Out of My Mind

Narrated by: Alan Arkin
Length: 2 hrs and 17 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8,733 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Alan Arkin, one of the most beloved and accomplished actors of our time, reveals a side of himself not often shown on stage or screen.

Like many teenagers, 16-year-old Alan Arkin had it all figured out. Then came young adulthood, and with it a wave of doubt so strong it caused him to question everything he thought he knew about himself and the world. Ever skeptical and full of questions, Arkin embarked on a spiritual journey to find something—anything—to believe in. An existential crisis in his 30s led him to the study of Eastern philosophy. Soon he began opening himself to the possibility that there was more to life than what he had simply seen, heard, or been taught.

In this Audible Original "mini-memoir," the 84-year-old actor shares his powerful spiritual experiences, from his brush with reincarnation to the benefits of meditation. In a gruff, earthy voice that sounds more suited to a New York cabbie than a spiritual guide, he shows us that wisdom can come from the most unexpected places and teachers. Out of My Mind is a candid, relatable, and delightfully irreverent take on how one man went searching for meaning and ended up discovering himself. 

©2018 Alan Arkin (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.

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I listened to this memoir in one sitting, and when it was finished, I had many questions for Arkin—he left me wanting more. (I immediately added An Improvised Life to my audiobooks cart.) His storytelling is focused and matter-of-fact; his voice fluid, without extraneous words or noises, nothing to distract me from what he’s saying. "If I have a belief system left," he tells us, "it mostly revolves around stopping to breathe."

- The New York Times
.

Our favorite moments from Out of My Mind

"Work I did on the inside was slowly taking root"
"What follows is not a manifesto"
"Dad came to me last night"

  • Out of My Mind
  • "Work I did on the inside was slowly taking root"
  • Out of My Mind
  • "What follows is not a manifesto"
  • Out of My Mind
  • "Dad came to me last night"

About the Author and Performer

Throughout a distinguished film and theater career spanning six decades, Alan Arkin has won many awards, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, an Obie, a Golden Globe, two SAG Awards, a BAFTA Award, two Canadian Screen Awards, and two Drama Desk Awards. His notable film roles include the film producer in Argo, the foul-mouthed grandpa in Little Miss Sunshine, a rebellious captain in Catch-22, the sensitive boarder in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and the psychotic criminal in Wait Until Dark. The Brooklyn, New York native is also an accomplished director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. He is the author and audiobook narrator of several books, including An Improvised Life: A Memoir and now, his first Audible Original, Out of My Mind.

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

Amazing journey into Alan's self!

This book is not for you if:
- you are looking to hear about Alan's acting career.
- you are looking to hear happy, romantic stories.
- you are looking for secret ways to be a millionaire.
- you are looking for a jolly read for a weekend.
- your happiness is solely dependent on the materialistic life and you are okay being that way.

This book is a must read for you if:
- you are eager to explore meditation as a way of a transformative tool to improve your life.
- you are in a thirst to know the meaning and purpose of life.
- you want to understand real life beyond material possessions.
- you are tired of being sick and tired of the happenings in everyday life.
- you are anxious about anything in life and wanting to find an inner peace.
- you want to live in the moment without the worries of the past or the anxiety about the future.
- you want to be more compassionate toward anyone or anything in life.
- you want to live in everlasting happiness and peace in life.

96 people found this helpful

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Another interesting life experience

I don't usually read or listen to memoirs. I tried this one and was intrigued and found myself rewinding in numerous places throughout the reading.

Expect nothing. Just listen. He has had an interesting life and shares a very personal side of his life's story. You, too, may find it interesting.

47 people found this helpful

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NAILED IT!!!

Encore! Encore! Please continue & expound- and perhaps you already know this your path & we all can only hope this is something that has been ‘brought up a 3rd time’;)). This was a warm encouraging ‘hug’ & a joy to listen to. To echo others ; it would be a welcome treat to hear more of your thoughts& experiences and yes enlightening. Lots of us identify with the excitement of it & wanting to even ‘over share ‘ lol Mr Arkin, thank you truly & please continue- it does indeed make a difference

6 people found this helpful

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One Man's spiritual journey

Alan Arkin is a famous actor, director, screenwriter, and Academy Award winner. But this autobiography is not about his career in movies. It's about his journey of self discovery through Eastern religion and mysticism, primarily Buddhism and Hinduism.

He tells of his beginnings as a 'know it all' who was sure there was nothing beyond this world, and his change and he came to understand he didn't know it all. He anecdotes from his life of feeling movements of 'spiritual energy' and healing. He espouses the benefits of meditation, how it has helped him, and how he advocates for other to do it (although he says he has mellowed and no longer talks about it unless someone asks him first). He discusses his spiritual mentors through his life, particularity a life long friendship with a man named John. He talks of not worrying so much if it is actually true, but living as if it is true and the effect that peace has brought him.

If you are hoping for an insight into his acting career, this is not for you. If you were wanting a traditional biography telling of the where and whens, you won't find it here. This is much more story like, with subjective ideas and events weaving together. It is based on the theme of his spirituality.

Alan Arkin does fine with his narration, as you would hope for a respected, seasoned actor. The entire piece is just him, no friends or interviews or sound effect or background music. He is telling stories, and there isn't a whole lot of range of emotion or action in those stories to flex the acting skills, but he does make them engaging and provides energy where it is needed. He is clear, well paced and enjoyable to listen to.

49 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Don't Bother

Title says it all. I am glad that I did not pay for this. It's better to watch his movies.

7 people found this helpful

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Flakey

I really wanted to like this book. I became skeptical when he claimed a great hoax healer was legit and then he lost me at stories of flashbacks to past lives.
The introduction is great.

31 people found this helpful

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Great listen.

Great listen. Arkin delves into his own demons some of which I am sure some of us have experienced in our own lives. He does so while maintaining his wonderful sense of humor.

3 people found this helpful

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Not really about meditation as it was promoted.

Alan has some interesting stories to tell. I'm glad that he seems at peace with himself at this point in life. I'm definitely an advocate of meditation but meditation is not the major thrust of this book. If you tend to be a skeptical or scientifically minded person you might be surprised at the things Alan has (and apparently continues to) buy into like psychic (sham) surgery and other far fetched stories that are not difficult to debunk and should be difficult to believe.

But again... I'm glad that he is happy. The book just wasn't what I was expecting.

14 people found this helpful

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Delightful and...astonishing.

These were two hours worth every second, because Alan Arkin is someone with something special to say. I had no idea I would like him so much. His performance style is intimate yet impersonal, dramatic yet droll and is a perfect embodiment of the content, which is heavy but light—almost unbearably so. Like me, maybe if you listen you’ll find...what you didn’t know you were looking for.

17 people found this helpful

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A great actor, but good grief!

This is just utter nonsense from a great actor. Now I must write another few words to fulfill the minimum requirement for a review. I tried to listen to this because of my admiration for Arkin as an actor, but this book was ridiculous

12 people found this helpful