We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour.
The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient. These are stories about our everyday lives: about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves, too.
©2013 Stephen Grosz (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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I first heard some of the chapters from this when it was broadcast as Radio 4's book of the week and was so impressed that I had to download the audiobook. It is definitely my listen of the year so far. I loved the insights into people's lives and behaviour and the reasons offered for why we do the things we do really resonated with me. This is beautifully written and the narrator absolutely does justice to the writing with the slow, hypnotic reading. Stephen Grosz' words have stayed with me long after listening. An absolute must for anyone interested in the human experience.
"Great listen, Great Narrator"
Really enjoyed this, very different from what I'd normally listen to. There is about 30 stories in here, allowing you to listen in to peoples lives for a while, very engaging. I also loved the narration, it was almost hypnotic which really suited the audiobook.
"A gentle book..."
This gentle book provides informative insights into psychotherapy. Divided into 31 chapters, each focuses on an issue through the eyes, words, and dream fragments of patients consulting the author. It is nicely written, full of wisdom, and well narrated. I enjoyed the personal insights, anecdotes, and introspection; along with the occasional especially beautifully written segment.
"Layers of life"
This book shows how complicated and deeply mysterious life can be. Listening to this book was deeply satisfying, as it counters the fear of randomness of life. All is connected but it takes quiet contemplation to allow it to surface to consciousness.
It's a natural human inclination to be curious about the lives and thought processes of others. The Examined Life was certainly a rich mine. It also served as a useful read for a little self reflection.
Loved Peter Marinker's rich voice which lent an interesting mix of solemnity and aloofness to the proceedings!
No, but it was certainly thought provoking
""read it in one go""
This is not my normal read, but how glad am I, I opted for this book this month? Answer: a lot. Totally absorbing from the first word. Couldn't turn off either the book or my mind.
A fascinating read that I will listen to time and time again and get something new from it everything.
If you are interested in the problem of being human you simply must invest in this book. Awesome.
"Makes you wonder what can you do better"
Yes. It's almost like chatting away with someone you know about somebody's else life situation. It gently forces you to rethink your own behaviour and lifestyle to certain extent.
I guess the tone of his voice and the manner of narration puts you right on the soft sofa in front of psychoanalyst.
Not really, this is the book to go chapter by chapter with some time in between to digest the information.
Every chapter in this book is different and fascinating. Each story is a delightful gem. It's good to discover some excellent writing on psychoanalysis and to be given some insight into the lives and behaviours of the patients in question. All of life is here. I also really liked the narration; the slow and steady pace lends the stories the gravity they deserve.
"A meaningful meditation on life"
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad I acted on their prompt. In turn I highly recommend this book to anyone who works in the area of helping people change. It's also a must read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their own complexities. As I listened I felt this book was a true meditation on life and all it's uncertainties. I felt a great connection to the often painful stories of the people involved. Stephen Grosz conveys a deep sense of respect and compassion for these people and their stories. I truly felt I had walked a mile in there moccasins after listening to each story. This is aided by narration that is ideally matched to the material, perfectly paced and paused at reflective spaces. Each story contains an underlying piece of advice that will resonate with many people, I will leave you the joy of finding these rather than list them here. I was left with a much deeper and warmer understanding that each of us has our very own view of the world and a set of hopes and wishes we want to be fulfilled. Stephen Grosz's own uncertainty and realisation that there may not always be an answer or a fix is the main learning I took from this book.
I loved this book, it's so well written & narrated. I found some of the stories very moving & could have listened to it for hours longer.
It shows what a vast array of human characteristics there are, how people are very different.
Some of the stories I could identify with.
Would definitely recommend.
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