I loved paper dolls. And the title sounded like a self-help book, but it's a novel. At first I didn't like the book because the story is preposterous. Nicky and his wife Sarah and their 3 year old daughter Scarlet are visiting from England Nicky's best friend Russell who now lives in San Francisco and is incredibly rich and handsome and successful. Russell drops dead and Nicky assumes his id [...]

    7. A thoroughly entertaining, if convoluted (and wildly implausible), book. Every character is interconnected in some way and it's an impressive feat, particularly with such a large cast. However once the mysteries about how exactly these characters relate to one another are revealed, we're left withwell, more mysteries. Somethings are left intentionally unresolved but others feel like neglect. I enjoyed the read and the journey but by the end felt that opportunities were missed and that the ending [...]

    8. Surprising and subtle full of offbeat characters and sharp insights. Starts at a cracking pace and while the book definitely slows down about 100 pages in, I found that there were other pleasures beyond the plot that kicked in at this point. With several points of view there are bound to be some that you enjoy more than others ( I particularly liked the Lorna and Megan story - free spirited young women determined to do things their way, and the book also contains one of the warmest, funniest mos [...]

    9. I actually couldn't quite finish it. There's no point struggling after a certain point. By that time you should know the lay if the land. I couldn't figure out who the characters were, besides the main two at the beginning. I hate when there are too many narratives, it's a lazy plot device, and I couldn't give two shits on the mundane thoughts, like scrambled eggs, in their heads. I can see it was trying to be witty and relevant and it has a great premise. I'm so disappointed. I wish I hadn't pu [...]

    10. I read this book to the end but only because I kept hoping it would make sense. It just never did. And the reader also had a very strange accent that was at times addicting and at times distracting. It was just all around odd and I'm glad it's over.

    11. I read this because I was given the book by the author and I was interested in the premise.Overall I felt that it was not my kind of book, but well written. I struggled with empathy for the main character, Nicky. I think it was only later on when I got a more full picture of his life that I began to care about what happened to him. It's a shame that couldn't have come a bit earlier.The large cast also didn't help matters. I enjoyed the sections with Nicky's Dad. The ex-soldier Catherine's parts [...]

    12. I received this book for free through First Reads.This is an interesting premise. Nicky decides to assume the identity of his best and very wealthy friend Russell after Russell dies suddenly. By doing this, Nicky and his wife Sarah hope to inherit Russell's privileged life. The story is told from the perspective of different characters in alternating chapters. The plot is quite twisted and at times it's confusing how the varied subplots connect. But the writing is clever and funny. I couldn't r [...]

    13. "Did not like it"! I don't like giving a book one star, but I have no choice! I didn't like the characters - they were all nasty, self-indulgent, dopey - or a combination of all! The only decent one was Nicky's Dad! I didn't find it at all funny as some have suggested - what on earth was there to laugh at? I didn't find it in any way witty - as suggested on the cover. There were unanswered questions at the end. It didn't make sense (the outcome following Nicky's initial meeting with Catherine fo [...]

    14. Not for me. Best friend takes over very rich deceased friend's life opportunities for some great humorous moments missed, and the current fad of writers using the device of telling the story over inter-related multi-character narratives just didn't give the reader the opportunity to relate to any of the characters. I just didn't care what was happening. There was a lot of interesting descriptive writing that I felt just wan't relevant to the plot, and unfortunately, I skim read the entire book [...]

    15. Well, thank goodness I got to the end of that, though unfortunately I am left with a few unanswered questions. Although the basis of the story was interesting enough - rich man dies, poor friend assumes his identity and wealth - I just couldn't engage with any of the characters. There seemed to be too many gaps in each of the stories. About halfway through I almost lost interest completely, but I persevered to the end!I am hoping that my bookclub discussion about it will uncover some things that [...]

    16. The basic premise is that the main character's best friend, who is very rich, dies unexpectedly and the protagonist takes on his identity and luxurious lifestyle. The author proceeded to go off on some relatively amusing tangents, but after a while I stared wondering when the actual story would begin. Well, it did begin but became more and more ludicrous, at which point I skimmed to the end. And even that wasn't worth my while.

    17. This is a clever funny story about its characters; the plot doesn't really matter. There is some element of examination about modern life and morality, but in the end it's enough that a well educated guy knows how to write a humourous story. I'm kind of obsessive about proper endings for books. This does a pretty good job of winding things up, but would probably get its fifth star if it were really good.

    18. This is a strange book. It's part satire, part screwball comedy, part spy novel, and part domestic novel. There are several different narrators connected loosely to one another, and though the stories intersect they work better individually than collectively. The best part about the novel are the random throwaway scenes and character sketches that it is mostly made up of. I liked it bit by bit, but as a whole it is disappointing.

    19. I chose this book for our book club. Good grief. Wish I hadn't. It sounded so promising. I literally had to force myself to finish itif you can call skimming the entire middle of the book finishing. The plot was all over the place and very difficultr me to follow. oh well.on to something else.

    20. Read the first four or five chapters and just couldn't get into this at all. It was a book club pick from prior to my joining (I've been reading all the books they finished before I joined) and since I won't be discussing it with them, I chose not to put myself through reading something that simply wasn't gripping me at all.

    21. Started out great, funny but dark premise, but I just didn't like anyone in the book, and kept losing interest in the threads of the story. Also, wasn't sure about a veiled religious message, but then decided I really didn't care, I just had to power through to the end. No great revelation there, it was pretty predictable and just blah. I really wanted to like it more, but Oh, well.

    22. This was an interesting book. It had several characters that were intertwined in an odd sort of way. The premise of the story is that Russell Knox dies & his visiting friend assumes his identity. I think it would be a little harder than as described in the book to do this but it was an enjoyable read.**I received this book through a Giveaway**

    23. I did like parts of this story and the premise was fun (taking someone else's identity and their wealth). But I couldn't really care about the characters and the satire was too diffuse. The story is set in San Francisco (ripe for satire), but showed no sense of place aside from pulling a few street names and landmarks from an atlas.

    24. A light-hearted approach to the subject matter revealed in broad brush stroke on the back cover blurb. The author seemed to lose his sense of narrative direction about half-way through the story and my enjoyment diminished. Like retail therapy, the buzz at the start of the reading experience soon wears off.

    25. I would not recommend this book. I didn't like any of the characters and the plot was implausible. The multiple narratives sometimes works, but not here. The many voices just confuse a plot that already has too many holes. May did not take advantage of San Francisco as the setting. Too bad.

    26. I absolutely loved this book! The characters felt real and there were some fantastic little bits of observation and great one liners. I particularly liked the descriptions of working in a library and for the Council.

    27. A diverting trifle--a man steals his deceased billionaire friend's identity to better his own family's life--a few too many coincidences to make it plausible, but entertaining

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *