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Publisher's Summary

Irvin D. Yalom is an author whose best-selling trade books and novels tell compelling, dramatic, and illuminating stories with which readers can identify.

At 74, Yalom has penned a book that is the climax of his lifework, focusing on the universal human issues of mortality and death. He suggests that what he calls the "awakening experience" can help us acknowledge, accept, and utilize our fear of death in a very positive manner. Such an awakening experience can be as simple as a dream, or quick as a sudden insight. It is often a loss, a trauma, or just plain aging that can prompt an awakening experience that is a turning point for a more meaningful life. He discusses how people can make lasting changes in their lives, rearrange their priorities, communicate more deeply with those they love, eliminate interpersonal fears of rejection, and increase a willingness to take risks for personal fulfillment and a life filled with love.

©2009 Irvin D. Yalom (P)2009 BBC Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Positive & Life Affirming

Let me start by saying that the title of this book and the publisher's summary makes it seem that it will be dark and scary territory. While there is an open discussion about fear, anxiety and death the book is very positive and life affirming.

Yalom offers a balanced, insightful and humane approach. More importantly his long career as a therapist and a professor/trainer of other therapists brings into play a rich background of actual experience. I really enjoyed the case study approach of this book. To me, hearing about the concerns and struggles of real people takes the material out of theory and makes it both tangible and useable.

Recommended if you are a therapist or are interested in working with panic and anxiety issues on a personal level. Fascinating and engaging concepts to assist in focusing on living life fully not fearfully.

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

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Must read

This book is awesomely thought provoking and is greet for all aspiring counselors and therapists or anyone looking at working in the helping profession with those facing end of life and those who are grieving

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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pretty good, overall

This was a good book, but not as good as I was expecting from Dr. Yalom on the subject. I've enjoyed many of his other books more and felt like I got more from them. My real complaint was with the reader. I felt the accents he assumed for patients sounded silly and were distracting. Also, the voice inflection he gave Dr. Yalom as therapist sounded patronizing and insincere.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vince
  • MANTECA, CA, US
  • 12-21-16

Counsel for the Difficulty of Death

Where does Staring at the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Yalom is superb, helping the listener through the struggle. Massive and thoughtful!

What did you like best about this story?

The personal internal struggle Yalom reveals through his therapy is extraordinary.

Have you listened to any of Gregory Gorton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

Hearing about living in the present, helps the tension of the future unknown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another excellent Yalom book!

While I love all of Yalom’s books this one is my favorite. It is a culmination of brilliant writing and existential psychological/philosophical thought regarding the inevitability of death. Yalom discloses several stories from his past that has played a role in shaping his own feelings regarding death.

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Insightful

This audio book was great. As a clinical psych doctoral student it was helpful to entertain such questions and ideas that Yalom presented in this book. The audio version was recorded well and the narrator had a very therapeutic voice. I recommend listening to this one.

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Excellent insight and stories!

Loved the book, the narration was a little odd when portraying various patients, but they were quite entertaining. Highly recommended!

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Wonderfully caring and deep

Dr Yalom, an expert in treating human soul, shares his deep and caring view on how dealing with death can become meaningful and give people purpose. His storytelling style is wonderful and inspiring.

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brilliant work!

Yalom's aphorism "to be wise, we must listen to the wild dogs in the cellar" is a testament to his brilliance and contributions to the world of psychotherapy. A profound discourse on the trials of dealing with death and our own mortality.

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Staring at the Sun

While another excellent book by Irvin Yalom, Staring at the Sun, falls short of maintaining the same momentum as other texts by Yalom like The Gift of Therapy, Love's Executioner, and Creatures of a Day. A useful tool for therapists and counselors, the book presents and engaging and thought provoking discussion about the death that does not allow you to look away from the sun.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful