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Life And How To Survive It Paperback – 24 Jun 1996

4.7 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Life And How To Survive It
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  • Families And How To Survive Them (Cedar Books)
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  • They F*** You Up: How to Survive Family Life
Total price: £31.65
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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Books; New Ed edition (24 Jun. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749323205
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749323202
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Breathtaking. . . On every page of Life and How to Survive It you will find insights that will cut straight to the heart of your own life" (Daily Mail)

Book Description

An essential guide to what makes individuals, families and organisations function in a healthy and positive way. This is the companion volume to the world-wide bestseller: Families and How to Survive Them.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'm surprised this has never been reviewed !! Written by Dr Robin Skynner and John Cleese (of Fawtly Towers fame), it's a discussion about "mental health" - and how to get it.
Skynner points out that most research into the subject is all about mental "unhealth" - like Schizophrenia and the "Norman Bates" side of mental health. It's curious there's been little research about "how to be healthy - and what does it mean".
He then goes on to discuss how daft we can all be - and of course John Cleese helps this along no end.
It it takes a psychological or psychotherapy viewpoint on "the world", explaining some of the more basic questions of life like:- Why people choose a particular company (not just a profession), why is laughter so good for you (that was an eye opener) and what exactly does it mean to be "mentally healthy".
Easy to read and understand, and for me - full of insights.
10 out of 10. Also have a look at "Families and How to Survive them" - a laymans view of family therapy, and how to avoid it !!! (By being mentally healthy).
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Format: Paperback
2 things very unique about this book: 1) it is a discussion of robust mental health (as opposed to mental pathology). 2) the discussion is layed out as a dialogue/script between the co-authors.
Instead of discussing the symptoms, causes and cures of mental pathology, the authors discuss the "olympians of mental health" and the things they all tend to have in common.
After covering the aspects of individual mental health, the authors expand their scope to the mental health of families, organizations, businesses, countries and cultures.
For my second reading "Life.." became my morning "devotional" book. I found myself being transported to an imaginary room where I sat and listened quietly to John and Robyn, looked them in the eyes, laughing and crying with them. The profound effect of these daily trysts was that over time I was developing the same awe, wonder and respect for the "olympians" that the authors had. I also found myself becoming more like the "olympians of emotional health" that we admired so much. I've read thousands of books and this one has had a more profound effect on me than any other that I can recall.
I gave the book a score of 9 only because in a few places the discussion and banter become a bit boring (but you listen patiently because you're with friends).
If you like this book, you also will like "Families and how..". If you've read this book and enjoyed it like I have, please send me e-mail, I'd really like to hear from you.
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Format: Paperback
This has to be one of the best books ever written - much much better than the mass of low quality books out there that proclaim self help. This one drives straight to the heart of these issues, and is very readable. I challenge anyone to read the first chapter and not feel more positive about themselves and life.
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By A Customer on 2 Nov. 2002
Format: Paperback
I had read (and loved) 'Families And How To Survive Them' and was curious about this one - surviving Life?!... No esoterics here, though. John Cleese and Robin Skynner apply the principles of 'Families...' to analyse larger groups of people such as communities and even countries, and they discuss just about everything from nasty dictatorships to brilliant civilizations, and why a repressive system is an improvement compared to total chaos ... A good attempt at explaining the Big Picture, again written in plain dialogue (how socratic!), with hilarious cartoons. In our troubled times, when we believe the scheme of things may have gone lost, 'Life...' reassures us by showing that societies still act in the same old, familiar human patterns, in spite of all technological progress. We only have to keep our hearts open, our minds sharp, and enjoy the ride!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read families and how to survive them, and this expands the thoughts and theories to wider society. Thought provoking and insightful ideas presented in a very readable way, complimented by the awesome wit of the one and only John Cleese.
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Format: Paperback
I read this a few days ago, having just finished 'Families'. They flow pretty seamlessly from the one to the other. I give this 5 Stars as a book because as a book, I love it, even if I disagree with some of it. It's generally engaging, I really enjoy the dialogue style of writing. They cover a helluvalot of ground, which makes it interesting and stimulating. There is a certain amount of repetition, summaries, but these help retain the key points. It really feels like a real conversation. It's not as humorous as you might expect from Cleese, so don't expect it!

Things I'd throw into the dialogue if I was there - society and governments are not the same as families, I felt they pushed the similarity a bit too far. There was also a massive philosophical elephant in the room which was anarchism, which was a shame as it fits in with their arguments quite well. The book is in general surprisingly pro-quo, which for me felt out of whack with some of the ideas of psychological health, but which is unsurprising given their businessy background. As another reviewer mentioned, it's a very straight book, aimed at very straight 'undisadvantaged' people, which did grate from time to time. Despite that I don't think it's valueless for people that have had 'real' problems... But perhaps not as a book to read when you're in the middle of a crisis. (Does such a book exist?) The chapters on religion and spirituality were amazing.

The apparent lack of knowledge of socialist history, despite which they felt able to talk authoritatively on the subject was disconcerting - however as many avowed socialists know nothing of their history, it's perhaps forgiveable! The concern being that if they don't know about this thing, in other areas of which I'm less knowledgeable I'll learn half truths. A half truth is better than no truth, but still.

I intend to reread it and no doubt I will learn a few new things and disagree with a few others. FIVE STARS!
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