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Publisher's Summary

“A unique and special kind of masterpiece.” (John Banville)

This program is read by the author.

Stephen Mitchell’s gift is to breathe new life into ancient classics. In Joseph and the Way of Forgiveness, he offers us his riveting novelistic version of the biblical tale in which Jacob’s favorite son is sold into slavery and eventually becomes viceroy of Egypt. Tolstoy called it the most beautiful story in the world. What’s new here is the lyrical, witty, vivid prose, informed by a wisdom that brings fresh insight to this foundational legend of betrayal and all-embracing forgiveness. Mitchell’s retelling, which reads like a postmodern novel, interweaves the narrative with brief meditations that, with their Zen surprises, expand the narrative and illuminate its main themes.

By stepping inside the minds of Joseph and the other characters, Mitchell reanimates one of the central stories of Western culture. The engrossing tale that he has created will capture the hearts and minds of modern listeners and show them that this ancient story can still challenge, delight, and astonish.

©2019 Stephen Mitchell (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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Zen Master Joseph in Egypt

It is hard to capture what this book is. Essentially, it is Mitchell taking his poetic talents, his Jewish and Zen sensibilities, the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis and not quite reinventing it, but retelling it both as a poet and almost as a Zen Midrash. He jumps into the text and invites the reader to swim in it and experience it with slightly different eyes. I'm not sure if I loved it so much because it aligns a bit with my own sensibilities (I joke that I'm an Agnostic Zen Mormon) or because there are new insights and perspectives that absolutely resonated with me. I'm not sure it matters. I love the Story of Joseph. I've read the KJV mutliple times, soaked in Alter's translation, enjoyed Crumb's adaption, and even enjoyed the musical. I love what it teaches about family, forgiveness, knowledge, responsibility, and love. I typically avoid reading books multiple times, but this is one I'm sure I'll return to again and again.

6 people found this helpful

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I was skeptical

So glad I read this! Forgiveness is such a hard topic to wrap our minds around, much less activate and our lives. This story retelling hit deeper than I expected and is filled with treasures for the heart. The calming voice was a great reminder to listen close and be present with the book, loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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Stephen Mitchell does it again!

This is the fifth book I have read by Stephen Mitchell, and it is easily the most beautifully written of them all. A must read!

1 person found this helpful

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profane language

I really didn't appreciate the use of curse words. I'm on a quest of forgiveness. this book does not help

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Absolutely beautiful

I first heard of this book on Tony Robbins podcast last Christmas. I’ve listened to that episode of the podcast 4 times then realized that I should get the book! It’s beautiful beyond words. Such a gracious story of forgiveness!

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I was expecting more...

I wasn’t expecting some of the graphic pieces but this was the first step into understanding forgiveness and story of Joseph.

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A breath of fresh air

I wish I had the words to describe how amazing this book is. I learned so much from it. By the time Joseph is overseeing Egypt, It felt like a deep meditation or a transformative experience of moving into clarity. Thank you for this, beautifully read and beautifully written. Highly recommend.

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Beautiful telling of the story of Joseph.

I am already a great fan of the story of Joseph. I'm reluctant to listen to a multitude of versions for fear of over indulgence causing a lull in interest. This is the best so far. I am working on forgiveness. Understanding the meaning of forgiveness. Methods of forgiveness. How and why to forgive in real time. Holding up the Bible as the standard, is without question to me. There is no story of forgiveness as that of Jesus Christ. Joseph's story brings me closer to a thorough understanding of Jesus suffering and death on the cross. Which may sound preachy to some. I believe it is factual history however. That is - Jesus was a real person who was tortured and killed on a cross.

I have always been able to relate more easily to the story of Joseph than the story of Jesus Christ. However, I must add, in my understanding of the Bible and it's message it is a story told over time. Time continuing to this day. In the respect, a historical understanding of the story Joseph, his place in the genealogy of Jesus, helps me to know the story of Jesus better.

Stephen Mitchell tells Joseph's story so beautifully. So rich with description. He narrates it beautifully as well. He was able to paint the pictures so beautifully with his words, his tenor, his cadence. Many audible books can be so much better if the person doing the reading performed like Stephen has with this book.

I found this book while searching for a better understanding of forgiveness. While searching for some direction, how to free myself from the effects of un-forgiveness. I did not get what I was looking for until the end. I was hoping for bits and pieces along the way. Morsels of knowledge culminating in a list of to do's. What I learned was Joseph was not a born "forgiver". He was like many of us young and naive, plodding along being ourselves not aware of the good or bad that is in us. Many of us never intending our naturally bestowed gifts to be harmful to others. Stephen Mitchell gets me to the point of knowing Joseph's forgiveness by helping Joseph's story be so real. The unbelievable dysfunction that existed in generations of Joseph's family painted so vividly. Natural emotion run riot and the things we do as a result. The devastation of losing loved ones through no fault of our own. Betrayal, redemption. Ultimately it is the love we all pain for. The longing to love and to be loved. I needed this book. I'm so glad it found me. Thank you Stephen Mitchell.

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A beautifully paced, warmly told story.

A wonderful contemporary version of the biblical story of Joseph linked well to forgiveness. Thanks.

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A must listen

This book was so beautifully written! I loved the message and the writers ability to make the listener really visualize the story as it unfolds! I bought it because of who wrote it, I’m not really that familiar with biblical stories other than those as a child. I would love to listen to more .....

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  • Ann-Maree Mason
  • 09-29-19

A book recommendation I treasure❣

I loved the journey of this book, the appreciaton for the story telling and the message.