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Publisher's Summary

Discover a new understanding of Kierkegaard's thought and his life, a story filled with romance, betrayal, humor, and riots.

Kierkegaard, like Einstein and Freud, is one of those geniuses whose ideas permeate the culture and shape our world even when relatively few people have read their works. That lack of familiarity with the real Kierkegaard is about to change.

This lucid new biography by scholar Stephen Backhouse presents the genius as well as the acutely sensitive man behind the brilliant books. Scholarly and accessible, Kierkegaard: A Single Life introduces his many guises - the thinker, the lover, the recluse, the writer, the controversialist - in prose so compelling it reads like a novel.

One chapter examines Kierkegaard's influence on our greatest cultural icons - Kafka, Barth, Bonhoeffer, Camus, and Martin Luther King, Jr., to name only a few. A useful appendix presents an overview of each of Kierkegaard's works for the scholar and lay listener alike.

©2016 Zondervan (P)2016 Zondervan

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great!

Best short, contemporary biography of Kierkegaard. The summaries of SK's bibliography at the end are probably handy in the written form, but the main value of the audiobook is for the straight biographical chapters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Extremely accessible biography and overview!

An extremely helpful, orienting introduction to the man and his writings. Engaging narration too. Highly recommended!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Helpful intro to both Kierkegaard’s life and work

o the best of my memory I have never studied or read any Kierkegaard. I have heard several people commend Kierkegaard: A Single Life and when I saw it on sale on audiobook I picked it up.

This is a brief, but good overview of his life. And because Kierkegaard is important primarily for his writing, there is good context for that as well. At the end of the book, there was short descriptions of each piece (1-3 pages) which was much more helpful and interesting than I would have suspected going in.

In general I find biographies worth reading, if when I am finished, I want to either find another biography or pick up books written by the subject. I more want to read Kierkegaard than read more about him at this point. So I rate this as a helpful biography. Light, short, it feels a bit like one of the Very Short Introduction to X styled biographies. It is longer than that, about 300 pages. But this was clearly designed as an introduction.

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Kierkegaard was a real one

Kierkegaard was a real one. Idk how this ended up on audible, given how few academic type books are on here but, I appreciate it. Doesn't go too much into the philosophy but it gives a good overview of what he was doing and why he was doing it a lot of the time. #IntellectualBiography #Academic #WesternPhilosophy #tagsgiving #sweepstakes

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Just what I wanted

I wanted a well-written biography of Kierkegaard and an overview of his authorship in sequence, and that is what Backhouse delivers in an intelligent and accessible book. I withhold a fifth star not so much for the work of Backhouse or his publisher, but for the narration of Tom Parks in the audio version I am reviewing. Parks takes some getting used to, and never gets me past the sensation that, based on his cadence and vocal tones, that he may not always be attending to the meaning of what he is reading.