Book Review

One More Theory About Happiness

by Paul Guest, 202 pages, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2010.

Reviewed by Mike McNulty

Photo by Starr Thomison

The moment is frozen in time and, when remembered, has a quality not unlike a film in slow motion. The car heads toward impact, the swimmer’s body arcs at the wrong angle or is pushed downward by an unpredictable ocean wave. In remembering, the mind slows it down, concentrating as if to will the person away from the impending collision. It never works. The impact occurs, the vertebrae collide, and the spinal cord is squeezed, struck, bruised. Often the loss of sensation and movement is immediate. Paul Guest was 12 years old when he broke his neck while riding a bicycle down the driveway at a teacher’s house. It was an awful and perfect storm of circumstance. …

The injury was 24 years ago. In his memoir, One More Theory About Happiness, he describes