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Terry Miles

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  • 33
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  • 18
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Absolutely wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-07-20

I tried to read it when I was 25. At 69 so much more of it’s beauty is revealed. Thanks to everyone who made this audio book possible.

The original lobster man?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-11-18

I am not someone with any academic background in philosophy or psychology. It turns out this makes me vulnerable to a story well told.

I have no direct experience of Freudian or Jungian psychotherapy but I have always distrusted it. People seem to spend years in it, spend buckets of money and just keep going back and back and back because - I do believe - one's capacity for self-delusion on the basis of a 19th Century mid-European franchise run by a venerable academic discipline is boundless. Lately I have been more impressed by evolutionary psychology with seems far more grounded in neuroscience and modern research. There is also the recent assessment that the subconscious doesn't actually exist and that the analysis of dreams is largely a task of imagination So I started with a certain cynicism towards Yalom. But...

The book is pretty well written - the audio beautifully performed - and is very seductive. It's a fiction that draws out both the claimed benefits of psychotherapy and selective insights from Nietzche's work, ultimately to suggest a plausible link between the thought of Nietzche and Freud. As a relative innocent coming to philosophy I was seduced (as you may be). There are some great quotes and challenging aphorisms that bear thinking about in there.

I've even ordered a couple of books by Nietzsche and in the meantime gone back to the audiobook of A History of Western Philosophy by Bertrand Russell to listen to his chapter on Nietzsche. And there I came to a sudden screeching halt.

I know that some will protest that his life's work was hijacked by his anti-semitic sister and the Nazis, that Russell wrote in the aftermath of WW2 and that we are only now coming to make a neutral reassessment and rediscovery of his thoughts BUT do listen to Russell's assessment. And the quotations from Nietzsche HE provides. I'm no longer certain that any modern reassessment is worthwhile.

His thought seems to lead directly to that of Jordan Petersen, fear and loathing of women, male power, fascism, a disregard for the humanity of the masses and much else besides.

Like Petersen's, this book might be dangerous in the hands of relative innocents like me who might make radical changes to our lives, adopt doubtful politics and impact the lives of others after reading it. It has an internal coherence but please take care to step back read around both Nietzsche and Freud and history before giving it 5 stars or recommending it to friends. Life is more complicated. It has got me exploring philosophy again but do take care.

10 people found this helpful

A unique experience

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-09-18

It is a wonderful book. Full of science, love, insight and personal reflection. It’s undisciplined and all the better for that.

1 person found this helpful

An intensely annoying book

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-04-18

What did you like best about Sleep? What did you like least?

Practical tips on bed size, sleep cycles, mattress choice, mattress cover and pillow choice; turning off all screens 90 minutes before sleep time, getting very thick curtains, getting up at the same time every day, sleeping in absolute darkness.

The worst thing about the book is the author's voice. He doesn't read fluently at all. It becomes extremely annoying after a while.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

See above. The sleep tips.

Far, far too much of the book is taken up in him establishing his credentials, telling us about his proud career and dropping famous sporting names all over the place. Padding, padding, padding.

Would you be willing to try another one of Nick Littlehales’s performances?

Never

If this book were a film would you go see it?

No

2 people found this helpful

A beautiful book. Buy it.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-04-18

This has been my book of the year so far and is likely to remain so. Stories short and long, poignant, imaginative, tough, funny, intensely humane, intelligent, suspenseful and crafted with immense care. A typewriter plays at least a small bit-part in all of them; as does what I’d take to be real America, the best of America.

I’ve recommended it to friends and bought the hardback edition.

Buy it.

Frighteningly good.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-18

Matt need not worry about writing such a personal book. We all have our individual experience of depression and anxiety. But somehow only by referring to that personal experience can a writer’s integrity show itself and bring real value - and help - to the reader. Thankyou Matt. I’ve made lots of notes - including some notes I’ll revisit if/when the illness returns - and in the meantime I’m going to revisit the pleasures of the peanut butter sandwich.

Truly awful

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-11-17

This book successfully replaced my worries with intense irritation. Like a lot of American self-help books it is 95% padding and stories of patients recounted very slowly. In future I’m going to avoid any book by someone with a name with middle initial and a PhD after it.

20 people found this helpful

A beautiful book

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-10-17

This is a beautiful book and a quite precious work of art. I will revisit it frequently.