I found it hard to put this book down. I read it in evey spare moment, until it was finished. Philosophy often poses the queston, 'how should we live'. The beauty of this novel, is it weaves many different perspectives on this question. Firstly it has the lives of the characters in the theapy group. How they are attempting to change themselves based on the fact that, how they act in a therapy group situation, is how they will act in the real world. If they can analyse and change, how they act in the group they can identify their problems and combat them. Secondly Yalom uses a character Philip Slate as modern day version of Arthur Schopenhauer. He becomes a mouthpiece for the philosophy of Schopenhauer, focusing on how Schopenhauer thought we should live and his pessimistic account of human existence. To add a futher dimension, biographical accounts of Schopenhauer's life are added and selected quotes begin each chapter. Although certain view-points are seen more sympathetically than others, different characters expess doubt and alternative opinions. We are not just force-fed Schopenhauers bleak opinions. I think that the book does two things, firstly it criticises psychotherapy for ignoring the fagitily and inherent weakness/ anxieties of the human condition. Our proplems are not all the result of individual neurosises. At the same time it highlights the fact that philosophical speculation on how we should live and how we view the world are heavily influenced by individual concerns, and personal past-experiences. This is just an overview, its well worth reading the book to find as it touches on subjects relevant to everyone. Yalom has created a book that any mere biped can understand, but leaves no easy answers.