Brit Happens: Or Living the Canadian Dream by James Mullinger

James Mullinger has never been afraid of exposing himself… just ask his family doctor, or any of the tens of thousands of people he’s entertained with the hilarious and deeply personal details of his vasectomy. In his equally as funny and entertaining new book, Brit Happens: Or Living the Canadian Dream, Mullinger goes far beyond the jokes and his two life-changing journeys: to become a comedian and to become a Canadian. He invites the reader into the deepest corners of his memories. And it is not all as cheeky and cheerful as the author’s public persona.

“Mullinger goes far beyond the jokes and his two life-changing journeys: to become a comedian and to become a Canadian.”

Mullinger is honest about his difficult and lonely childhood; despite the support of loving parents, he suffered at the hands of school bullies. Describing himself as “odd” he details his insecurities, his solitary pursuits which have turned into lifelong hobbies, and his struggles with his mental health. Despite this, the reader comes to know Mullinger not just as a funny man, but also as a charming, endearing and truly caring one, who dearly loves not only his wife, his children, and his many friends but also the community and country he now calls home. “Perhaps I was always meant to be a Canadian.” he says right at the beginning.

Liberally sprinkled with laugh out loud moments (be careful where you read this book!) fans will recognize stories from his stand-up routine given a new and fuller telling. He is also brutally honest about the struggle to break into comedy, of the toll comedy takes in the lives of those who live it, of the friends he has lost to it.

W. Somerset Maugham wrote “It is so like the sadness which you may see in the jester’s eyes when the merry company is laughing at his sallies; his lips smile and his jokes are gayer because in the communion of laughter he finds himself more intolerably alone.”

This is never more apparent than in Mullinger’s book. Perhaps because of this he remains humble about meeting several of his celebrity heroes and inhabiting the rarified circles of his London life and career. Perhaps it is because he is more self-aware and philosophical than most people. Or perhaps it’s because of karaoke and Sir Paul McCartney.

As multi-faceted as it’s author, Brit Happens is a manifesto of living life to the fullest, of seizing opportunities when they are offered, of creating opportunities when they aren’t, and of letting the joys and hardships of life inspire and move you to give to others. It is equal parts moving and inspiring, and really, really funny.


James Mullinger is an award-winning British comedian and the co-founder of [Edit] Magazine. He spent fifteen years at GQ before moving to Canada. He has appeared on CBC’s The Debaters, at theatres throughout Canada, and in stand-up specials and movies. And yes, he lives in Saint John — or at least nearby.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Goose Lane Editions (May 10 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 248 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1773102419
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1773102412

*The Miramichi Reader encourages you to shop independent! However, shopping at a bookstore is not always possible, so we are supplying an Amazon.ca link. Please note if you choose to purchase this book (or Kindle version) through Amazon using the link below we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you cannot see the Amazon ad below (if you are using an ad blocker, for instance) here is the link: https://amzn.to/3dcJw78 Thanks!


Heather McBriarty

Heather McBriarty is an author, lecturer and Medical Radiation Technologist based in Saint John, NB. Her love of reading and books began early in life, as did her love of writing, but it was the discovery of old family correspondence that led to her first non-fiction book, Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front, and a passion for the First World War. She has delivered lectures to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, NB Genealogy Society, and Western Front Association (Central Ontario Branch), among others, on the war. Heather’s first novel of the “Great War”, Amid the Splintered Trees, was launched in November 2021.

View Comments

Recent Posts

Rig Wives by Kelly Earle

Kelly Earle’s husband, who works offshore in the oil industry, inspired her to write Rig…

8 hours ago

The Art of Misadventure: The Outtakes and Mistakes Of An Adventurous Photographer by Dave Brosha

Join Canadian photographer, explorer, Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, father, and writer Dave…

8 hours ago

Patterson House by Jane Cawthorne

Alden Patterson, the last living member of a once-wealthy Toronto family, is haunted by the…

15 hours ago

Weekly Ferocity: October 1, 2022

Weekly Ferocity is a weekly feature of The Miramichi Reader, containing four original aphorisms by…

16 hours ago

My Name is Seepeetza by Shirley Sterling

An honest look at life in an Indian residential school in the 1950s, and how…

2 days ago

Unrest by Emma Côté

Brisk, observational, and darkly comic, Unrest is both a road trip story and a touching…

2 days ago

This website uses cookies.