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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satire At Its Finest
Satire has been around a long time. Juvenal observed that "It is difficult not to write satire." But it is difficult to write great satire. Most modern satire seems to me like a sermon by one of the Knox brothers...all preachy and exhorting, like recent politicians who tell us how and what to eat. Satire done right requires a keen sense of observation, wisdom, and...
Published on 28 Oct 2010 by Joseph Hartmann

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, it's tedious, Theodore
Luckily this is a short book, as takes a jolly good idea by the throat and unfortunately then hammers it to death.

An Examined Life tells the increasingly monotonous tale of a hypochondriac who examines every risk and researches every medical diagnosis, ending up living without being alive.

It is sometimes funny, which lifts the spirits, and is in...
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. Katharine Kirby


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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satire At Its Finest, 28 Oct 2010
By 
Joseph Hartmann (naperville, il USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Examined Life, The (Paperback)
Satire has been around a long time. Juvenal observed that "It is difficult not to write satire." But it is difficult to write great satire. Most modern satire seems to me like a sermon by one of the Knox brothers...all preachy and exhorting, like recent politicians who tell us how and what to eat. Satire done right requires a keen sense of observation, wisdom, and wit. The Examined Life is outright hilarious.
Theodore Dalrymple's decades long documentation of societal ills pays off again in a novella filled with facetiousness as he follows a health addict through his daily ritual of protecting himself from life. Living life long or well is not the same thing as living long and well. We all know people like this (including, perhaps, a bit of ourselves) and it is fun to see the whole show. This is life lived in a health food store in the vitamin section. Nothing is safe from concern as the hero calls his local community council to ask about searching for radon in his apartment: "...after a long message telling me that the department was there to make life safe for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender or disability...I spoke to someone with a disability, namely an inability to follow a logical argument." This is a belly bouncing, tear producing, hysterically funny book.
As a physician, I have had many discussions with my patients when they ask about the most recent vitamin du jour or over-the-counter cure for what ails you. When I tell them that vitamin X has been shown not only not to help what they are taking if for but, in fact, makes it worse, their frequent response is, "Well, they must not have taken enough."
Well, one can never get enough of Theodore Dalrymple. Improve your health and read The Examined Life. The fact that one also gets his excellent comedy, So Little Done, makes this book a steal.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Examined, 22 April 2013
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I almost believed the cover story for a whole page.... Very amusing if you're not a Guardian reader or social worker or GP.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky deadpan humour, 11 Mar 2013
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I loved the first story, 5 stars definitely ... the 'writer' is such a pompous, self-righteous, rigid, dogmatic, self-obsessed, un-self-aware ....er....idiot (I'm censoring myself here). It's a glorious telling of an obsessive life. From the first sentence I was grinning inanely, with the occasional unrestrainable giggle... A joy, tho' perhaps not one to read on the train if you're traveling alone?
Sadly, the second story didn't work as well for me, which is why the book only gets 4 stars. Buy it for the first story tho - it's worth it
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good concept, but...., 14 Nov 2010
By 
Mr. Gary Walker (Lincoln, England.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Examined Life, The (Paperback)
....Anthony Daniels should have written this in co-authorship with a practiced novelist.

I am a "Dalrymple" fan, but this doesn't compare to his empirical essays. It's the story of a man who is so obssessed by Health and Safety, that he cannot lead a conventional life.

This short story is crying out for adaptation for the cinema or for TV as a comedy series. If you're reading this Anthony, please take your book to a scriptwriter!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such fun, 24 April 2013
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What an excellent book. Side split-tingly funny in places with good digs at fat unhealthy smokers and those of limited intellect that blight all our lives from time to time.
The ending is great and let me tell you not as far fetched as you might think!!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a street near you., 3 Dec 2010
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The madman in 'The Examined Life' is reminiscent of those found in the works of Thomas Bernhard whose works I recommend if you haven't read them. This story is also strangely reminiscent of Dostoyevsky's 'Notes From Underground'. The abject hero is comedic, grotesque, monstrous, laughable and pathetic by turns. His monomaniacal obsession can only end in disaster. Good riddance I say.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I gave up after what I thought was just an ..., 1 July 2014
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I gave up after what I thought was just an introduction but it just chuntered on in the same way till I gave up n despair
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short and to the point, 30 Sep 2013
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Dr. P.H.M. O'Mahony (Enfield, Middx. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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very good, but not his best, the characterisation and theme wear thin after a while, but depressingly accurate as a portrayal of our risk averse, health warning obsessed, society.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, it's tedious, Theodore, 23 Sep 2013
By 
Mrs. Katharine Kirby "Kate" (HELSTON, Cornwall United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Examined Life (Kindle Edition)
Luckily this is a short book, as takes a jolly good idea by the throat and unfortunately then hammers it to death.

An Examined Life tells the increasingly monotonous tale of a hypochondriac who examines every risk and researches every medical diagnosis, ending up living without being alive.

It is sometimes funny, which lifts the spirits, and is in the end ironic, but somehow the yes, highly medically informed, banging on becomes unreadable.

Nice try, I often enjoy 'Theodore Dalrymple's' contributions to the media, however with this he is flogging a dead horse, after first few chapters.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A troubled book, 23 July 2013
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This book was recommended to me but i can't imagine why. My brain doesn't think like this and eventually after three chapters I gave it to a second hand book shop. Not a good read in my opinion.
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Examined Life, The
Examined Life, The by Theodore Dalrymple (Paperback - 5 Aug 2010)
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