• Stories We Tell Ourselves

  • Making Meaning in a Meaningless Universe
  • By: Richard Holloway
  • Narrated by: Richard Holloway
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (40 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Throughout history we have told ourselves stories to try and make sense of what it all means: our place in a small corner of one of billions of galaxies, at the end of billions of years of existence. In this new book Richard Holloway takes us on a personal, scientific and philosophical journey to explore what he believes the answers to the biggest of questions are. He examines what we know about the universe into which - without any choice in the matter - we are propelled at birth and from which we are expelled at death, the stories we have told about where we come from and the stories we tell to get through this muddling experience of life. 

Thought-provoking, revelatory, compassionate and playful, Stories We Tell Ourselves is a personal reckoning with life's mysteries by one of the most important and beloved thinkers of our time.

©2020 Richard Holloway (P)2020 Canongate Books Ltd
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Stories We Tell Ourselves

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Effortlessly profound

I have read several of the authors books and he has become a bit of a guide for me personally so I start this review from that perspective.

But I think that regardless of your own starting point, this book does help you arrive closer to wherever the end point of your own personal journey.

The fact that it’s read by the author helps with the nuance and meaning and also it’s more convincing when he says that he is not trying to sway you with his thoughts; in fact, you feel like you are sitting in on one of his own verbal reflections, a bystander to one of his streams of consciousness.

I will reread as I do all his books after a period of time to derive additional meanings but his summary chapter is enough for a top up.

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A rather enlightening into living

This book is a rather enlightening look into the stories we tell ourselves and how an agnostic person still finds a way to be a Christian. I feel rather sympathetic to the author. facing the delema of being a Christian and not, but not commiting to either.

A good book for those wondering about religion, Christ, and atheism through an interesting lense.

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A great story

This is undoubtedly one of the stories we should all tell ourselves (or rather have the author tell us)

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Validating

Mr. Holloway’s thoughts are much like my own. We are just dopey primates with anxiety searching for meaning. We are the virus we suffer from. So if you are so inclined to need meaning for it all, just pick a story you like that explains it to you, harm none, and be kind.

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thank you for your story.

I have been in a kind of a bad head space for awhile. I'm usually open minded about what a believe but i got myself to a point were nothing mattered. i just want to say your book helped me get back to a good place were a feel I can be happy with the story I tell myself.

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Balm for a Weary Soul

I needed this book so much. Richard's kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness quieted my heart for the first time in months. Thank you.

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  • Margie
  • 12-06-20

Please Listen To This Book

This is a remarkable book and all the more so for hearing it in the author's own voice. I would suggest that it became required reading in all schools but for the fact that this would go entirely against the books philosophy. So please listen to this book if you can, but if you can't don't beat yourself up.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Steven
  • 09-15-21

Brilliant!

One of the best books I have listened to. It was riveting and refreshing to hear such wisdom delivered with such clarity and without agenda. A true joy to listen to and easy to understand. It illuminated the stories of the past and their meanings, and their affects and relevance on our lives now. I wish everyone could hear this book. Beautifully read throughout, balanced in its view and insightful. Five stars all round.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Ranjit
  • 04-15-21

Richard Holloway is brilliant

A level headed review of the topic from someone who passionately cares. I loved it.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alice kramer
  • 09-19-21

Worth a listen

This was beautifully read and written !! A thoughtful, intelligent and inspiring book about the stories told to help us muddle along in life.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andy T
  • 04-29-22

Definitely not my usual listen…

After a few minutes of *not* enjoying Richard Holloway’s conversational style I grew to enjoy this greatly, pulling out some really profound ideas and thoughts. I would like to be more fluke this erudite and thoughtful man.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Not Bob
  • 01-25-22

So glad I read this book.

I’m very glad I read this and will definitely read and reread it from time to time to remember just how wonderful it is. Will be looking for more Richard Holloway.

4 people found this helpful

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  • T. Hodge
  • 09-25-22

Interesting but ultimately disappointing

I’m glad I listen to this book because the author takes you on an intellectually stimulating journey through religion and it’s raison d’etre, with which I agreed quite a lot. But towards the end of the book I realised that the author could not trust his own intellect above his ingrained Christian belief in God. Was his decision to follow Jesus’s teachings simply a cop out? I wasn’t sure. But I do agree that many of Jesus’s supposed teachings encapsulate civilised morality and are a good way to live.

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  • Tony Ogundeyi
  • 08-23-22

Refreshing Rational Perspective Thought Provoking

Sheds light & clarity on some of life's biggest influences; religion, politics, history without the dogma.

Not a religious book yet dares ask the difficult questions about our relationship with God, Jesus Christ, the church, the Bible , life & does so beautifully.

The principles are applicable to any religion or non-religion not just Christianity.

This book's well worth reading definitely once if not re-reading /listening to several times (which I've done & doing) because of the insights you'll gain, it's wisdom & the effects this may have on your thinking, etc.

Big thank you to Richard Holloway for logically articulating thoughts I & other people have had for sure that were floating around in the ether.

Inspired by this book (well written & read by the author) I'm taking a look at some of Richard's other books now.

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  • cate edwards
  • 12-26-21

Inspiring throughout with moments of sublime poetry.

I have listened to this twice , and will listen again. He encourages to forgive and to be generous and mindful . In thirst difficult times with fake news and tribal natures flourishing, it is a good time to question our beliefs.