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 grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!
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.
Have of course heard references to this book for ages, had always been curious
Amazingly even handed, dispassionate about things would expect to be written about sensationally, well written, overall positive spin on a very negative experience, great approach to treatment in last section of book, compelling hypothesis well supported.
Narrator amazingly well matched to emotional tone of content, significantly improved experience of the book
Great information and Amazing story behind it. It also gives you great in site of the pain so many have been through.
Victor's personal experience stand in stark contrast to a lot of "theoretical" writings on this subject. Definitely a book I will listen to again.
500 Down, 149,500 To Go!!
Does a chronic disease or messed up life have you feeling like you're at the end of the line? Are you feeling like it's time to end your life? Reading/listening to this book may end your suffering. The author, Dr. Frankl, has insights on life that may change your perspective. He was a Jewish doctor in Austria when the Nazis invaded in 1938. He had the opportunity to get out of the country, but decided to stay with his family. That was the wrong choice as he ended up in concentration camps, but this little book was the result. It was/is one of the most compelling that I've ever read. Steven Covey, the self help guru, made mention of this book in the first pages of his bestseller, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." It changed him. His self help system was based largely on this book. I could go on, but I'll just say that I read this book when I was in a dark, hopeless place after my doctor told me that my 11 month treatment would have to be extended to 18 months. Perhaps that sounds like no big deal, but I was living on savings and it meant that I would run out of money before the end. Obviously, that had me feeling pretty low. This book changed my perception of my lot and perked me right up! I couldn't change my fate, but I could change the way I thought and dealt with it. Best wishes & I hope you read this!
"Throw out your self-help books!"
This is an utterly remarkable book for so many reasons. What strikes me most about it is how it really gives meaning to the idea that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. What I mean by this is the following: the book is not great psychology, nor great philosophy nor even great narrative. And yet, as a whole I would call it a great book. Why? Because it makes a definitive impact. I cannot say that I walked away from this book unchanged. I suppose it is Viktor Frankl himself who makes all the difference -- in him you find a truly humane, humble and ultimately wise human being. I was truly impressed to hear him quoting Nietzsche while in a concentration camp; this at a time when Nietzsche's work had been distorted and used to promote anti-semitism by the Nazis. One warning though -- his existentialist philosophy is outdated and really needs to be complemented by a contemporary understanding of human nature.
"Potentially life changing..."
So, we all know about the Holocaust, yet this book is a bit different - told with such "tragic optimism" that the message is not moral outrage or repulsion, but of meaning in the midst of unimaginable degradation. The "why" that makes the "how" of suffering bearable. Frankle quotes Nietzsche throughout.
The most moving passages for me were his imagined conversations with his wife, (who probably by that time was dead), which nonetheless gave him the purpose for continuing to live, and the glimpses of Nature, such as sunsets, raw in beauty, beyond the barbed wire.
His message is simple - it is in loving the people we love and in the struggle that our lives demand of us, that we find meaning that transcends the mere pleasure principle. Our own "ontic logos" is individually uncovered, not found through intellectual introspection on "THE meaning of life" (which is a nonsense and which usually just leads to neurosis).
Frankle highlights the contemporary consumerist "tyranny of happiness", which is endemic in the West, so that many patients feel not just unhappy, but deeply ashamed of their unhappiness.
Existentialism is not popular in the zeitgeist, but I think we can learn much from that generation who lived through the War, and the Holocaust, and developed such philosophies of coping with terrible hardship and suffering. By contrast, we can be very superficial, and self centred, and it left me considering what issues I cared about enough to take action on. Would I regret not doing so otherwise? Yes, probably - as an opportunity wasted!
This is a humane, inspiring, potentially life changing book; well narrated, subtle, profound and unpretentious. It deserves the highest rating.
"very wise movie"
loved the book. it is amazing and humbling to listen about such extreme life experiences, above all puts one's problems into context and gives an impulse to say yes to life!
"Grippong story and an in depth review at the end"
The story of Victors hardships was compelling and I found myself unable to stop listening until the end.
The analysis at the end is a little hard to get you're head around but still worth hearing
"Very good. Interesting, moving and well produced"
This is a very good audio book. The story is very interesting, moving and thought provoking and the narration matches it perfectly.
I recommend this. The only change I would make is that the narrator when reading dialogue assumes a mock Jewish / German accent which isn't a big deal but to my ear sounded strange.
I'll definitely be listening to this multiple times.
"A book that should be on prescription"
Simon Vance is an excellent narrator, I have enjoyed his readings before. If you have anxiety or depression, I think this should be on the NHS prescription list. It is uplifting and helps you challenge your thoughts (not in the sense of 'oh it could be worse' but it in a much more positive way of finding ways to value what you have in its own right and to see the beauty in things.)
I thought the most moving part was the comments on the death of loved ones and how to cope.
I most enjoyed Frankl's musings on how prisoners coped after they were liberated. My only criticism of the entire book is that I would have liked it if this was more in depth.
I listened to this over two days, I personally found it a bit much to listen to in one day, I had to take a break but it is very addictive.
Super enjoyable, a privilege to listen to his story.
Highly recommended. Great depth, sincerity and intelligence. Well read. I found this quite life changing.
"The great book!"
The great book! It cannot be listened to without comprehensive attention and understanding each word. Every single word, every phrase is meaningful and gives a new way of living!
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. Both parts, the autobiography, and the introduction to Frankl's logotherapy, gave me much to think about. I will be buying this in print also, having now listened to the audio. It's that good.
Was worried about reading this as thought it would be difficult & depressing, but anything but. Very objective & thoughtful, non judgemental, dispassionate, powerful & very honest. Amazing person. Respect!
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