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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance Comes as Standard
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...
Published on 18 Jun 2012 by C. Grey

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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it
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...
Published 23 months ago by Mr. Robert Shaw


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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance Comes as Standard, 18 Jun 2012
By 
C. Grey (London) - See all my reviews
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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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25 of 34 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it, 5 Oct 2012
By 
Mr. Robert Shaw "hungoverdrawn" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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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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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Missing out, 24 Dec 2013
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 4 Sep 2014
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A joy to read!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Buy Something Else, 20 Aug 2014
By 
B. Kelly - See all my reviews
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I have to say that this is the most unreadable book I have ever tried to read. I have missed out on buying something worthwhile, don't make my mistake.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pack of Quotes..., 28 Jun 2014
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It looks like the author shows off how much he knows/reads... full of quotes which does not seem to related to the title very much...
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars mixed feelings, 21 April 2014
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A difficult review. I felt that there is a lot of repetition in this book-could have been much more concise.
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8 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book yet, 23 Aug 2012
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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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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing condition of item, 28 Mar 2014
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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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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Do read this book !, 6 May 2013
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I always enjoy hearing Adam Philips in interviews and enjoyed his book 'On kindness'. I found this book to be at a tangent to the excellent theme. Well worth reading, he's so intelligent !
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