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The Examined Life Audiobook

The Examined Life

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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.

What the Critics Say

"I couldn't put this down-I read about other people, but learned about myself at the same time. Real stories can be so much more fascinating than fictional ones, especially with Stephen Grosz. No preaching, no clichés-just wisdom." (Victoria Hislop )

"Grosz's vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare illuminating fiction... It is this combination of tenacious detective work, remarkable compassion and sheer, unending curiosity for the oddities of the human heart that makes these stories utterly captivating."

(Sunday Times)

"Excellent. this book arrives like a box of chocolates. Thirty-one elegantly presented chapters which, when you bite into them, each reveals something sweet, rich or crunchy. Every one of these case histories bears repeating. All offer worthwhile insights." (Susanna Rustin The Guardian)

"Brilliant.. Grosz is a superb writer, yes, but it is the stories his patients tell him that really make you marvel. An elegant, jargon-free expedition into the secret business of our minds written with such wisdom and kindness. After reading [Grosz's] absorbing accounts of his patients' journeys you might feel that The Examined Life ought to be given out free at birth" (Melissa Katsoulis The Times)

"A fine and moving book... The tact, patience and understatement, which are particular components of Grosz's wisdom, remind the reader that this writer's insights and empathy result from thousands of hours with patients. This book is not polemical literature. nor is it an academic work or a popular self-help book. It is a true literary work and a very modern one." (Jewish Chronicle)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (932 )
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4.4 (750 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Saffy 13/02/2013
    Saffy 13/02/2013

    Audible addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    I first heard some of the chapters from this when it was broadcast as Radio 4's book of the week and was so impressed that I had to download the audiobook. It is definitely my listen of the year so far. I loved the insights into people's lives and behaviour and the reasons offered for why we do the things we do really resonated with me. This is beautifully written and the narrator absolutely does justice to the writing with the slow, hypnotic reading. Stephen Grosz' words have stayed with me long after listening. An absolute must for anyone interested in the human experience.

    20 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Bath, United Kingdom 31/01/2013
    James Bath, United Kingdom 31/01/2013

    Audio Addict - Love to listen when going to work or working out, waking up or passing out.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great listen, Great Narrator"

    Really enjoyed this, very different from what I'd normally listen to. There is about 30 stories in here, allowing you to listen in to peoples lives for a while, very engaging. I also loved the narration, it was almost hypnotic which really suited the audiobook.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Sydney, Australia 16/02/2013
    Anthony Sydney, Australia 16/02/2013

    Prof of Global Health & Development - wide interests, fiction & non-, politics, justice & rights, culture & food, travel, art & creativity

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A gentle book..."

    This gentle book provides informative insights into psychotherapy. Divided into 31 chapters, each focuses on an issue through the eyes, words, and dream fragments of patients consulting the author. It is nicely written, full of wisdom, and well narrated. I enjoyed the personal insights, anecdotes, and introspection; along with the occasional especially beautifully written segment.

    13 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Halldorsdottir Reykjavik, Iceland 07/02/2013
    H. Halldorsdottir Reykjavik, Iceland 07/02/2013 Member Since 2010
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    "Layers of life"

    This book shows how complicated and deeply mysterious life can be. Listening to this book was deeply satisfying, as it counters the fear of randomness of life. All is connected but it takes quiet contemplation to allow it to surface to consciousness.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Neath, United Kingdom 17/02/2013
    Mark Neath, United Kingdom 17/02/2013 Member Since 2014

    Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, Coach

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A meaningful meditation on life"

    This book was recommended to me by a friend and I'm glad I acted on their prompt. In turn I highly recommend this book to anyone who works in the area of helping people change. It's also a must read for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of their own complexities. As I listened I felt this book was a true meditation on life and all it's uncertainties. I felt a great connection to the often painful stories of the people involved. Stephen Grosz conveys a deep sense of respect and compassion for these people and their stories. I truly felt I had walked a mile in there moccasins after listening to each story. This is aided by narration that is ideally matched to the material, perfectly paced and paused at reflective spaces. Each story contains an underlying piece of advice that will resonate with many people, I will leave you the joy of finding these rather than list them here. I was left with a much deeper and warmer understanding that each of us has our very own view of the world and a set of hopes and wishes we want to be fulfilled. Stephen Grosz's own uncertainty and realisation that there may not always be an answer or a fix is the main learning I took from this book.

    22 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lucy Giles Exeter, Devon United Kingdom 04/09/2014
    Lucy Giles Exeter, Devon United Kingdom 04/09/2014 Member Since 2014
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    "Fascinating"
    What did you like most about The Examined Life?

    It's a natural human inclination to be curious about the lives and thought processes of others. The Examined Life was certainly a rich mine. It also served as a useful read for a little self reflection.


    What about Peter Marinker’s performance did you like?

    Loved Peter Marinker's rich voice which lent an interesting mix of solemnity and aloofness to the proceedings!


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

    No, but it was certainly thought provoking


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniela Ashtead, United Kingdom 22/07/2013
    Daniela Ashtead, United Kingdom 22/07/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""read it in one go""

    This is not my normal read, but how glad am I, I opted for this book this month? Answer: a lot. Totally absorbing from the first word. Couldn't turn off either the book or my mind.

    A fascinating read that I will listen to time and time again and get something new from it everything.

    If you are interested in the problem of being human you simply must invest in this book. Awesome.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Igor Greenhithe, United Kingdom 11/07/2013
    Igor Greenhithe, United Kingdom 11/07/2013 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Makes you wonder what can you do better"
    Would you listen to The Examined Life again? Why?

    Yes. It's almost like chatting away with someone you know about somebody's else life situation. It gently forces you to rethink your own behaviour and lifestyle to certain extent.


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

    I guess the tone of his voice and the manner of narration puts you right on the soft sofa in front of psychoanalyst.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really, this is the book to go chapter by chapter with some time in between to digest the information.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vanessa Leicester, United Kingdom 21/01/2013
    vanessa Leicester, United Kingdom 21/01/2013 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful book"

    Every chapter in this book is different and fascinating. Each story is a delightful gem. It's good to discover some excellent writing on psychoanalysis and to be given some insight into the lives and behaviours of the patients in question. All of life is here. I also really liked the narration; the slow and steady pace lends the stories the gravity they deserve.

    Highly recommended.

    25 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona S Bingley, W.Yorks, UK 08/07/2013
    Fiona S Bingley, W.Yorks, UK 08/07/2013 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 3 people found this review helpful
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  • Koe
    29/03/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "If it is possible to give 100 stars, I would"

    I don't read many books so it's probably sound shallow to say this is the best I have read. What matters is that I truly enjoy listening to the deep and assuring voice, narrating such a well told story. Stories of real life experiences, on how we lose and find ourselves. Thank you Stephen. Thank you Peter. Thank you Audible :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas
    Portlaoise, Ireland
    25/02/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating insights into peoples lives"

    Loved the narration and the stories. The book gives a great insight into the issues people struggle with and how a skilled analyst can help them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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