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Publisher's Summary

We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour.

The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient. These are stories about our everyday lives: about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves, too.

©2013 Stephen Grosz (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Helen
  • 11-24-13

Ambivalent

Being a psychotherapist working from a totally different perspective then the psychoanaylitc one, I was ambivalent about this book before I listened to it. And to be open I still am.... There are a lot of very interesting issues discussed and some insights were very usefull to me. But the book does not give you a real idea about psychoanalysis (I can't imaging what it is liked to see a patient or a therapist for that matter five times a week for years!) but maybe that is not what is intended and then this is a very interesting book about totally different aspects of life. I liked the way it was read: not to emotional, but sometimes I felt liked the dialouges would have needed a different intonation. All in all I would recommend to read the book.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mark
  • 10-24-13

truth is stranger than fiction

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

full of understanding and gentle truth

What did you like best about this story?

story length and naration

Which scene did you most enjoy?

all good

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

it made me want to train as a psychotherapist

Any additional comments?

just listen

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Sue McW
  • 09-15-13

Ok - but didn't hold my attention to the end

This is one of those books that SHOULD be engrossing, but isn't. For anyone interested in human behaviour, the case-histories provide some interest. But for some reason, the style of the narrator, and the less than comprehensive conclusions of each case made it feel disappointing. I realise that when you are talking about real people's cases, one can't always follow their stories in any real depth. Nevertheless, I felt that this book jumped from one case to another too quickly. It would have been more involving if the author had found some way of giving more in-depth insight throughout.

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  • Story
  • Hannah
  • 08-24-13

Tender stories

What did you like most about The Examined Life?

The narrator and the material seemed to work in perfect harmony

Who was your favorite character and why?

I recognised some of the stories in people I know.

Have you listened to any of Peter Marinker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Never before, but I'll look for his work again.

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

It was emotionally gripping - and sometimes it made me laugh. It didn't make me cry though a few parts made me sad.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • 08-17-13

A Pass

Initially intriguing, it is a book and a reading that is a little too self satisfied. As an examination, it is less than deep but there are interesting anecdotes throughout. It ought to have touched pitch more often than it did. In the end, its all rather discreet.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Susie
  • 07-11-13

Very interesting book

Where does The Examined Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I found this very interesting and one of the best I've listened to.

What did you like best about this story?

The true stories about how a psychotherapist works.

What does Peter Marinker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

It gave the book a more realistic feel

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Delve deep into the minds of people thought the eyes of a psychotherapist

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Fiona S
  • 07-08-13

Compelling

I loved this book, it's so well written & narrated. I found some of the stories very moving & could have listened to it for hours longer.
It shows what a vast array of human characteristics there are, how people are very different.
Some of the stories I could identify with.
Would definitely recommend.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Samantha
  • 07-08-13

Contemplative prose giving insights

Would you consider the audio edition of The Examined Life to be better than the print version?

I enjoyed the timber of Peter Marinkers voice and felt that this lent itself well to the subject matter. As therapy is often a closed affair, being privy to this interaction and the thoughts, doubts and reason for the therapists intervention made for compelling listerning

Who was your favorite character and why?

I found all the therapists clients made for compelling reading as they all twisted and turned along their life journeys in the way that we can all relate to.

What does Peter Marinker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

As I mentioned earlier, I founded the timber and mellifluous quality of Peter Marinkers voice brought a thoughtful and compelling aspect that perhaps would not have been present if I had read it myself. I no doubt would have brought my own inflections embrubed with judgements and assumptive leanings to the text.

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

This book made me ponder on all the ways we, human beings avoid the truth of our existence.

Any additional comments?

I really recommend this book Stephen Grosz is a brave and honest man who has let us witness the therapeutic process and very few have managed to do this well. I liken this books to that of Irvin Yalom's 'Love's Executioner.'

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • SJPagey
  • 07-08-13

Nope - don't get it

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Well, I didn't get through the whole thing... and in all honesty it's probably not the best beach listen. I love a bit of psychology, so I thought I would find The Examined Life fascinating - but I just didn't. I found it formless and uninspiring. It felt like listening to a therapist's bland, non-judgmental case notes, offering no real insight, explanation or context.

What could Stephen Grosz have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I think framing the cases with some sort of narrative arc could have made it more enjoyable. Narrative non-fiction needs structure to guide the reader or listener through the text, just as fiction does. I thought this was lazily put together.

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  • Story
  • Alyson
  • 07-08-13

Fantastic book.

What made the experience of listening to The Examined Life the most enjoyable?

I found this book a complete pleasure to listen to. The narrator has a lovely melodious tone, and the stories from the authors clinical practice are captivating.

What did you like best about this story?

The writing style which was so pleasant to listen to.

Have you listened to any of Peter Marinker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No but I will look out for them now.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

A glimpse of humanity.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful