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The Age of Absurdity

Why Modern Life makes it Hard to be Happy

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Like Alain de Botton crossed with Charlie Brooker, Foley succeeds in educating and enlightening us in this wry take on the existential dilemmas of modern life.

‘Fascinating . . .  the quest for happiness and how we are getting it all wrong' Jeremy Vine, Sunday Telegraph


The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity – a humourous and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of wellbeing and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.

Michael Foley examines the elusive conditions of happiness common to philosophy, spiritual teachings and contemporary psychology, then shows how these are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a world of high expectations. The common challenges of earning a living, maintaining a relationship and ageing are becoming battlegrounds of existential angst and self-loathing in a culture that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane partnerships and perpetual youth.

Rather than denouncing and rejecting these challenges, Foley presents an entertaining strategy of not just accepting but embracing today's world – finding happiness in its absurdity.

 

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Michael Foley was born in Derry, Northern Ireland, but has lived most of his adult life in London, working for twenty-three years as a Lecturer in Information Technology at the University of Westminster before retiring in 2007 to concentrate on full-time writing. He has published critically-acclaimed poetry, novels and non-fiction, including The Age of Absurdity (Simon & Schuster 2010), which was a bestseller and has been translated into seven languages.
 

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