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The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness

A True Story
Narrated by: Joel ben Izzy
Length: 4 hrs and 35 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

When a storyteller loses his voice, he believes he's lost everything. In fact, he's been given a great gift.

Once upon a time, a successful storyteller lost his voice to throat cancer. Deprived of the instrument of his art and his livelihood, he retreated into dark, sullen silence and depression. While searching for a spiritual explanation, he encountered his former mentor, a cantankerous and often drunken old man. Their meetings began a journey into the timeless wisdom of ancient tales: of beggars and kings, monks and tigers, lost horses, buried treasures, and ultimately the secret of happiness.

In this altogether original book, Joel ben Izzy shares his personal account of surviving loss, gaining wisdom, and rediscovering one's true purpose. Weaving in tales he's collected over the years from Sufi, Muslim, Chinese, Jewish, Iraqi, Zen Buddhist, Italian, and Indian cultures, he passes along the lessons he has learned. As we travel with ben Izzy from tragedy back into light and sound, we are encouraged to see our own lives as stories, and to open our own hearts to happiness.

©2003 Joel ben Izzy (P)2007 HighBridge Company

Critic reviews

"His memoir shines with brisk suspense as well as his unerring, precise eye for including only the elements of his hard-won wisdom that matter the most." ( Publishers Weekly)

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Profile Image for R. M. Chick
  • R. M. Chick
  • 23-08-19

Wit and Wisdom, Tragedy and Triumph all told with Gentle Humor

Joel’s mixture FOLKLORE, Jokes, Philosophy, History and Biography is FACILITATING, EXHILARATING and COMPELLING! I give The Beggar King my HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

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Profile Image for Tom Hobbs
  • Tom Hobbs
  • 04-08-19

He Answered my Question from his Performance

I listened twice. Great personal story told with a dozen traditional tales woven in. Similar to Joel's live style. Most powerful to have him use his voice for the Audio book .

Every Storyteller should hear this story.

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Profile Image for Mitchell Strasner
  • Mitchell Strasner
  • 24-07-18

Great story

This is a great story told by a great storyteller. The near ration is great really enjoyed it. I hope to read more by Joel Izzy.

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Profile Image for Erin Casey
  • Erin Casey
  • 25-04-18

inspiring storytelling

Inspirational, thought-provoking, entertaining. I would listen to this one again. I picked up lessons on story-telling, lessons on life, and even teared up at one point.

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Profile Image for Bryon Blackwell
  • Bryon Blackwell
  • 30-05-17

Thought provoking...

This story is remarkable I believe for each listener because it has so many different applications to life and what it means for each person.

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  • Busy Mom
  • 27-02-15

Great way to spend the afternoon!

Entertaining and thought-provoking. I enjoyed it very much and will recommend it to my friends and am going to try more of Izzy's stories.

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Profile Image for Hiva
  • Hiva
  • 29-04-13

Honest story of one who goes through hardship

Would you consider the audio edition of The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness to be better than the print version?

The audio book was excellent

What other book might you compare The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness to and why?

Eat pray love, in both books one is going through personal journey in life in search of peace and balance

Have you listened to any of Joel ben Izzy’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Lenny's death and what he left for the story teller

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Profile Image for Stephen M. Newman
  • Stephen M. Newman
  • 13-08-12

a rare book with wisdom and humor

What did you love best about The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness?

its' profound meaning for me

What did you like best about this story?

it gave me a feeling of framing my own story

Which character – as performed by Joel ben Izzy – was your favorite?

the story about truth

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

both

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Belinda
  • Belinda
  • 17-02-11

wonderful story

I loved this book. We first found out about Joel Ben Izzy at a music camp where he was an instructor. He is a wonderful storyteller and this is a great book for someone struggling with an illness. It is very insightful and entertaining.