1943 happy-zombie novel: I Am Thinking of My Darling


12 Responses to “1943 happy-zombie novel: I Am Thinking of My Darling”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Your review makes me want to read the book: thanks, Mark, as always, for your insightful etc. But I don’t understand your reference to Daisy Buchanan. Part of the dust which flew around Gatsby, surely? Daisy was brittle and cynical and certainly wasn’t happy: her husband kept on creeping off into the arms of other women and, right from the start of the book, Daisy is unhappy because of this – pretty much the original poor little rich girl. Gatsby was a slight diversion, a throwback to a simpler time. Yes, she acted without thinking; but when she did think, when her husband pointed out what an outsider Gatsby was, she pulled away from Gatsby and ran all the way back to their upper-class hell…

  2. hangfirebooks says:

    It’s been too long since I read Gatsby but I guess I was thinking of the character’s lack of morals/inhibitions and…you know crazy flapper dancing.

  3. CJ says:

    @Dumase (#6): I remember it. It was aliens who’d dumped cannisters containing “happy gas” (for some reason I don’t remember). The protagnist was listening to them on a homemade radio, but before he could find out the locations his cat jumped on the antenna and squished, and he couldn’t get the same frequency again. I have it at home, in the first SF book I ever read – just can’t remember the title.

  4. Mikey Likes BoingBoing says:

    Wow that is exactly the movie I was going to post about (seriously)! But IIRC there was no downside in that movie to being ‘happy’ — kids eagerly went to school to learn, to the pleasant shock of their teachers; the price of smokes tanked because everyone quit; etc. The only problem IIRC was the happiness caused by being near a certain exotic bird (?) might wear off.

  5. whysteriastar says:

    The price has already jumped from .13 to 4.50

  6. markbellis says:

    Vincent McHugh’s story “I Am Thinking of My Darling” was credited for the movie “What’s So Bad About Feeling Good?”

  7. bodhidharma says:

    Actually, there were reprint editions in 1978 and 1991. All told, there are >250 copies in American libraries. We can all get reading!

  8. Anonymous says:


    should point out, the review is not Mark’s, it is William Smith’s review of the book being quoted, in nearly its entirety. hence the blockquotes tag.

  9. thekinginyellow says:

    @Chip Kigar:
    don’t forget about “brain candy”. not quite the same but amusing nonetheless.

    “it was only a couple of flipper babies!”

  10. Anonymous says:

    #10: thanks.

    Mark, Sorry, my mistake. I get Boing Boing via RSS. No blockquotes in your post above – just one big paragraph.

  11. dumase says:

    Vonnegut wrote a short story that was similar, except rather than a virus, the protagonist discovered a radio frequencey that (when tapped into) created a sense of happiness/contentment. And everyone just laid around and didn’t eat or drink just because they didnt feel like it.

    I can’t remember the name but i’m sure there’s a Vonnegut afficiando who knows the title.

  12. Chip Kigar says:

    There was a movie with a similar plot…
    What’s So Bad About Feeling Good? (1968) with George Peppard and Mary Tyler Moore


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