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Publisher's Summary

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life.

Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Listeners learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.

Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows listeners how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.

©2009 William B. Irvine (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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Average Customer Ratings

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Excellent contemporary view of stoicism

Great book explaining stoicism in a contemporary way.
It reads very smoothly. Well structured and the author presents the concepts in a way relevant to our days.
I particularly liked the ending when justifies stoicism from an evolutionary point of view. This is a nice contribution of the author.
I also liked the personal experience of the author while practicing stoicism.
Finally it suggests some further reading.
Very interesting book. Accessible. The author makes the points very clear in my opinion.
I like the narrator too. Not too slow (like others I have heard).
Great book. Thanks.

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

This is a great book, and the narrator fits perfectly. I would recommend this title to any thoughtful friend or family member. I started this book at a real low point, and found this profoundly helpful. Also, unlike most books that offer life advice, the author is clearly a smart, logical individual who thinks carefully about what he says and explains what it is like to put his advice into practice.

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

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Finding your inner stoic

What did you love best about A Guide to the Good Life?

I found myself surprisingly liking this book a lot. It demystifies what is commonly and mistakenly identified as a dour philosophy and makes it accessible to everyday, modern life. Equal parts self- help book, stoicism 101 course, and "serenity now!" mantra, Irvine makes a compelling case for adopting the tenets of stoicism as a balm to our hectic, information overloaded, materialistic society. I found myself quite intrigued and taken with the advice in this book and have found myself practicing it daily. It moves along briskly and avoids the self-help book pitfalls of pandering to the reader or being too trite.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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Where's the editor ?

This is the history and applications of stoicism. Generally I find that I purchase self-help books when I feel the need. So it is with this one. I am, therefore, generous with the review. Others have complained of the reader. I must add my voice to theirs. Good grief man, lighten up. Just because we are talking about philosophy one doesn't have to make it dry ? A few good chops from an editor would have helped as well. Goodness I don't need that much history. These are minor irritations though I listened with interest and enjoyed and learned. Thank you for this book

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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a positive shift in perception

a great guide to help appreciate all the things we have in life. this book helped alleviate stress and let go of ego.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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5th read in 3 months. Masterful!!!

An excellent, readable, understandable, modern story about Stoicism

A great story, understandable quotes, modern life examples and Mr Irvine contrasts old roman life with 21century life problems and how Stoicism fits into modern life

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Philosophy

I enjoyed the discussion of Stoicism as it actually is (was). The audio is well navigated. I believe the whole "story" is understandable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Informative and blunt!

Narrator captured essence of author, very informative and clear. Informative for those who are simply curious and helpful to those actually looking to choose a lifestyle. Great book all around.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Lacks Focus

this book goes on and on and on as author throws in every nugget of pop psychology. in addition, he moralizes and tells us what we "should" do. He speaks in stereotypes (old people, college students,etc.) Not worth my time. needs a lot of editing.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book!

A Guide to the Good Life is a really super book, brimming over with good advice and techniques on living a happy, tranquil life. I have really gotten so much out of it, and over the course of these last few days reading the book, I am already amazingly more tranquil myself!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • JASON
  • 01-10-14

Suberb

Where does A Guide to the Good Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very interesting and very insightful. A great hybrid between philosophy and personal development. Thoroughly recommended.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • KarlK
  • 09-10-14

Great follow up to the Antidote by Oliver Burkeman

Would you listen to A Guide to the Good Life again? Why?

Yes, lots of ideas that need to be reiterated in order to fully grasp in a practical way

What about James Patrick Cronin’s performance did you like?

Narration a little spaced apart or something, kindof like it was read by a computer - you get used to it but could have been a bit more fluid.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think about the way I think and how I perceive life's joys as well as challenges, definitely be implementing some stoic traits

Any additional comments?

Can't wait until they get more of Irvine's books on audible, just don't seem to like old school reading

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonimo Nonlodico
  • 06-21-16

Wise, profound, enjoyable, even life changing

An excellent book on the most important of subjects: our very own lives and happiness. Not merely intelligent, but wise. Deep yet approachable and even practical. Well written, highly enjoyable, certainly thought provoking. A must listen really!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Ufuk
  • 10-26-16

changed my life. well composed, solid arguments

i loved it. it chanhed mt life. wel written, researched, solid arguments makes the book easy to ready. chapters cover a modern apprpach into stoic practises, and guide ordinary reader with ease.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Rob
  • 04-19-16

Loved it

I have no doubt that the wisdom in this book will help me to live a better life.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • D. Clough
  • 05-09-18

A history rather than a guide

Don't take the title literally like I did. This is a history rather than an attempt to relate Stoicism to modern life

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Ahmed Karim Lameer
  • 08-18-17

engaging and practical

I've been dipping in and out of this book for years and finally finished it. It always had an attraction because of it's practicality.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. Owen Ashby
  • 11-24-16

Highly enjoyable, practical and actionable.

Would you consider the audio edition of A Guide to the Good Life to be better than the print version?

I liked it so much, I bought the hard copy too.

Any additional comments?

I didn't find the narration stilted (as others have). I much prefer this kind of delivery for non-fiction books, in fact, I really hate it when "actors" try to dramatise non-fiction work. Really easy to listen to and digest. I'm off to buy more of his books too. Frankly anyone who is a mentor to Ryan Holiday has to be a legend...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Moby Richards
  • 11-25-15

Great content, sadly marred by robotic, stilted reading.

Very much enjoying the content of this book, the stoic philosophy seems to be broadly misunderstood by the general public and has many tools to help with problems of modern life.

Sadly this book suffers from one of the most wooden, robotic narrators I've ever come across. It removes much of the humour of the writing, which can be detected in the words but is delivered as though it was a list of medical side effects. It's a real shame.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 07-14-16

Best non core book on stoicism I have read so far.

This has been a fantastic read. Very practical and applicable to daily life. I recommend this to anyone learning about stoicism.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-15-16

Really good introduction

This book provided a thorough overview into the philosophy and (importantly) the actual practice of stoicism. Irvine fills in a few gaps and modernises this at times though acknowledges this clearly. All round a great listen!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Mikhail
  • 03-14-16

Perfect introduction to stoicism

I loved the way this book is structured. The flow from one chapter to the other seems perfect. This book have enough information to understand the basics of stoicism and how and why you should practice it. In addition to that, the book creates an interest to further read on the topic. I would suggest this book to anyone that has always felt different to others, and feel like they are waking up from a dream to learn the truth. I rated this book 5/5 because it was worth my time.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-16-18

Great introduction to this philosophy of life.

The author tells his journey in practicing stoicism to obtain tranquility. It includes: History of stoicism, how to practice it, how the author put it into practice himself, and recommended stoic reading.

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  • Mohd Haniff
  • 04-15-18

life changing

lots of wisdom in this book. i loved the evolutionary programming part. can't recommend enough.

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  • Brenton
  • 01-18-18

Superb for the beginner

Would you listen to A Guide to the Good Life again? Why?

100% great principles and as it says its a guide to be used and reflected upon. Used to refresh ideas!!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Clinton Hodge
  • 12-28-17

Worth the money.

The audiobook delivered a lot more Han I was expecting, both in performance and content.

It has taught me much and has concreted my belief in the importance of tranquility over all else.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-19-17

Duty has a T!

Narrator did not enunciate the T is duty. This was occasionally funny and often frustrating.

Overall useful introduction to stoicism.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-13-17

a book for life

well worth the read and one you will most likely read more than once or twice.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie
  • 03-30-17

Not that impressed

This was recommend by a friend. I was excited to start, however, I found the book is full of very basic common sense. Overall in honor that impressed with it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-25-16

great example of stoicism

A little bias at times, although it is extremely informative and intriguing. worth a read/listen.