We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Acedia & Me | [Kathleen Norris]

Acedia & Me

In Acedia & Me, the acclaimed author Kathleen Norris explicates and demystifies the forgotten but utterly relevant concept of acedia, a term that has often been understood as spiritual sloth, but really signifies the serious malady of being unable to care. With great insight and candor, Norris explores acedia through the geography of her life as a writer; her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness; and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.
Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

In Acedia & Me, the acclaimed author Kathleen Norris explicates and demystifies the forgotten but utterly relevant concept of acedia, a term that has often been understood as spiritual sloth, but really signifies the serious malady of being unable to care. With great insight and candor, Norris explores acedia through the geography of her life as a writer, her marriage and the challenges of commitment in the midst of grave illness, and her keen interest in the monastic tradition.

She writes of her and her husband David's battles with acedia and its clinical cousin, depression, and traces acedia's path through literary and religious history, exposing the damage it does not only to individual lives but also to our culture as a whole, as we are desensitized by ever more intrusive distractions and lose the ability to care about what is truly important. Thus, she finds that the "restless boredom, frantic escapism, commitment phobia, and enervating despair" that we struggle with today are "the ancient demon of acedia in modern dress."

An examination of acedia in the light of theo logy, psychology, monastic spirituality, the healing powers of religious practice, and Norris's own experience, Acedia & Me is both intimate and historically sweeping, brimming with exasperation as well as reverence, sometimes funny, often provocative, and always important.

©2008 Kathleen Norris; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (14 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (2)
Overall
3.9 (7 )
5 star
 (2)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
3.2 (6 )
5 star
 (1)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Maggie Baton Rouge, LA, United States 07-09-09
    Maggie Baton Rouge, LA, United States 07-09-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    69
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "excellent but not for the faint of heart"

    i can see how this book is NOT for everyone. dilettantes (those looking for a quick and fashionable fix) need not apply. but for the serious minded who seek legitimate context, this book is a jewel. Norris' narration brings alive her words and her experiences. the only caveat i offer is that some of the book is eccentric ... in a positive sense of that word: it is about her (acedia and ME) but as a cautionary tale, she's good and offers an informed perspective.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Lees Summit, MO, United States 10-11-12
    Dan Lees Summit, MO, United States 10-11-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Acedia and All the Rest of Us"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Acedia & Me to be better than the print version?

    I have both. I don't think one can compare audio to print. They serve different purposes. Both are great in this case.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Norris' assessment and application of acedia's influence within our affluent American culture is spot on.


    What about Kathleen Norris’s performance did you like?

    She is bit academic. But it is honest and I always like the author to read. The story is personal enough that is right to have her read it.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The chapter "Acedia's Progress" is so sharp. Norris' application of acedia as the malady of our milieu is not shallow but solid and convincing. I was so impressed. I put it to journal attempting to make it as close as possible.


    Any additional comments?

    I believe this work is far more than a personal story. It is so throughly researched and cohesive that it more like a doctoral class at a seminary, taught by both the expert and the practitioner. I am have only briefly ran across the term "acedia" in my readings of early desert hermits, so I am no expert on the subject. But after hearing Norris I feel I understand the concept very well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 04-15-14
    Daniel Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada 04-15-14 Member Since 2010

    virtual_chillidog

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "ancient ideas and modern maladies"
    What made the experience of listening to Acedia & Me the most enjoyable?

    Norris is fantastic. Introspective, candid, poetic, and compassionate without mincing words. I love the depth of thought that goes into her writing, and yet she's very easy to follow.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    As a reader, Norris knows what she's doing (though I do disagree about some of her pronunciations, she's not novel in using them--things like "lived" rhyming with "dived".) Her tone is level and even, perhaps it could be described as plodding, but she definitely understands the cadence of the 'voice' in her writing. I can imagine a more lively reader for the book, but the personal nature of her story makes her the natural choice.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 04-20-09
    Amanda Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 04-20-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Appalling"

    I sought this book after hearing a radio interview with its author and was very dismayed to see that she narrated it herself. A computer-generated voice would be less mechanical and grating. Still, I wanted to read the book, which I cannot obtain in print locally, so I gritted my teeth and bought the audio. A regrettable decision: Norris rambles through centuries and over continents, attributing to acedia the rise of Nazism, American consumerism, homelessness, monastic fitfulness, the Columbine killings, general inability to concentrate, and the existence of overseas sweat-shops. She takes some pains to distinguish acedia from depression but fails abysmally to distinguish it from boredom, indifference, sloth, cynicism, and despair. I regret that acedia did not prevent Ms. Norris from completing this book and still more that it did not keep her away from the recording booth.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-4 of 4 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.