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The Half-life of Happiness

The Half-life of Happiness

(1990)
A novel by

 
From the winner of the 1989 National Book Award (for Spartina), a major new novel--wise, sad, and richly comic--about the meltdown of a marriage against the backdrop of a gloriously awful congressional campaign. Charlottesville, Virginia, 1978: Mike is a successful forty-something lawyer, a onetime congressional staffer who's had it with Washington; Joss, his wife, is a filmmaker. They're Virginia liberals with a clan of close-knit friends--a bright, edgy, flirty, games-playing group, spinning like a Catherine wheel around Mike and Joss. But the sparks that fly between the two are getting hotter and more dangerous, as Joss' restlessness turns to impatience and then anger. When one of the group introduces them all to the woman he wants to marry, things suddenly explode--this new arrival and Joss fall passionately in love, and their whole world careens out of control.

What ensues is tragicomedy, as Mike tries to allay his rage and misery by letting himself get sucked into a trial run for a seat in Congress. He wants to be a hero to someone; instead he becomes the unwitting star of a political farce. Meantime, Joss is struggling with her new life, and their two young daughters (who form a lovingly unmerciful Greek chorus commenting on the action) have to navigate a turmoil in which one parent is a public joke and the other a private scandal. Rarely has the undoing of love been chronicled with such large-hearted humanity.

 
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Used availability for John Casey's The Half-life of Happiness


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Hardback Editions

March 1998 : USA Hardback
Title: The Half-Life of Happiness
Author(s): John Casey
ISBN: 0-679-40978-5 / 978-0-679-40978-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 1999 : USA Paperback
Title: The Half-life of Happiness
Author(s): John Casey
ISBN: 0-375-70608-9 / 978-0-375-70608-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

August 2015 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: The Half-Life of Happiness (Vintage Contemporaries)
Author(s): John Casey
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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