It's quite surprising how varied people's worldviews are. When you read reviews of this book, some people say it opened their eyes, others curse it for not being scientific enough or being too curmudgeonly. It isn't - Burkeman wanders through this exploration of anti-positive thinking with fake (I assume) wide-eyed innocence, as though it were all new to him.
There are also the converted, allowing themselves to be preached to for fun. Probably for cultural reasons,I fall into that category. I've never entertained any illusion about the mountain-moving power of optimism, the desirability of self-esteem in the absence of reasonable cause or the likelihood of living forever. Nor do I expect to find a scientifically proven route to happiness - or even misery.
I read the book because a glance at the first chapter led me to believe it was going to be very funny. Although it turned out the first chapter was the comic highlight, the rest was entertaining and well-written. To its credit, it did not contain ten bullet-point plans or exercises for becoming happier by being more negative, nor did it set out to prove anything to anyone. It relied more on continuous prose and sources in philosophy, religion and spiritual experiences - approach to life stuff, basically.