I also rather enjoy mocking the modern spirit of optimism. We’re often told that the best way to make someone feel good about their life is to tell them something cheerful. I’m more attracted to an alternative line, which is to argue that people are most cheered up by despairing thoughts about life. If you’re feeling a bit down, the last thing you want to read is a book telling you that everything will be well. You really should turn to Schopenhauer or Kirkegaard who will tell you that unhappiness is intrinsic to the human condition.