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Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life [Paperback]

Adam Phillips
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

4 July 2013

Missing Out is a meditation on reality and opportunity by Adam Phillips.

We all have two lives - the life we live and the life of our fantasies. But it is the life unlived - the person we have failed to be - that can trouble and even haunt us. In Missing Out acclaimed psychoanalyst Adam Phillips delves into the gap between who we are and who we are not, to discover whether not getting what we want may be the unlikely key to the fully lived life.

Praise for Adam Phillips:

'"Phillipsian" would evoke a vivid, paradoxical style that led you to think that you had picked up an idea by the head, only to find you were holding it by the tail' Lisa Appignanesi, Guardian

'He's brilliant' John Carey

'Phillips radiates infectious charm' Sunday Times

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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Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life + One Way and Another: New and Selected Essays
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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (4 July 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141031816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141031811
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,434 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance Comes as Standard 18 Jun 2012
By C. Grey
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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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it 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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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing out 24 Dec 2013
By David C
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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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing condition of item 28 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The book was offered for sale as new, but did not mention the dirt-smudged page ends, nor the stained dust-jacket wear and tear.
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