I'm not The Happy Man tonight. I'm "The Ecstatic Man".
After years of searching, it arrived in a yellow, padded envelope this afternoon.
Yes, folks, The Happy Man hardcover. The 1st Edition, for Pete's Sake!
Isn't it stunning?
I already raved about the paperback in a previous blog, "The Inside Scoop on Happiness", which you can find at:
...so I'm not going to go all redundant on you here.
This is Eric C. Higgs, the author of what I consider to be one of the most underrated American novels of the 20th century. His pic, which I have never seen before, is to be found inside the book's rear dust jacket.
He looks amiable, but not overly so (which is consistent with the character of his book).
The Happy Man -- in hardcover (St. Martin's Press, '85), and in paperback (Paperjacks,'86) -- has been MIA for well over two decades; that's a long time for a classic to be ignored by publishers.
Surely it's time for a relaunch!
Perhaps Leisure's Dan D'Auria, who has a bloodhound's nose for quality meat, could be convinced to repackage and republish this sardonic slice of evil and ship it out into the cruel world once more.
If that fails, perhaps Gauntlet Press or Cemetery Dance? I'm confident The Happy Man will find himself a warm, wet publishing place eventually.
The St. Martin's Press jacket copy is a persuasive piece of macabre marketing:
The back jacket offers this compelling sinew from the novel (I have desaturated it for easier reading):
The striking jacket illustration is credited to Sam Salant.
For comparative purposes, I leave you with a late night re-run of the Paperjacks paperback: