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The Age of Absurdity Audiobook

The Age of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy

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Publisher's Summary

The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity - a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of well-being and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.

Michael Foley examines the elusive condition of happiness common to philosophy, spiritual teachings and contemporary psychology, then shows how these are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a world of high expectations. The common challenges of earning a living, maintaining a relationship and ageing are becoming battlegrounds of existential angst and self-loathing in a culture that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane partnerships and perpetual youth.

In conclusion, rather than denouncing and rejecting the age, Foley presents an entertaining strategy of not just accepting but embracing today's world - finding happiness in its absurdity.

Cover credit: The Caravan Gallery.

©2011 Michael Foley (P)2016 Audible, Ltd

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (46 )
5 star
 (26)
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 (12)
3 star
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Overall
4.3 (42 )
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Story
4.4 (42 )
5 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    The Madadh 09-07-16
    The Madadh 09-07-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "Funny, on point and cranky"

    The narration is top notch and the subject matter is compelling and presented in a quite humorous fashion. I do feel like some concepts were over simplified to allow for a more cohesive narrative, but that is forgivable given the depth of the subject matter.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Nasu, Japan 05-24-17
    Scott Nasu, Japan 05-24-17 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    163
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    88
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A few tidbits here and there, but primarily an old man's rant"

    If you come away with anything from this book, it should be that "the striving for happiness is itself the happiness." There are several variations on the theme repeated around the book. But unfortunately, most of it just comes across as an older guy passing snarky, sarcastic judgment on some of society's newer trends. In particular, his obvious derision for people who derive pleasure from video games is cringe-inducing.
    In many examples, he brings up ridiculous strawmen and then dutifully crushes them as he attempts to point out the "absurdity" of modern life. But I doubt many of the likely readers of this book has ever fallen to some of the depths that he uses as examples.
    I'm not sure whether I should praise or damn Audible for using an Irish narrator to read an Irish author's book, but it is Mr. O'Mahony's reading which gives this title all of its dripping sarcasm, whether or not that was the original author's intent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Pinkus Scottsdale, AZ 05-16-17
    David Pinkus Scottsdale, AZ 05-16-17 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pointless, absurd rant. Save your money."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the book had any point whatsoever. The first half of it is an endless rant of nonsense, then he tries to salvage it by quoting the popular research that you find everybody quoting in modern non-fiction books.


    What was most disappointing about Michael Foley’s story?

    The endless banter that went on and on and on, all while waiting for a point.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John O'Mahony?

    I don't think his accent helped at all.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Where's my money? How do I return this? I really paid for this?


    Any additional comments?

    I'd like my money back. Or a credit or something. Seriously, this was a waste of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • WildMike
    Kent, UK
    8/31/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "In yer face modern philosophy!"

    Laced with a cynical barb Foley's words are sharp, intelligent and funny. Well read too.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • A Person
    11/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A very long moan interspersed with occasional wit"

    Quite early on in the book Foley makes the perceptive observation that no philosopher ever recommended moaning about the world. Foley would do well to listen to himself.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Michael Doherty
    Glasgow
    7/25/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Intelligent funny and engaging"

    Loved it. I read the book a few years ago but discovered it anew with this version. Lots of quotable quotes. Tons of insights and just the right amount of wry humour. Michael Foley is the new 'fantasy dinner guest'

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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