An honest review of Happy Puppies + Interview with author Alex Monaco

365 texts books positivity

Alexander… Oh, I'm sorry! Alex Monaco. Personal image specialist and writer and motivator. Have you heard of him?

Well, maybe not. If you live under a rock, or if your information, attention and conversation centres are somewhere else. (This is not a bad thing.)

...But if you have, then it's possible that Alex has set you up:

  1. Admiration, like Karina the cloud girl;
  2. Outrage, as for blogger Viktorija;
  3. Disgust, as for me two years ago;
  4. Friendliness, like when I met Alex in person;
  5. Or *insert your emotions*.

Forgive me for the pun, but there are few indifferents to him.

And just half a month ago, in April 2016, he released his single: the book "Happy Little Dogs", a book of kick-ass motivational messages, supportive words and advice on how to live the most unrealistic life.

Published in the tiny Lithuanian market, the book suddenly became "The pride of Alma littera and a local bestseller. And that's even more impressive when you consider that Alex was almost unknown a few years ago.

Not bad.

So what's the...

"A guide to quality living, or how to stay awake for what really matters most"?

- Quote from the book cover

And Fair - is this book worth reading? Is it worth your attention? And is it really as good as the booksellers who recommend it say it is?

Here's a quick scoring:

(If you like generalizations with goosebumps.)

  • Based, for me personally, on the interest of the topics: 7/10
  • Consistency of information: 2/10
  • Writing style and design: 9/10  (Unexpected!)
  • A pleasure to read: 6/10
  • In general: 6.5/10  (Not bad. Style atones for faults.)

But let's take a closer look.

The 3 main themes of "Happy Dogs" and Alex's ideas.

Since I personally hate reviews of more or less three words (e.g. "Highly recommended"), let's look at the content of the book. Don't worry, I'm not going to tell you everything, but you should benefit from book reviews, right?

Dogsnuki provides:

Idea 1: You can live better, so change.

Here, let me quote the back of the book:


Product BAR code

...Pala. I think that's the wrong quote.

That's what I really meant:

"What do you say when they ask you how you're doing? If you answer "not bad"
or "little by little" - you don't live!!!"


" Get the MOST out of life!"

- Alex's words on the back of the book

In this rather ominous voice, Alex presents his first and perhaps most visible idea. The most visible - because it's so abundant in the introduction and in the book's advertisements. And I can't disagree, these slogans really grab readers' attention.

Essentially condensing his thoughts into a few sentences, Alex argues:

  • We have more potential than we think.
  • We can make it happen.

(I'm paraphrasing in my own words.)

And while I don't subscribe to the idea that everyone can and should live better (and I say, that all lives are good)... I understand why Alex says that. It's simply that we teachers see horizons for growth and we want to remind the world of that.

Indeed, it is best to remind people living in a hole of these opportunities.

Alex does it in the most direct way - with uncensored words and jargon straight to the soul (and the mind), so that even the most hardened bores think of alternatives.

Idea 2: Be Alex Monaco.

This one did not.

Of course, if you visited Alex's Facebook page before you bought the book, then probably you see these such bragging rights and image-building tools. So this idea may not surprise you, just as it didn't surprise me.

But I was still not impressed by it. I understand that there are people who worship their gods (like Daniel in the Clouds), but I don't think that is the best and most appropriate way to personal and individual growth.

The good part, though, is that the character Alex Monaco really not available Alex from Monaco.

And that makes up for his boasts. It's just part of the image - it's meant to inspire.

Extra points to Alex for knowing that he is creating a beautified personality. He's not an idiot, but a damn clever specialist in creating an engaging image.

Idea 3: Miracles don't happen if you do nothing.

And thank the gods that most of the book is taken up with this idea (and its variations). Thank you because it is one thing to show that it is possible to live harder... but it is quite another to inspire action.

(The third part would be tips on how to do all this. But when I met Alex, he said he didn't write the lessons on purpose: "We have the answers as long as we have".)

Here the author of interest the reader. It encourages:

  • Keep trying until you succeed;
  • Don't wait for miracle recipes (books, textbooks or people);
  • Start now, without waiting for tomorrow;
  • Make an effort for what matters, not for rubber-stamp success;
  • Fight, fight, fight;


  • Throw out the excuses - are they really good?

...Where Alex nicely ties the last thought with the second - be like Alex. He presents himself as someone who was neither born in a rich family nor could speak Lithuanian or English well.

(Aleksas says that even now he finds it difficult to write English texts.)

...And so on...

Of course, Alex's ass-kicking doesn't stop with these examples - it goes on and on. And finally, the book ends on a rather positive note with some practical advice on how to create a happy life.

But hey, I can't do the whole book, can I? ;')

Book style, words and design.

This was a surprise.

You know that feeling you get when you see an object and you realise what function it serves and what impression it will leave? For example, before you open the Bible, you already know that it will be boring... And is it boring?

Well, that's not what happened.

For some reason, when I read Alex's texts on Facebook, I always thought that it was impossible to present it in a beautiful and interesting way in paper format. That his writing style is just... Well, it'll be like reading a fourth-grader's essay...

But I was wrong.

"Happy Dogs is a contemporary book.

To be honest, it's not even a book. It's a visual adventure of literature (prose AND poetry) worthy of the attention of the Lithuanian writing community. Especially those writers who write those awful, boring and impersonal books.

(If you have a time machine, give "Dogs" to Žemaite.)

That's because Alex is b*tch on the traditional rules of literature and is not afraid to reveal its OWN voice. Sometimes strange, but distinctive. Genuine and probably sincere.

For the chattering classes, this book will give them heart attacks. Because Alex is not afraid to use the Lithuanian language
and write like a man.

I read this book in about 1-2 hours. And it was quite an exceptional reading adventure. Beautiful, interesting, innovative.

Well, but hey. Shall we talk to the author himself?

+ Exclusive interview with Alex Monaco.

Who were your teachers? Of course, there were no supermen, as mentioned in the book... But is there anyone you would single out?

I learned from books, from video seminars. But the biggest influence was a teacher from America and Olympian Inga Stasiulionytė. She taught me the fighter system.

"Onbotraining mini-programme in Šunsnuki. And will there be a Lithuanian version tailored specifically for Lithuanians?

It would be great to translate the lessons and missions. So far we have been focusing on the foreign market, but recently an idea came up - maybe there are people in Lithuania who would like to receive a motivational lesson every day.

And I wonder how many of Clouds or my readers want to achieve their dreams. I wonder if they would sign up to the challenge and dedicate 30 days (5 minutes a day) to learn how to squeeze the most out of life.

So yes - if there are those who want real change, there will be Lithuanian.

As a writer, I wonder: what is the best advice you would give to someone who wants to write? How do you find the stubbornness to open yourself up?

It was difficult to force myself to write, but the fact that I had publicised my blog made me want to start. I couldn't walk away. It was very difficult at first to create something interesting. But I managed to make a breakthrough when I started writing about my personal life.

Most writers try to create a story because they don't think their personal lives are interesting. But they are wrong. Everybody's life is interesting, it's just that not everybody notices it.

Writing advice: write about what you see - don't make stretch marks, don't glue ornaments! Don't censor reality. If you make a mistake, admit it, laugh at yourself. Be open with yourself and others. Don't be afraid to brag. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Be self-loving.

Write, write, write. I'm sure you'll find your own style after a few months.

The traditional Cloud question: what challenges do you have? Or are you planning to do something crazy soon?

In the near future, I'm going to inspire not hundreds of thousands, but millions of readers. I have already started an English project There are not many readers here yet, but that will change in the near future. It will be difficult, but I will reach my goal.

And what kind of people would you NOT advise to read "Happy Dogs"?

Mister God and Azazel (Master and Margarita). These guys know all the answers.

Thank you, Alex!

So that's what Alex Monaco's book "Happy Puppies" is: short, picturesque, modern, almost devoid of any practical knowledge, but with a whole heap of inspiration and motivation.

Although it won't rise to the top of my bookshelf, I will keep it for the future and for another reading.

Because you should probably read it at least once.

Well, but hey: what do YOU think of this book? Have you read it yet? Have you? What is your opinion?

Your reader,
Daniel Goriunovas

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