Man's Search for Meaning is more than a story of Viktor E. Frankl's triumph: it is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and an introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day.
©1959, 1962, 1984 Viktor E. Frankl; (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
"An enduring work of survival literature." (The New York Times)
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
I listened to Night by Holocaust survivor by Elie Wiesel immediately prior to Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. Frankl was born in 1905, 23 years before Wiesel, so he has well established general practice physician, psychiatrist, and neurologist when he was sent to Nazi concentration camps for 3 years at age 37. He was still required to perform lard labor in the four camps. He lost his parents and wife during the Holocaust with he and his sister being the only survivors in his family.
This book details his time in Nazi concentration camps, but its other major topic is his development of logotherapy, a form of existential therapy used modern psychiatry. The logotherapy concept uses the theory that humans need a cause, a purpose, to live fulfilling lives. Many believe that Freud made the most important contributions to modern psychiatry. Freud's contributions were very significant but the pale into virtual insignificance compared to Frankl's contributions. Man's Search for Meaning discusses the worldwide use and success of logotherapy.
This is a short book at less than 5 hours, but it is a critically important one. It is one that everyone should read, and then reread again and again. The book was written in 1946 but has been updated several times. This audiobook is the 1995 update, the final one.. It contains wisdom that can help every person live a more fulfilling life. Simon Vance's narration is outstanding.
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl is must listen non-fiction that can literally change ones life. It has my highest recommendation.
After reading Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning and being incredibly bored, I got this audiobook, as I was determined to read MSfM, but didn't have the mental patience (after getting burned by MSfUM) to sit down with it. These are two entirely different creatures and I am so glad I got this.
MSfM is beautifully written and achingly eloquent. The stories are wonderful and the explanations of logotherapy at the end are just redundant enough to make the whole thing stick in the mind. The book is highly quotable, which would be the main reason one might want a hard copy either in addition to or instead of the audible version. Because the text is so clearly and lushly descriptive and profound, and the reading so clear, I ended up playing a section in school for a class.
I could listen to this a few times and be satisfied.
I don't love British narrators and the pomp of the accent gets on my nerves, but it felt appropriate in this case and worked well. Despite being a short read, it was worth the credit.
Viktor Frankl's book has two main parts: a) very moving description of his experiences in different concentration camps and how he dealt with suffering and pain; b) an introduction of his school of psychotherapy ("logotherapy")partly derived from these experiences.
Really inspiring, even if today you are not suffering. Great help to remember in difficult times.
It's difficult to describe the darkest moments of your life. It's even harder to find meaning in them. Frankl shows courage and great resilience by having created this work of art, which will help others find purpose in their struggles as well.
Say something about yourself!
There are a handful of books that should truly be required and desired reading for everyone across the world. This is one of them. It is simultaneously repulsive and compelling, disheartening and hopeful.
I read this book perhaps 20 years ago. The older I get, the more I find new meaning in it. There are a great many self-help books out there that go on and on and say nothing. Then there's a book like this that offers an unblinking look at one of history's most horrific events from an inside perspective and uses that as a lead-in to offer to us a scientific embrace of the three little words that could mean the most to all of us.
Love. Faith. Hope.
Great book for anyone dealing with existential issues or anyone who wants an introduction into a sound anthropological psycho-therapy method. Frankl chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and from the viewpoint of his psycho-therapeutic / phenomenological method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Through his experience, he developed a method of psycho-therapeutic method that he called logotherapy. His analysis focuses on a "will to meaning" as opposed to Adler's Nietzschean doctrine of "will to power" or Freud's "will to pleasure". Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. According to Frankl, "We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering" and that "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances". For Frankl, it was his love for his wife that enabled him to survive Auschwitz and three other camps, not to mention many moments of "luck" or grace. Love, for Frankle, became the highest experience that a human can have. I appreciated the back story of Frankl's experience that lead to his method and agree with his conclusions, but I think some of his premises fall into a naturalistic fallacy. Nevertheless, he has a great ability to put into words the psychological and existential reality that one deals with when suffering or striving to understand a purpose in life.
If I had to choose a must-read-list this one would be a sure candidate. It has the ability to touch you in so many levels. There is not only the insights into and behind the scenes from "the horrors of concentration camps", but a personal story of struggle and contemplation. All of this in the light of his own theories about us humans, what drives us and how we may search for happiness. I would like to recommend this book to you with my deepest conviction it holds true wisdom!
For the thinker, philosopher and nurturer of souls...
This is my first review. I felt compelled to write something about this book...
I bought the book about half a year ago... and listened to it three times, back to back. Since then I have found myself still ruminating on what I listened to. What a great book... I highly recommend it to those who are seeking to "walk alongside" others.
I was riveted by this book. It is a fascinating insight into the human psyche under extreme circumstances. It also provides a brief introduction to Frankl's Logo-therapy method of psychotherapy. The psychotherapy section of the book is just the right length. It explains just enough so that you can decide if you want to look further into the subject, but is not long winded or tedious.
I felt the performance was well executed and easy to listen to.
Although the Holocaust was a terrible event, I am not apt to read about it more than I already have. For one, the focus is most often on the Jews rather than the other several million non-Jews who died in it and two, 'our side of it' never touches on the millions of Russians who lost their lives fighting the Germans. But this book is different. It touches everyone of those people and more. The focus is not necessarily on the "Jewish" side of the Holocaust or the "victor's side"; rather it delves into the minds of all those who suffered there, and all those who suffer anywhere. One thought that has stuck with me is this: Sometimes grown men would cry in their sleep from the nightmares they were having but I never woke them because no matter how bad their dream was, it was still better than the reality they would wake up to. Sometimes we think we have it bad, but bad is just as relative as good can be.
A tribute to hope. A book that addresses life's issues and make it easy to understand.
"An awesome and inspiring piece.."
An awesome and inspiring educational piece on the human condition and how we all tick.
If you're searching for more meaning in your life, a greater sense of purpose, this is three hours that will help you move forward.
"Excellent insight into human psychology"
Amazing book, both as a narrative as well as a perspective on the meaning and purpose in life.
"strong, beautiful and really inspiring"
everybody should listen to this uplifting tale from darkness - it is as enchanting as it is horrific. both the worst and best in human spirit and history.
"wonderful story of triumph"
I am so glad I listened to this book, well worth the time taken to listen to it :)
"not sentimental, nor indulgent, a remarkable Man"
I enjoyed this book, the narrator gives a steady account of a horrible experience.
Loved it. Well read Simon enjoyed the smooth connectivity of the various facets of logatheraphy which although a deeply scientific practice I, a layman found it stimulating and simply understandable. Too, Frankls' book gives an unprecedented insight to the total trauma of one's in such predicament, useful therefore in understanding the plight of one's in such a position today, that is long suffering struggles.
"Valuable insight into mindworks"
Very insightful book that is a great addition to anyone interested in what makes any persons struggle worth persevering with. The driving forces that can help someone overcome grief, adversity, when all seems pointless.
So good I ordered the book for someone I know, and as a reference point for some volunteer work I do. Top notch book.
"A succinct distillation of existential meaning"
Inspirational and truly life-changing stories/psychological observations from a holocaust survivor. Still relevant today and would benefit anyone who has the slightest interest in existentialism or psychological science.
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