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)
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Amazing insight into the German POW camps. what terrible times and what terrible things man is capable of.
I had always wondered how man kind was able to do this to one another - this book helped me greatly in understanding human suffering and also the minds of those in camps both guards and prisoners.
Highly recommended. Great narration too.
Half of this is a holocaust memoir. The other half is psychology theory. Yet, it didn't feel disjointed or unrelated. I thought Frankl did a decent job connecting his sufferings in a concentration camp to the theory of logotherapy. Parts of it got repetitive, but that turned out to be helpful while listening to the audiobook since I sometimes didn't fully understand a concept the first time hearing it. If I had read this in print, I would have just re-read a particular paragraph if I was struggling with it.
I agree with Frankl when he says “Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.” He repeats variations on this theme throughout the book. A few reviews claim this book is no longer relevant, which I don't think is true. Americans today are guilty of pursuing happiness as the ultimate goal in life (YOLO!!). Which is pretty backwards, in my opinion. And it's impossible to be happy all the time, anyway. Suffering is inevitable. I think once you accept that not every day is going to the best day of your life, things get easier. And most of us at some point question our purpose in life.
Another point that Frankl emphasizes is that the meaning of one man's life is different than another man's. He says that his patients will ask him, "what is the meaning of life?" But there is not one answer that applies to every person. I think this concept can be extended to happiness. Happiness doesn't look the same on everyone. What makes me happy won't necessarily make you happy and vice versa.
I only gave this 3-stars because I didn't think logotherapy was explained as well as it could have been (he explains the theory but not the implementation, such as how a logotherapy session with a patient might actually play out). And I don't necessarily agree with all of the philosophy he describes. Since I can't underline passages or dog-ear pages in an audiobook, it's difficult to remember and pinpoint exactly which parts were contradictory to my own values or viewpoint. Perhaps after a second listen, I'd be able to explain myself more fully. All I can say for now is that there were a few times I thought, "I don't know if I'd agree with that." I'd still recommend reading this, whether you like to read about the holocaust or you have an interest in psychology or philosophy.
Lastly, Frankl overused the phrase "to be sure." Which isn't a huge deal, but I think it should have been edited out.
I'm a online entrepreneur and expert living in the moment with happiness.
While being well narrated and told through a very interesting story, i thought the second part (which is about mens life meaning) was turned into a complex psychological analysis.
It could have been much more abridged and told in much more simple terms. I felt the second part was a bit repetitive.
Overall it is still a great book revealing core meanings for our human lives.
I loved this book. Logotherapy really seems like a concept I've understood, on some level, for a long time but have never been able to define or delve deeply into quite like this book has caused me to do. Read it.
The first half tells of Frankl's personal experience as an inmate in a concentration camp. He does not glamorize himself as noble, but depicts a brutal yet redeeming narrative of understanding suffering. The second half explains the theory of logotherapy, his psychoanalytic theory, whereby the individual seeks 'meaning' above all. In the second half, he connects the theory to the narrative of the first half. It works well as a whole. It's well read and impactful.
A mind opener and well narrated. I don't think I would have read this in print. The title would have lingered on my shelve, cover and binder un-wrinkled. Very happy to find it hear on Audible.
The narrator does a good job with the material, too.
the best book ever written in my opinion. this is an essential classic for anyone. this book should be in every prison and for everyone who suffers from depression
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