The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

Torch Reads

On the surface, Happy Hour is For Amateurs is a story of drugs, debauchery, and promiscuity. If that is not your style, however, do not be afraid.

This book is much more than that. It is a story that brings out the truth about “the world’s worst profession”: law. It is a story about escape from an unfulfilling life.

Of course, if you like stories about mushrooms and sexual escapades, then you will love this book. Happy Hour is For Amateurs is full of stories that would make your grandmother spit out her false teeth in disgust.

The author, who stays anonymous by using the pseudonym “The Philadelphia Lawyer,” has done it all: alcohol, drugs, nitrous oxide-sometimes all at once.

He describes what he calls Stonewall Oxides, which consist of a “hit” of marijuana, a shot of bourbon, and a “hit” of laughing gas.

There are dozens of anecdotes that will send the reader into fits of laughter, including the chapter entitled “The Costanza Method.”

The author steals an idea from the character of George Costanza in Seinfeld and decides to say whatever is on his mind instead of what he thinks people want him to say. The results are not what you might expect.

The chapter entitled “Ten Percenter” explains how only ten percent of the people in law school are worth knowing.

The rest are cutthroats whose whole world revolves around law school.

This ten percent of the people all tend to inexplicably find each other and become friends.

You might say that this book is just full of stories from a guy who never grew out of his frat-boy college days.

To read this book, however, just as stories about drunken misadventures would be a mistake.

To do that would be to miss the entire point of Happy Hour is For Amateurs.

The Philadelphia Lawyer was drawn to all of those vices because he hated his career and his life. In his case, these two were one and the same.

He hated the tedious process of billing hundreds of hours every month on his timesheets.

He hated the ruthless people that he was forced to work with. He hated every bit of his job and it took him a decade to do something about it.

The reason The Philadelphia Lawyer wrote this book was so that others would not make the same mistake that he did. Read this book as guide on how to choose a career.

As much as the author expresses contempt for the lawyer profession, the message one should take from this book is not to avoid law. It is that one should not go into law school blindly.
Do not go into the field of law for the money. Do not do it because you cannot think of a better option. Do not do it because you want to be like Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird.

The only reason you should go into law is if you have a passion for it. The author made this mistake, but there is no reason that anyone who reads this book should do the same.

As much entertainment as this book provides with its taboo subject matter, it is not just a book for immature college-aged guys. It is a book for anyone thinking about becoming a lawyer and for anyone who is stuck in a job they hate.

If that describes you, read this book.

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