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The Secret of Happiness

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Demosthenes Armeniades

Once upon a time, Max the billionaire invited David to his private island where whiz kid golden boys zip around the globe in private jets making millions and living the dream. But all may not be as golden as it seems ... Max wants happiness. David wants … see full wiki

Author: Demosthenes Armeniades
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Tinseltown Press
1 review about The Secret of Happiness

Move Over Eckhert Tolle . . . Armeniades Knows the Secret

  • Jul 2, 2010
Author and lawyer Demosthenes Armeniades knows a thing or two about what's important in life. In his first novel, "The Secret (of Happiness)" he exuberantly shares his thoughts regarding what really should make the world go `round in a tightly plotted, delightfully charming tale of one man's inner excavation for the forgotten knee-jerk reactive smile associated with unencumbered childlike joy. Succeeding where most other ersatz-spiritual writers fail, Armeniades manages to throw out the big question and actually answer it with a simplicity and profundity that will make our global peacekeepers wince first and shake their heads later with an ahhh-shucks admiration for both the secret and the solution. Indeed, Armeniades proves to perfection that not too many rich men can attain the kingdom of heaven with the hypothetical probability of a camel going through a needle. However, in terms of literary marksmanship, The Secret (of Happiness) soars like a bullet of accuracy, providing a page-turning epiphany akin to the rush associated with finding that well-deserved solace within a reader's most-hoped-for nirvana.

Like Hesse's Siddhartha before him, main character Maximus Simon has it all. His personal playground and exclusive workplace encompasses an entire island paradise that he populates with a Justice League geek squad of wunderkinds that keeps the money flowing in at the eight-digit-a-day level. Luring David Finnegan, fresh out of law school and preset for a life at a Wall Street firm with long-term girlfriend Dot in tow, for a well-appointed island slot guaranteed with enough perks to turn the head of even the wealthiest megalomaniac seems to be a mega coup from the get-go. That is, until, Max decides that David is just the guy to help him find the inner child he lost along his way into a charter membership in the billionaire boys club. Like Hermann Hesse in his 1922 classic, Armenaides must plunge his character into a cycle of the unfamiliar where only there can he cure himself of his sickness for life. In a series of scenarios that smack with the slick Silicon Valley feel of Po Bronson ingenuity, the reader experiences the story from a variety of vantage points that range from the rich, the famous, the newly initiated, the down and out, mainstream regulars and an assortment of nefarious conspirators that illustrate the drone of life within the wheel of suffering at its very hub.

Equally impressive when compared to his ability to spiritually teach is Armeniades' skill in writing a novel that corners the market in readability. The fun factor definitely balances this equation of modern ennui, desire for wealth, search for happiness and romantic love. Even though the goals of the key players do not remain concealed until the last page, the story structurally works, rewarding its reader with not a sappy ending, but one well-deserved and delineated with a concrete idealism. As a master of the post-millennial metaphor, Armeniades imbues his novel with a fun spiritualism that speaks as loudly as Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose and The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.

Bottom line? In The Secret (of Happiness), first time novelist Demosthenes Armeniades wisely cautions the reader of the collateral damage attributed with too much wealth and the desire associated with materialism. True happiness, he tells us is a measured will-o'-the-wisp quantity that he demonstrates as being inversely proportionate to the amount of limitless privilege and materialistic benchmarking accrued through the acquisition of "things." Within the pages of this extremely entertaining and compelling fable, Armeniades succeeds in delighting his audience, as his characters and his readers pursue the secret to happiness and smile contentedly `til the very last page. Highly recommended as a fast and un-put-downable read. For those with a more Christian bent and who enjoy the Job-like theme of losing it all to surrender to what matters, try Michael's Reward by Mario Bernheim.
Diana Faillace Von Behren

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