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Publisher's Summary

A revelatory Alpine journey in the spirit of the great Romantic thinker Friedrich Nietzsche.

Hiking with Nietzsche is a tale of two philosophical journeys - one made by John Kaag as an introspective young man of 19, the other 17 years later and in quite different circumstances: as a husband and father. His wife and small child in tow, Kaag sets off for the Swiss peaks above Sils-Maria, where Nietzsche routinely summered, and where he wrote his mysterious landmark work Thus Spoke Zarathustra. Both journeys are made in search of the wisdom at the core of Nietzsche's philosophy, but they deliver him to radically different interpretations and, more crucially, revelations about the human condition.

Just as Kaag's acclaimed debut, American Philosophy: A Love Story, seamlessly wove together his philosophical discoveries and his search for meaning, Hiking with Nietzsche is a fascinating exploration, not only of Nietzsche's ideals, but of how his experience of living relates to us as individuals in the 21st century.

Bold, intimate, and rich with insight, Hiking with Nietzsche is about defeating complacency, balancing sanity and madness, and coming to grips with the unobtainable. As Kaag hikes alone or with his family, but always with Nietzsche, he recognizes that even slipping can be instructive. It is in the process of climbing, and through the inevitable missteps, that one has the chance, in Nietzsche's words, to "[B]ecome who you are".

©2018 John Kaag (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Featured Article: The Best Hiking Audiobooks


Hiking is a time-honored way to appreciate and learn about nature while improving your physical and mental health. But even if you can't get out on the trail yourself at the moment, these hiking audiobooks will give you a greater appreciation for the sport. Hiking's broad appeal and long history have formed the basis of many compelling works of nonfiction. They run the gamut from intense stories of survival and perseverance to gentle explorations of the healing power of nature. Each of these hiking audiobooks is perfect whether you are out on a hike or sitting behind the wheel of a car.

What listeners say about Hiking with Nietzsche

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fear, power and uncertainty

friedrich nietzsche is often referenced and quoted but less often read
john kagg has written a book to make nietzsche more approachable
kaag's youthful infatuation with nietzsche has matured into an adult understanding

nietzche's focus on fear and power and uncertainty resonate with 20th century readers
kaag helps unravel the source of these enduring themes in nietzche's troubled life
the book was written from the swiss town of sils maria, nietzche's home for 7 summers

the book serves to make nietzsche accessible with out trying to make him affable
i was particularly interested in nietzche's relationship with his lutheran pastor father
if you find these issues more than interesting then you'll find john kaag's book more than helpful




5 people found this helpful

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Another great book by John Kaag

Great second audiobook of the author. He continues to show us philosophy as a practical application for our lives. Thanks for bringing Nietzsche to life!

The narrator does a superb job...I highly recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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Strong start and then it just would not end

It’s started off well and then it just went on and on and on and most of the last 2/3 of the book was pointless. I was really hopeful about additional insight on life and becoming who you are, but there really isn’t much here. Little to no meaningful insight outside of become who you are by becoming who you are.

4 people found this helpful

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Read "I am Dynamite" instead.

You will not find much insight into Nietzsche here. However, I loved the new Nietzsche bio I am dynamite.

7 people found this helpful

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Both nostalgic and contemporary

I remembered who I was becoming as a twenty year old kid (and still am as a middle aged man). Thanks for the reminder to keep interpreting and understanding.

2 people found this helpful

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Good read together with Nietzsche

This is a nice book, combining a history of Nietzsche's career and life with a travel diary of the author's trip to Nietzsche's haunts in the Alps. I read it together with some of Nietzsche's writings and the combo was a pleasure.

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SUPERMAN-SUPERWOMAN

Like Mary-Louise Parker’s memoir “Dear Mr. You”, “Hiking with Nietzsche” is nearly returned by this listener. Both memoirs, as the word suggests, are personal. However, Parker’s memoir is burdened by Parker’s self-absorption. “Dear Mr. You” reminds this listener of an actress who chose not to appear at the stage-door in New York after a forgettable stage performance. Parker is a good writer, but she needs a better subject.

“Hiking with Nietzsche” is not overly burdened by its writer’s self-absorption. Kaag offers some clarity to Nietzschean philosophical belief. However, clarity is only partially delivered. Some details revealed by Kaag of Nietzsche’s life are helpful.

Where Kaag fails is–in inadequately correlating his family life with Nietzschean philosophy. Kaag notes that Nietzsche spent a great deal of time in the mountains that Kaag and his family are visiting. He retraces some of Nietzsche’s peripatetic life in Basel and its surroundings. “Hiking with Nietzsche” is a disappointment but not a waste of time.

There is something to pursue in philosophy whether one agrees with Nietzsche or not. If “God is Dead” can man be moral? It seems doubtful based on world history. On the other hand, all species continue to evolve and adapt. Earth’s environment is no longer taken for granted. Are there supermen and women in our future?

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hiking, philosophy, life and death

I hike. Your mind wanders when you hike. "trail thoughts". Nietche knew this, or rather lived it.

For me, this was an introduction to his thought (and Herman Hesse) in an accessible way I could relate to.

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Hard to stay interested.

I guess if you have read Nietzsche, you can probably relate more. I couldn't relate, though.