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Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life Paperback – 4 Jul 2013

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141031816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031811
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,416 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Adam Phillips is a psychoanalyst and the author of several previous books, all widely acclaimed, including On Kissing, Tickling and Being Bored, Going Sane and Side Effects. His most recent book is On Kindness, which was co-written with historian Barbara Taylor.


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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 75 people found the following review helpful By C. Grey on 18 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Nobody thinks quite like Adam Phillips, and therefore nobody writes like him, either. He is, among today's essayists, unique. A profoundly insightful analyst, yes, of course, but one who travels in zigzag or roundabout fashion towards his conclusions, which makes him continuously surprising and illuminating (and vastly enjoyable to read). Mr Phillips gives the impression that he is often discovering the answers to his questions as he writes, and that makes for truly thrilling reading. At least, it does for me. Read him and see if you agree.
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26 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert Shaw on 5 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book as, having heard about it Radio 4's 'Start the Week' programme, I was fascinated by the premise. I still am, but I've come away with the feeling that none of the book's chapters really came close to justifying the argument.

I found that they got infuriating close, but then the chapter ended abruptly and the next chapter seemed to me to be a non-logical leap - it wasn't really a surprise to find out (as I did in the acknowledgements) that each of the chapters was originally a separate lecture.

But then what do I know? This is the first book on psychoanalysis that I've read, and it has two five-star reviews already, including one that reads "Because of its fascinating aspects i [sic] reckon allot [sic] of people will find it hard to read." - so maybe it's me, the reader, that's at fault rather than the writer.

All I know is I'm glad I got it out of the library rather than buying it - sorry Amazon!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great book. love the idea and my work with people who feel they have missed out on their lives will be more insightful
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jiment on 17 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like several reviewers who have given low ratings I too have asked myself the question 'Is it me, is it my fault I can find so little sense in this book?' I have decided that it isn't. This is an insiders' work marketed (falsely) to outsiders. I found it tortuously dense and would warn the average layman that you're likely to feel that it doesn't address the issue that it's title suggests. If you mix in the same psychoanalytical circles as the author then maybe, but even then...
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9 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David C on 24 Dec. 2013
Format: Hardcover
I picked this book up at Waterstones, thinking the topic and thesis would be rather fascinating. It was highly praised.
Though I read avidly, I have not previously written an Amazon review but I am sufficiently moved to do so on this occasion because I found this book so unreadable, the text being so irritating and neurotic: in a word, digressive.
I am not by temperament tolerant of verbal diarrhoea and prefer writers who get to the point and am happy if they entertain or write beautifully on the way.
This thesis might make an interesting read as bullet points on one page of foolscap, which could allow some of us to know why others find this book so marvellous.
I have tried twice and will try reading it again in the Spring, when the sun is out.
Psychoanalysts are prone to write in this manner, expecting us to believe that every impulse in every neurone is fascinating; this latter not being the case, I prefer writers who think the universe makes sense and may even be moral, taking a more classical approach and adopting a more continent style, perhaps the noble simplicity and still greatness proposed by Goethe; these such writers usually have a good writing style and tend not to be post-modernists. So it could just be me.
I will give the book another go eventually and will write again if I become a convert.
No stars till then or maybe one, as that seems to be the minimum. Sorry Adam, if I am missing out.
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11 of 21 people found the following review helpful By nick on 23 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I consider this a prize conversation piece, this certainly is one of the best books i have ever read. Great premises, great writing.

Because of its fascinating aspects i reckon allot of people will find it hard to read.

If you like; Neurology, psychology, poetry, philosophy - Get this book.

Wonderful book.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yorkie62 on 4 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A joy to read!
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