• The Existentialist's Survival Guide

  • How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age
  • By: Gordon Marino
  • Narrated by: Joe Knezevich
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (88 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Existentialism offers enduring lessons and insight on how to understand ourselves and improve our lives.

Your existence is not the result of a predetermined set of events; it’s the direct result of your thinking and your actions, and therefore, according to Soren Kierkegaard, Frederick Nietzsche, Albert Camus, and other existentialist philosophers, you have the freedom to control the outcome of your existence - sophisticated "philosophy meets psychology" self-help for the 21st century.

As Kierkegaard and his ilk made clear in their respective works, human beings are moody creatures. Rather than understanding moods such as anxiety and depression as afflictions that can be treated only with a pill, the existentialists regard these troublesome feelings as instructive, something revealing about what it means to be human. The existentialists believed that how we negotiate our emotional ups and downs plays an important hand in the lives we sculpt for ourselves.

While offering listeners a useful primer on existentialism as an animating body of thought, Marino distills and delivers the life-altering and, in some cases, life-saving insights Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, and other existentialists articulate for becoming more emotionally attuned human beings. Enhancing our sense of meaning in the midst of an uncertain world, Marino interjects gripping anecdotes from his own experiences to demonstrate how we can use existentialist thought to ignite truly transformative experiences.

©2018 Gordon Marino (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Existentialist's Survival Guide

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Should have taken his own advice!

In his epilogue Marino writes that perhaps great philosophy should not be committed to paper citing the example of Jesus, Buddha and Plato. I wish he had listened to himself instead of wasting our time with this tome. This book can only be described as an autobiography of an immature college professor so enamored of his Ph.D that he published his thesis on Kierkegaard and peppered it with quotations from any philosophers and novelists to impress his hearers that he has read lots of books.

Survival Guide is neither a guide or survival handbook. It is a 101 Level survey course in Existentialist writers that touches the high points of six or seven Nineteenth and Twentieth Century writers who address the problems of living. Very shallow and filled with references to the author’s rather shallow life.

I only gave it two stars because it can be culled to provide a reading list of some great writers, some of whom are actually Existentialists. Get the list and and actually read some of their writings and learn something about this fascinating school of philosophy.

4 people found this helpful

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Mind Bending Theories

Before you read this book let me warn you to get comfortable with being uncomfortable & be prepared to have your mind opened for better or for worse that is the question! :)

This is a fantastic read, so well written, you will not be disappointed.

These topics relate to every human being & if you are seeking answers to life’s biggest questions this is a great starting place.

Hope you enjoy as much as I did, happy reading <3

2 people found this helpful

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Good overview of Kierkegaard for modern minds

I’ve been wanting to learn more about the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard, and thought (based on the publisher’s description) this would be a good place to start. It was better even than I expected. While it is a general introduction to what existentialism has to say about our current, personal challenges — it does tease out some ethical teachings, as well, but Marino freely admits that the existentialists have been slim on the rights and responsibilities of societies and of individuals toward others — it depends heavily and foremost on the writings of Kierkegaard, and then uses Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, and Doesteeyvki to fill in or contrast Kierkegaard’s thought. But the book’s strength lies in approaching the issues of modern life —anxiety, depression and despair, mortality, faith — first (rather than as a straight survey of each philosopher’s teaching) and seeing what the existentialists have to offer as a lens or filter for our sojourn through this life, regardless of a life hereafter.

2 people found this helpful

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Mispronunciations

The content is excellent speaking in the first person. I wish the narrators wouldn’t mispronounce Jean Paul Sartre’s name.

1 person found this helpful

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great philosophy overview

starts slow, ends strong. overview of the literature and philosophy, not a "manual for living"

1 person found this helpful

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  • KG
  • 06-02-22

Too autobiographical, self-congratulatory, TMI

WAY too much autobiographical content about his BA past (as a wunderkind violent youth, drug/alcohol abuse, etc.) that doesn't contribute to understanding existentialism. By half way through I was 30 sec forwarding through his boorish, self-congratulatory anecdotes. It's a pass in my opinion, there are many other better overviews of existentialism. Also the narrator kept pronouncing Sartre as "Sarch", very annoying.

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Glimpse of hope in a desperate and difficult path

Philosophy tends to fall on the shoulders of the cold objective scholar. But Marino's words ring like that of a man who has had to adeptly apply it to his life. personally draw strength from it, and use it in real time, to handle and get thru some truely dark times.

Whether or not one agrees with the author in regards to this philosophers meaning or that writers stance..
one cannot argue that this man has found a way to use Existentialism as a method to handle life at it's most raw.

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Gordon Marino is an Angel

One of the best professors ever has written one of the most helpful and applicable books ever written.

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A bit boring, actually

It could not consistently hold my interest. It would have been better if he had stayed on each philosopher for awhile instead of skipping around. I can take seriously intellectual, but I want the tone to be pretty consistent throughout. I will keep visiting it off an on until I finish it , though it’s an effort more than a thing to look forward to.

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religious rant.

was looking for a survival guide on a philosophical concept. got a religious rant from a cult follower of some Danish philosopher. wish i got a dollar for everytime he said that guys name.

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