Listen free for 30 days

Listen with a free trial

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £18.29

Buy Now for £18.29

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

For many enlightened, liberal-minded thinkers today, and for most on the political left, evil is an outmoded concept. It smacks too much of absolute judgements and metaphysical certainties to suit the modern age. In this witty, accessible study, the prominent Marxist thinker Terry Eagleton launches a surprising defence of the reality of evil, drawing on literary, theological, and psychoanalytic sources to suggest that evil, no mere medieval artifact, is a real phenomenon with palpable force in our contemporary world.

In a book that ranges from St. Augustine to alcoholism, Thomas Aquinas to Thomas Mann, Shakespeare to the Holocaust, Eagleton investigates the frightful plight of those doomed souls who apparently destroy for no reason. In the process, he poses a set of intriguing questions. Is evil really a kind of nothingness? Why should it appear so glamorous and seductive? Why does goodness seem so boring? Is it really possible for human beings to delight in destruction for no reason at all?

©2010 Terry Eagleton (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic reviews

"An absorbing, stimulating, awfully entertaining discussion." ( Booklist)
"Highly recommended for anyone interested in the intersection between literature, philosophy, and religion." ( Library Journal)
"Terry Eagleton's Reason, Faith, and Revolution attacks the new atheism as a kind of secular counter-fundamentalism… Better than any previous book of its kind." (James Wood, The New Yorker)

What listeners say about On Evil

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    8
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    6
  • 4 Stars
    2
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A BRILLIANT MIND

When a brilliant mind delves into a topic it leaves one enlightened, sometimes uncomfortable, but mostly amazed. And this is Terry Eagleton. He tugs at one's paradigm, and does it very well.

A very good read. !

1 person found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Mack Eulet
  • Mack Eulet
  • 08-07-18

Wow. Magnificent book

this book is intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually clarifying, as well as intensely funny at times. Eagleton is brilliant, witty, and a good sam

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Drone Boy
  • Drone Boy
  • 24-07-21

One view of evil

This is a good philosophical, religious, literary, and political account of the genealogy of evil, but it lacks any connection to biology, ecology, history, or systems theory, and seems to hold than evil can understand from a purely humanist standpoint. This makes the discourse fairly monolithic, descriptive, moralistic, and reliant upon the author's stylistic flair and critical skills to carry the argument. There is not account of evil as the bi-product of complex economic relationships, which is where it seems to emerge in both nature and culture.