Regular price: $8.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Epictetus, one of the greatest of the ancient thinkers, believed that the primary mission of philosophy is to help ordinary people meet the challenges of daily life and deal with losses, disappointments, and grief. His prescription for the good life: master desires, perform one's duties, and learn to think clearly about oneself and the larger community. This recording includes an interview with philosopher Jacob Needleman on the significance of Epictetus' work.
Recording (P)1997 by Audio Literature; Copyright ©1995 by Sharon Lebell

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    247
  • 4 Stars
    55
  • 3 Stars
    20
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    7

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    21
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    6

Story

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    155
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    11
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Steve
  • Medina, NY USA
  • 08-23-13

A fine work but poorly narrated

What didn’t you like about Richard Bolles’s performance?

Bolles's rate of speech is choppy and lacks the knowledge of how Language flows. For example, when speaking in Classical Greek or Roman Latin emphasis and rate of speech is just as important as reading English to convey the moral point of the lesson. For example, compare the Tao Te Ching translated and narrated by Stephen Mitchell to Bolles's and one will hear the importance of understanding the original language in order to correctly place emphasis to convey the moral point of the lesson.

Any additional comments?

Get someone more skilled to redo a narration of this work.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Invaluable Life Lessons

I love this book and listen to parts of it every day as it has the clearest and most workable philosophy of life that I have ever found.

The basics of Stoicism can be gleaned from the opening lines: "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not."

This book may not appeal to everyone since the philosophy runs counter to much of the dogma of popular culture.

Stoicism, as explained in this book, is a no-nonsense and straightforward philosophy. In life, there are some things you can control and some things you can’t. You focus on the things you can control, like what you eat and drink, and ignore things you can’t control like civil war in Syria or who is going to win American Idol.

Epictetus also advises against getting caught up in other people's problems or opinions.

"It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you!"

As you can see from these quotes this translation is in understandable conversational English. And the narration here is very good.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Atrocious reading of a vapid mistranslation

Epictetus's (ca. 55 - ca. 135) profoundly influential "Enchiridion" ("Handbook"/"Manual"), which needs to be understood and fully appreciated in the context of his much longer "Discourses" and the Stoic milieu that produced it, is mangled by "co-author" Sharon Lebell into the most superficial, vapid, and anachronistic "self-help" drivel imaginable: just imagine a "Reader's Digest" or even "Highlights for Children" regurgitation of a bad CliffsNotes precis; better yet, peruse the informative negative reviews of the paper book, at Amazon.com.

It hardly helps that narrator Richard Bolles could pass as "Mr. Quaalude"; do NOT listen to this audiobook while driving! Unless you enjoy mediocre, pseudo-spiritual self-help books, I recommend purchasing the Robert Dobbin (2008) or Robin Hand (1995) translation of Epictetus's "Discourses," both of which also include the "Handbook" upon which Lebell's translation is loosely based. If you're interested solely in the original "Art of Living" sourcebook, though, read Keith Seddon's very accessible yet scholarly rigorous "Epictetus' Handbook and the Tablet of Cebes: Guides to Stoic Living" (2008). It's just a shame that neither this Seddon's book nor Dobbin's (2008) "Discourses and Selected Writings" yet exist in Audiobook format.

38 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Wonderful advice

Epictetus provides wonderful words of wisdom that would benefit everyone. He teaches you how to attain happiness through your thoughts..thoughts about others, thoughts about yourself, thoughts about the world we live in. One of his main themes is not to worry over things out of your control. I think we would need fewer therapists if everyone could adopt these principles. The message here is worthy enough and short enough to be kept on your player and listened to once a week. I'm convinced it will produce immeasurable spiritual and psychological benefits.
The narrator wasn't the greatest or I would have given it 5 stars.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

everyone should read/listen to this

everyone should read and or listen to this

imperative wisdom discovered two thousand years ago. everything still holds true to today

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of my favorites.

I've listen to this more than 10 times. Never gets old. Great philosophy and very thought-provoking. I highly recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mark
  • Burbank, CA, United States
  • 07-13-08

Right on the Stoic Mark

I am a big fan of the Stoics, and this
little audio file captures the spirit
of their philosophy. The audio file does
a good job of bringing the stoic tradition
into the 21st century, and making it meaningful
to a listener in 2008.

Bravo! I would like to see similiar treatments
on Seneca-Marcus Aurelieus (sp?)-and Cicero.


4 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Reminder On - "The Art Of Living"

This book was a great reminder and helpful to get your thinking back on track. It was short but sweet.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Timeless

This book has the answers for the one seeking them. Thank you Epictetus for a different view.

  • Overall

changes your way of thinking

Interesting concept!! will try to keep it all in mind. Awful narrator TOO monotone for my liking, will buy a hard copy of the book.