The Geography of Bliss

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New York Times Bestseller
2008 Original Voices Award Winner
Quality Paperback Club 2008 New Visions Award Winner
Washington Post ”Best of 2008″
Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” Title
BookSense Notable Book


“The Geography of Bliss is the kind of book that makes you think of Scrooge in the tropics, chomping his cigar, bah-humbugging as marimbas are played, jotting notes even Richard Nixon would love. Oh wait-that’s P.J. O’Rourke. This is Eric Weiner, who’s infinitely less annoying . . . Solid enjoyable travel writing.

-Liz Spikol, Philadelphia Weekly

“While his own bliss may be elusive, Weiner, equal parts philosopher, travel guide, and self-help expert-and wholly hilarious-has written a book you can delight in.”

-Elissa Shappel, Vanity Fair

“While Weiner may indeed be a grump (I did find his obsessive collection of bags and admiration of Really Expensive Pens quite endearing), he’s the best kind of reading companion — sharply observant and sweetly self-deprecating, quick with the perfect literary allusion, and funny when it matters. You’ll find yourself haunted by little nuggets from his travels.”

-Susan Larson, New Orleans Times Picayune

“Weiner is a perceptive traveler, and he enlivens and deepens his narrative quest by seeking out knowledgeable locals and expats wherever he goes, allowing him to create an illuminating anecdotal topo map of each country’s psychographic landscape. I finished The Geography of Bliss feeling like I had just taken a whirlwind tour of the world with an engaging and well-informed guide, utilizing an important and too often overlooked compass: happiness.”

-Don George, National Geographic Traveler

“Weiner shows a remarkable capacity for translating analytic date into real-world insights. . . He proves a knowledgeable tour guide about radically dissimilar places and, despite calling himself a ‘grump,’ a very funny companion.”

-Andrea Walker, The Hartford Courant

“A charming, funny and illuminating travelogue . . . If you want to wag a politically correct finger in his direction, you’ll have to stop laughing first . . . 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 Blissis a journey too good to be rare.”

-Daniel Gilbert, Washington Post Book World

“Grouchy or not, Weiner displays an openness to other cultures and a huge sense of humor in this absorbing, funny, and thoughtfullook at notions of bliss.”


“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?

“Think Don Quixote with a dark sense of humor and a taste for hashishand 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

“Part travelogue, part personal-discovery memoir and all sustained delight, this wise, witty ramble reads like Paul Theroux channeling David Sedaris on a particularly good day…Fresh and beguiling.”

Kirkus Reviews

“In the end, Weiner’s travel tales-eating rotten shark meat in Iceland, smoking hashish in Rotterdam, trying to meditate at an Indian ashram-provide great happiness for his readers.”

Publishers Weekly (Starred review)