Happy Days by Laurent Graff, is often amusing but well-written funny novel with poignancy and also without getting heavy.
Set in contemporary France book narrated by the main character, Antoine- who believes he had lived life by his eighteenth birthday. But anyways he decided to give life more chance by getting a job, marriage and kids. He didn’t feel himself. So he decides to retire, a longtime dream. This choice ofcourse is not out-of-laziness but out-of-strong personal philosophy. His belief is nothing to do with life. So by the age of 35, he checks-into retirement home called Happy Days to await death. He bought his own grave and claims to be emotionally blank and wanted to be free from any ties. From him, settling at Happy Days is big experiment to understand individual’s life by stripping out of all diversions. But ofcourse he could do that completely. Despite the age difference, he find himself to be accepted by locals and settles into a routine uneventful and peaceful daily life. That’s until he develops a special bond with an old woman suffering from terminal cancer. He develop unique bond with her and goes on a very special journey. His understanding is proximity of death don’t bring elder near to the truth life is pretense right up to the end.
Author highlights various incidences which led him to retirement. A decade later he find myself in unchanged, a fitting end to the character that is unwilling to live his life.
Novel is more narrative journey. Graff manages to keep it light but without being very superficial. Author control his theme and episode of death stops- very well. Author making depressing argument that world is retirement home and all are biding the time before the trauma of death.
Its a pleasant read and Iam waiting to see Jonny Depp's version.