I recognize that when I faced this book, Happy, translated here as Once upon a time ... An alternative story of happiness, I did it with certain reservations. Derren Brown He is a brilliant illusionist, but how can he write a book about happiness from a philosophical and psychological point of view.
But nevertheless, Derren Brown He enrolls in that class of illusionists, a type of James Randi, who orient his tricks to an intelligent audience, and who are even responsible for uncovering frauds or pseudosciences using his great knowledge in the art of deception. Yes, but ... a book about happiness?
Well, I have to admit that Derren Brown He has written a wonderful book. Following the alphanumeric trail of beautiful prose and careful contemporary philosophers such as Alain de BottonBrown addresses happiness from the most current scientific research, but he does not forget to hybridize that evidence with the knowledge and wisdom pills of classical philosophers, such as Epiceto or Seneca.
We are not facing a book of scientific dissemination to use, which also, but, above all, before an absorbent narrative about the psychological mechanisms that underlie happiness and unhappiness. For example, the curiosity of knowing what others think about us while that knowledge can lead to disaster, and how social networks are capable of satisfying that kind of curiosity and precisely for that reason we should use them very carefully.
The first pages of the book are enough to fall in love with him. When it shows how necessary it is to know how to tell one's life, as protagonists of a story, and avoid the inputs that make us think that we will not be able to do certain things. All of this (and this is important) running away as if it were the Plague of trinket councils or mystical ideas like the ones it spreads The secret, from Rhonda Byrne (book to which, by the way, Brown dedicates a chapter to skinning without compassion).
In addition, how could it be otherwise, the book has inspired us to write articles in Xataka science as What is the tendency to confirmation and why can we not trust us?