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Download The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Geography of Bliss: One Grumps Search for the Happiest Places in the World Audiobook, by Eric Weiner Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00024201355276 out of 53.00024201355276 out of 53.00024201355276 out of 53.00024201355276 out of 53.00024201355276 out of 5 3.00 (12,396 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eric Weiner Narrator: Eric Weiner Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781600242595
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Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes listeners from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author’s case, moments of “un-unhappiness.” The book uses a beguiling mixture of travel, psychology, science, and humor to investigate not what happiness is but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the king of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate gross national happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina, so damn happy?

With engaging wit and surprising insights, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Think Don Quixote with a dark sense of humor and a taste for hashish and you begin to grasp Eric Weiner, the modern knight-errant of this mad, sad, wise, and witty quest across four continents. I won’t spoil the fun by telling if his mission succeeds, except to say that happiness is reading a book as entertaining as this.” 

    Tony Horwitz, author of Confederates in the Attic

  • “With one single book, Eric Weiner has flushed Bill Bryson down a proverbial toilet, and I say that lovingly. By turns hilarious and profound, this is the kind of book that could change your life. The relationship between place and contentment is an ineffable one, and Weiner cuts through the fog with a big, powerful light. The Geography of Bliss is no smiley-face emoticon, it's a Winslow Homer.” 

    Henry Alford, author of Municipal Bondage and Big Kiss

  • “Laugh. Think. Repeat. Repeatedly. If someone told me this book was this good, I wouldn’ t have believed them.” 

    Po Bronson, author of What Should I Do With My Life?

  • “One of the ineluctable laws of travel is that most companions are beguiling at the beginning and annoying by the end. Weiner’s company wears surprisingly well. It takes a chapter or two to decide you like him, and another to realize that you like him a lot, but by the time the trip is over, you find yourself hoping that you'll hit the road together again someday. The Geography of Bliss is a journey too good to be rare.”  

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol Wakefield | 2/20/2014

    " A travelogue. With an objective. Searching for reputedly happy spots in the world and one miserable one. I enjoy travelogues and the excuse for one, searching for the basis of happiness is as good an excuse as any. A common denominator for happiness?? Family, connectedness, some security, varies. Just avoid living in Moldavia. Easily done. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lucinda | 2/16/2014

    " This book is Weiner's attempt to grapple with his (or should I say 'the') questions about what a person needs to be happy. His approach is interesting to me as an anthropologist: using some (pretty flawed) quantitative research that states that people from country X rank as Y on the 'happiness scale', Weiner travels to a number of countries to try to understand what these conditions are that foster people's happiness. I enjoy this approach because it recognises that there are cultural contexts that can inform a person's perspective on their life experiences: the way we interpret the world around us and view our relationships with friends, family, neighbours, strangers on the street (whether they be countrymen or 'others') and of course, the state. But this is also what drove me crazy about this book: he often makes facile generalizations for the sake of a witty quip and generally lacks the ability to make much in the way of anything near penetrating insights into the significance of pretty much any of the conditions that allow for or inhibit a person's happiness. Still, there is something about statistics that is seductive, everything is put neatly into its own little box. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Rinaldi | 2/10/2014

    " This was a very enjoyable, insightful read. I would definitely recommend. Good book club discussion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn Capern | 1/17/2014

    " NPR curmudgeon seeks happiness...all over the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wilton Djaya | 1/1/2014

    " As a traveler and culture-observer, this book had given an information which I haven't know yet. Since it took my attention while I was at book shop a month ago, I realize that I should learn many things about people and their habits or culture. Apart from that, this book had opened my eyes and gave me food for though on how people out there define what is bliss about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley Enrici | 12/24/2013

    " This was an interesting book, I loved his description of the places as well as the "study" of happiness. I would have loved a little bit more information in some places or more about where he got some of the information, but I think the exclusion of some of that is part of what made this such a fun and easy read. If you have ever had wanderlust this would probably be a good choice, or maybe not because now I've added three or four more countries to my ever growing list of future travel destinations. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sriwulan Wahyu Pertiwi | 12/23/2013

    " Menyenangkan. Kejutan yang tak ada habisnya. Petualang yang mungkin sejati. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Hurt-Mullen | 12/22/2013

    " Fabulous and funny, too. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 12/22/2013

    " A very interesting book written from a neat perspective. More of a travel memoir than a real dissection of the geography of happiness, but still quite the fun read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Graceanne Bowe | 11/23/2013

    " After 3 weeks, I was only able to get halfway through the book, simply because I just couldn't get immersed in it. I finally decided my time was better spent on more interesting books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Niniane Wang | 9/24/2013

    " Clever writing and entertaining travelogue. He visits Switzerland, Moldova, India, and Slough in England. I found it an easy amusing read. One interesting point was that trusting others is vital to happiness. Envy is toxic to happiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Irynababich | 8/2/2013

    " Amazing book. Highly recommend "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin Johnson | 5/8/2013

    " I should probably give it an extra star simply for his play on inter-course. My issue is that I don't think he really spent enough time in each place to truly understand them. It would have been nice to have a non-grump as a co-writer... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hanifah Fitriasari | 3/7/2013

    " 3.5 sih "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Concrastinator7 | 1/19/2013

    " Apparently mass culture really does effect people's perception of their happiness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cydney | 11/14/2012

    " easy to pick up and put down and pick up again where you left off. Funny guy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 RIF | 9/10/2012

    " Interesting but be warned if you have wanderlust this will fuel it and unfortunately some of the happiest places in the world are difficult estimations in which to get. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Famega Syavira | 7/3/2012

    " The best travel book ever. I keep reading it over and over again. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jody Schwartz | 4/27/2012

    " This was more interesting than good! I skimmed some which is not a good sign! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Lehmer | 4/19/2012

    " Writing seems reportorial but fun premise. A sarcastic view of searching for happiness. Is informative about how happiness is viewed in many parts of the world. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Holly | 2/13/2012

    " Thoroughly enjoyable, a fun read. Definitely not life-changing, just an interesting way to look at how other cultures value happiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Brandel | 6/5/2011

    " I enjoyed this book--very informative and thought-provoking. Now I really want to go to Thailand and Iceland. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Virginia | 5/18/2011

    " Great book about happiness, what we think is happiness and how different cultures define it "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elana | 5/13/2011

    " Really interesting book so far. I am almost finished and I have enjoyed every second, laughing aloud as I go. It really makes you think about how you're living life and what makes you happy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 5/6/2011

    " We had a great discussion about the different countries and the happiness factor. In fact 3 of the bookclubbers took a special deal and went to Iceland to see happiness for themselves. A very interesting approach and opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 4/30/2011

    " LOVED this book. Funny, insightful, poignant, honest. Truly a pleasure ~ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karla | 4/13/2011

    " Highly entertaining account of one man's search for happiness and the places it takes him. Love the author's wry sense of humor and straightforward style. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cydney | 4/12/2011

    " easy to pick up and put down and pick up again where you left off. Funny guy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gail | 4/9/2011

    " I think I'd like to settle in Bhutan. Or maybe Iceland. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 4/7/2011

    " My first book on tape - at first it was odd - but I loved it in the end. "Read" as I crossed the country by car. Great look at why countries / people are happy or not happy as the case may be. I recommend for a cultural entertaining read. "

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About the Author
Author Eric Weiner

Eric Weiner is author of the New York Times bestseller The Geography of Bliss, which has been translated into eighteen languages. A former correspondent for NPR and the New York Times, he has reported from more than three dozen countries. His work has appeared in the New Republic, Slate, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Foreign Policy, New York Times magazine, and the anthology Best American Travel Writing. He divides his time between Starbucks and Caribou.