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The Road Less Traveled [Paperback]

Peck , M. Scott Peck
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sep 1997

Confronting and solving problems is a painful process which most of us attempt to avoid. And the very avoidance results in greater pain and an inability to grow both mentally and spiritually.

Drawing heavily on his own professional experience, leading psychiatrist Dr M. Scott Peck suggests ways in which facing our difficulties - and suffering through the changes - can enable us to reach a higher level of self-understanding. He discusses the nature of loving relationships: how to recognise true compatibility, how to distinguish dependency from love, how to become one's own person, and how to be a more sensitive parent. This is the bestselling self-help book that will change the way you live, and love, for good.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ome; Intl edition (Sep 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 068485015X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684850153
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 10.8 x 16.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,570,504 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A graduate of both Harvard University and Case Western Reserve, Dr Peck served in the Army Medical Corps from 1963 to 1972 and had a private practice in psychiatry from 1972 to 1983. He also devoted much of his time and financial resources to the work of the Foundation for Community Encouragement, a nonprofit organization which he and his wife, Lily, helped found in 1984. His bestselling books include The Road Less Travelled and Beyond, A World Waiting to Be Born, and What Return Can I Make? Dr Peck died in 2005.

Product Description

Amazon Review

By melding love, science and religion into a primer on personal growth, M. Scott Peck launched his highly successful writing and lecturing career with this book. Even to this day, Peck remains at the forefront of spiritual psychology as a result of The Road Less Travelled. In the era of I'm OK, You're OK, Peck was courageous enough to suggest that "life is difficult" and personal growth is a "complex, arduous and lifelong task". His willingness to expose his own life stories as well as to share the intimate stories of his anonymous therapy clients creates a compelling and heartfelt narrative. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"A brilliant self-help book, which I found genuinely inspiring... I love this book, it's my spiritual refuge and I'm certain everyone will find something to console them within these pages" (Boy George Sunday Express)

"Magnificent... This is not just a book but a spontaneous act of generosity written by an author who leans towards the reader for the purpose of sharing something larger than himself" (Washington Post)

"The granddaddy of self-help manuals and among the wiser of them" (The Times)

"Sound advice on how to build a happy life" (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Life is difficult. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
74 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential 20 Dec 2005
Not easy reading but worth every second and all the effort that you put in it. While Peck's style is generally engaging and simple, there are times when you might need to re-read his words to get his meaning. This is probably because the subject matter gets your mind working almost from the first word. Each chapter deserves to be read slowly and carefully and therefore, it is not an 'easy' read.
This is a book about living; living in a way that sets you apart. It's a book about Life and everything that we normally associate with it and with living. Peck divides the book into four sections: Discipline, Love, Growth & Religion, & Grace. But in these sections he addresses everything from falling in love to solving problems and dealing with pain. The challenge, of course, is doing all of these things in our limited lifetimes, but he writes about that too.
Most of us tend to take these `things' for granted; we 'do' them without thinking about the reasons, methods, or the consequences. In the 'The Road Less Traveled', Scott Peck forces us to think about what we do, what we feel, and what we think in different ways that we have not thought of before.
Scott Peck combines years of psychotherapy with a natural writing style that attracts the reader and challenges his/her mind. It is not the writing style that makes the book difficult reading (even though there are a few instances in the book when he does become too involved), but the continuous challenge to you mind and to your preconceived ideas. Peck demands that you examine your mind, your feelings and your heart deeply and objectively. Most of us find that difficult.
Peck comes across his book as a warm and sensitive person and he makes you feel at ease instantly... What else would you expect from someone whose opening sentence is "Life is difficult!"
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!! 17 April 2009
I couldn't put this book down...really I beleive the most amazing, important book I have ever read. It was a shocking read -as I suddenly identified with behaviours in myself that Peck describes in others, I became very was just so sad to realise why I had done certain things in the past..just kept saying "If ONLY I had read this book as a teenager, my life up to now would have been so much better!!"
Is great to learn how to really improve your life & relationships ..I loved it when Peck said he gets so cross with parents who tell their children they 'think too much'(my mum always said this to me)..when that is exactly where we go wrong - NOT thinking enough!
I am not a religious person, infact I did not beleive in 'God' at all before reading this. When Peck talks about 'God' NOT being 'out there' but as a force inside all of us and everything - infact -God being our subconscious mind (the largest, but least used part of the mind for most of us) always knowing the best way for us - I thought this made alot of sense!! When Peck asks you to examine your belief in a 'life force' looking after us - haven't you come so close to death but didn't die?(and can't explain why, or how you seemed to be saved so last minute, by the most amazing 'luck'!) - I knew this had happened to me.
I was very disappointed to read some of the reviews of this book where people say it is a good book until he talks about religion & that he is trying to force religion on people..he is not promoting religion at all!! Infact he gives an example of how organised religion had been so distructive in one of his patient's lives. I would say to those people to read the book again and don't switch off at the word 'God' because he's not even talking about God in the way most people think of God!!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charting a path... 11 Jan 2006
By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME
I first read M. Scott Peck's `The Road Less Travelled' over 20 years ago, but it is a text to which I return again and again, as Peck's insights and observations remain a constant source of inspiration and guidance in my life. It still finds a ready home in the hands of therapists, counselors, ministers, teachers, career planners, and others as part of their resources, and is not out of place in the home of anyone who cares about the directions of her or his life.
Peck is a clinical psychiatrist - the material for this book came largely from his experiences with clients and others, seeing what worked and what didn't, what was missing and what was mis-understood. Often cases involved psychotherapy (talk therapy), but the processes here are not confined to therapists' offices. The same kinds of problem solving, processing and relationship building that takes place in psychotherapy can be used as life-long tools.
Peck resists labels such as Freudian and Jungian; he doesn't look for, nor does he offer, quick fixes or the psychotherapeutic variety of the get-rich-quick schemes. This book is not a therapy manual, but rather a guide to spiritual growth that incorporates therapeutic and psychological principles. Peck echoes the sentiments of many spiritual directors and leaders through the millennia that spiritual and personal growth are long journeys, not short leaps. It involves dedication and intention, and a willingness to accept risk and change.
Perhaps it is ironic that, given this, the first topic Peck focuses upon is Discipline. However, without discipline, change can go unchecked and uncharted, growth can become problematic, and the human soul becomes susceptible to a host of difficulties.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
One of those books that stands the test of time. I read it for leisure but it's quite useful if your studying psychodynamic therapy
Published 20 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading
I am still reading this book as I have not yet finished. The start of the book relays a much emotive journey for the abused.
Published 1 month ago by SELENA
4.0 out of 5 stars Comments
This was a gift for my daughter and, not having asked, I am not sure what her reaction was to this read.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs Agnes B Alvite
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought evoking.
This book was recommended to me by a friend during conversation and I bought it for a member of my family who found it very helpful during a difficult time in their life.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs. Christine E. Beddis
3.0 out of 5 stars SOME USEFUL INFORMATION
The book started off very well, but then it goes into religion which was a turn off for me. Glad I read it as it gave some valuable insights and information, but the religious... Read more
Published 2 months ago by jennifer yates
4.0 out of 5 stars On a recovery journey?
This book deals with alcohol addiction and ones journey about it. Seems a bit dated in writing style however a very good about the realisations made about life on the road to... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sandra Whitworth
4.0 out of 5 stars Awesome book
This is a great book, albeit a little dated. Still, I'd put this book in my top five all-time reads, superceded only by 'The Power of Now' and 'The Compass of Zen' which are a... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Rhodes
5.0 out of 5 stars Food for thought
After the loss of my wife to cancer 4years ago, I needed some sort of reference and guidance....This is definitely a reference book, and I can go in and out of it as and when.
Published 3 months ago by patrick tobin
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Good book but can be negative at times. Probably a good book to do some reflection. Might be worth reading it again.
Published 3 months ago by Mr R Chauhan
5.0 out of 5 stars Its an excellent book to understand mental health
For psycharists and therapists it tells you how to carry out the healing work.

For parents it tells you how to avoid the major errors during bringing up the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Kate
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