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The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves by [Grosz, Stephen]
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The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 551 customer reviews

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Length: 241 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Brilliant. . . . After reading [Grosz's] absorbing accounts of his patients' journeys you might feel that The Examined Life ought to be given out free at birth. --Melissa Katsoulis

By turns edifying and moving. . . . Grosz offers astute insights into the perplexities of everyday life. --Trisha Andres

This book conveys the nuanced complexities of psychoanalysis in deceptively simple human stories. It is written with generosity toward both its subjects and its readers; with authentic wit; and with flashes of profound insight. The novelistic charm of its case histories makes it impossible to put down, but while you may read it for entertainment, it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up. --Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree

An insightful and beautifully written book about the process of psychoanalysis, and the ways people's efforts to connect the past, present and future reflect their capacity to change. . . . Read[s] like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. . . . Invite[s] us to identify with Mr. Grosz's patients and their losses and regrets, even as we are made to marvel at the complexities and convolutions of the human mind. --Michiko Kakutani

An insightful and beautifully written book about... the ways people's efforts to connect the past, present and future reflect their capacity to change... . Read[s] like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks... . Invite[s] us to identify with Mr. Grosz's patients and their losses and regrets, even as we are made to marvel at the complexities and convolutions of the human mind. --Michiko Kakutani

This book conveys...nuanced complexities...in deceptively simple human stories. It is written with generosity toward both its subjects and its readers; with authentic wit; and with flashes of profound insight. The novelistic charm of its case histories makes it impossible to put down, but while you may read it for entertainment, it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up. --Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree

The Examined Life.... shares the best literary qualities of Freud's most persuasive work. It is... an insightful and beautifully written book... a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. [A] deeply affecting book. --Michiko Kakutani

The Examined Life . shares the best literary qualities of Freud s most persuasive work. It is an insightful and beautifully written book a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. [A] deeply affecting book. --Michiko Kakutani"

Marvellous. After reading [Grosz's] absorbing accounts of his patients' journeys you might feel that The Examined Life ought to be given out free at birth. --Melissa Katsoulis"

The Examined Life . shares the best literary qualities of Freud s most persuasive work. It is an insightful and beautifully written book a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. [A] deeply affecting book. --Michiko Kakutani"

Impossible to put down it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up.--Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree"

By turns edifying and moving. Grosz offers astute insights into the perplexities of everyday life.--Trisha Andres

Grosz s vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare, illuminating fiction utterly captivating.--Robert Collins"

Engaging, frank, and with many penetrating insights. His short, succinct chapters have both the tension and the satisfaction of miniature detective or mystery stories.--Michael Holroyd

The Examined Life.... shares the best literary qualities of Freud's most persuasive work. It is... an insightful and beautifully written book... a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. [A] deeply affecting book. --Michiko Kakutani

Impossible to put down... it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up.--Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree

Grosz's vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare, illuminating fiction... utterly captivating.--Robert Collins

[Grosz] compresses years of analysis into short chapters that feel like minimalist, suspenseful detective stories. At the end of each story, a secret is revealed; often, it's a secret which you've also kept.--Joshua Rothman

A beautifully written, affirmative, and nuanced account of a professional life in service to psychoanalytic healing... a work of exceptional grace.--Kimberlyn Leary

Book Description

This book is about learning to live. In simple stories of encounter between a psychoanalyst and his patients, The Examined Life reveals how the art of insight can illuminate the most complicated, confounding and human of experiences.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 655 KB
  • Print Length: 241 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (3 Jan. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AKBEHMG
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 551 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #17,135 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer reviews

Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Zipped through this book in just a few sittings. Really loved how most of the chapters were rounded off with small universal truths that all of us as readers could probably relate to.

One of the most poignant chapters 'Going back' recounts the author's own reflections of a trip to Hungary with his 80 year old father - a Holocaust survivor. Emptied of the people his father loved, the places visited, were no longer the places his father had known. Makes one question what is home? Why do we remember what we want to remember and forget what we want to forget?

Other stand out chapters for me included 'How a fear of loss can cause us to lose everything', 'on mourning the future' and 'how praise can cause a loss of confidence'. On a personal level, the book was really worth reading for the chapter 'on closure' dealing with bereavement. I wholly agree with the author - "Closure is...delusive. It is the false hope that we can deaden our living grief".

Real life case studies (including recollections of the author's own personal experiences) covering a range of individuals varying in age and socio economic background, made this a fascinating insight into the world of psychoanalysis. Would recommend.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The psychoanalyst Stephen Grosz gives us very short excerpts of some case histories, each of which is supposed to teach us something about ourselves. The book has had a huge number of five-star reviews, many of them extremely brief and failing to explain just what the reader saw in the book. I cannot quite share their enthusiasm.

Psychoanalytic treatment is a lengthy and searching business, and it makes these snippets, often with an encouraging outcome, seem to me to be too concise. In some of these short chapters Grosz even recounts bits of the stories of two or three of his patients to illustrate a single point. And a few of his examples do not come from his patients, but from situations in novels, or from his father’s traumatic visit to the places in Hungary where he had lived before the Holocaust.

The lessons conveyed by some of these case histories are unexpected: for example, the damage that can be done to a child by the “wrong” kind of praise; or that paranoid feelings may sometimes be a defence against the worse feeling of being ignored.

Others reflect not uncommon experiences: men feeling lonely and excluded after their wives have babies; how children often suffer when the arrival of another baby deflects attention from themselves; how parents sometimes see a child as a problem rather than themselves.

But many of the stories struck me as neither conveying an unexpected insight nor as reflecting the experiences that many of us have: they are about neurotic behaviour that is so strange and so unique to a particular patient that I could draw no general conclusion from them, though they may be interesting in themselves (“there’s nowt so queer as folk”).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very different to what I expected. This is a book with a lot of cases which are described over one or two pages. It doesnt really teach you anything. Its more of a book to be read as a story than as a self-help book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A magnificently framed reflection on years of case notes, carefully ordered to, in their own way tell a story of the human experience. Whether you approve of Psychoanalysis or not, the thoughts and connections made in this book are worth considering. There is no more difficult or important task than knowing oneself.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book was recommended via the Perfumed Ladies
Book Group. Wouldn't have read it otherwise. Every chapter gives an insight into my self, your self, ourselves and while I question the need for counselling it was illuminating to read these case histories. I think each chapter, covering a single topic, could be read and thought through and discussed to good effect.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wasnt as good as I was expecting, but I suppose it depends on how much you credit psychoanalysis
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read. Insightful and quite heavy stuff but it's written really well for your average person to enjoy! I enjoyed it as did my sister and mum!
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Very inspiring and thoughtful book.
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