Why Are You So Sad? by Jason Porter

why-are-u-so-sadI can’t remember why I thought I wanted to read Why Are You So Sad? The title and concept make it sound a wee bit depressing, but it’s not. In fact, Jason Porter takes us on a rather fun filled journey into the the malaise that seems to pervade North American culture at times.

Raymond, our protagonist, is slipping. Not only is he falling into a depression, he is convinced that all of humanity is and it will lead to our extinction. To explore this theme further he comes up with the mad capped idea to write a survey and had it out to his fellow employees at an IKEA like furniture behemoth. Part of the fun of the novel is seeing how his co-workers react to and fill in the slightly odd survey.

My favorite part of Why Are You So Sad? is that Porter leaves us with two alternate endings. I was a firm fan of the first ending. Is that because I read it first? At any rate, it gave the book a Choose Your Own Adventure feel.

Who would like this book? This book is certainly not for everyone (mom, if you’ve read this far I mean you). Porter is a very contemporary American voice that has been compared to George Saunders and David Sedaris. I would also add Canadian Douglas Coupland to this list. The book is a quick read with some provocative ideas, but is unlikely to go down as a work of great literature. I enjoyed it and consumed it in almost one sitting. In a way it can be compared to Where’d You Go, Bernadette? but for a younger, pre-family generation. Both are funny and deal with mental health in contemporary American culture.

See what other bloggers have thought. And let me know if you’d like your review to be included here.

Fourth Street Review

My Like in Books

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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6 Comments

  1. Enjoyed review especially the one liners! Not sure if the book would be for me though! Mind you I am impressed that your mother would read that far down a post! My mother tends to read the title then send me a message along the lines of ‘liked the thingy you wrote dear-very nice !’ But when your stats are low even my mother reading the title of a post is a success!

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