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Beyond Good and Evil

Narrated by: Alex Jennings, Roy McMillan
Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
4 out of 5 stars (45 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Continuing where Thus Spoke Zarathustra left off, Nietzsche's controversial work Beyond Good and Evil is one of the most influential philosophical texts of the 19th century and one of the most controversial works of ideology ever written.

Attacking the notion of morality as nothing more than institutionalised weakness, Nietzsche criticises past philosophers for their unquestioning acceptance of moral precepts. Nietzsche tried to formulate what he called "the philosophy of the future".

Alex Jennings reads this new translation by Ian Johnston.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2008 Naxos Audiobooks (P)2008 Naxos Audiobooks

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 05-02-2019

Worthwhile. The summaries are a godsend

Nietzsche waffles on a great deal, which makes large chunks of this tedious. The summaries provided at the start of each chapter are incredibly useful as a result, enabling you to ask, "What the hell was he on about again?" only to be reminded of the introduction.

Worthwhile.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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good narrator but not a captivating story.

nothing like Thus Spoke Zarathustra. few interesting points regarding women and femininity - trademark of Nietzsche.

3 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Mozart
  • 07-01-2011

Great Book, great Audio Narration

I won't drone on about the wealth of knowledge in this book. I will say i've listened to it twice since i got it two weeks ago, and i will keep listening to it. I find it very practical.
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The narration and production of this book is exceptional. Like any book, it's difficult to read to others, and communicate the nuance. Jennings & McMillan bring this production through with excellence. Even Jennings tone, a slight snear, really plays well, because Nietzsche himself writes with a slight snear.
Contrast this production with one i downloaded from "Librovox". Librovox allows non-professionals to record a book, and upload it. I downloaed Nietzsche's "The Gay Science", and i couldn't get through the first chapters. The narrator couldn't communicate the spirit and intent of the book. This production achieves that.

38 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 24-05-2012

important classic with Ian Johnston's notes

"Beyond Good and Evil" is a well-known classic, so I will not review the work itself.

The narration by Alex Jennings was excellent. He kept my attention throughout with his lively speech.

And, Ian Johnston was more than a translator. He also wrote commentary which is included in this audio. The commentary is excellent: accurate and helpful for understanding Nietzsche's background and ideas.

John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Wayne
  • 15-10-2012

Troubled Genius

Nietzsche's analysis and critique of false authority, master-slave relationships, herd morality, rationalistic/scientific barriers to living fearlessly are amazing critiques for the time he wrote, and flew in the face of the rationalistic zeitgeist of Kant, Hegel and science.

His critique is very psychological, in that he does not himself present a rationalistic argument for or against his views (although he reveals brilliant thinking), but rather a series of observations/aphorisms which we automatically string together as his "philosophy" (and then wonder what he said). He makes scathing observations of the Jews being the cause of the despised master-slave relationships, and compounded by Christians. For sure, he despises weakness.

Because of his own questioning of human motivation leading to the destructive master-slave devaluation of human, I find myself analyzing his own motivation for his concerns. While his interpretation of women parallels hatred of weakness everywhere, his misogyny, mistrust and devaluation seems embedded in every pore of his being, and explains most of his philosophy as a rant against how his mother (including father) treated him. He describes women as like a cat, they do their own thing, they have claws waiting to strike and are fundamentally manipulative and shallow.

If my impression of Nietzsche's devaluation of human relationships (esp. with women) is accurate (his self/other esteem is relationally absent), then he is blind and in contempt (indignant) of any relational resolution to his existential predicament. His primary target therefore is anyone who presents a threat to him, his thinking, his power/right to live fully.

More interestingly, this theory helps explain the either/or, master/slave position which he takes as the truth of the human condition. Since psyche (which is conditioned by society he states)/people/society/ bad philosophers/scientists/politics/countries are not to be trusted, the first goal is to avoid being a slave of your own weak conscience or that of anyone else's, have the courage to be master of your own soul, and do not be afraid of your passions/instincts/impulses, but let them give you instinctive taste/guidance, power, freedom of will, nobility--not made weak by conscience.

His use of the term "Truth" is almost always stated in some disdainful way against others, especially philosopher metaphysicians who go around telling others what "Truth" is. His effort is to invert this terrible misconception, and restore the meaning of truth as ones own Will to Truth (which becomes Will to Power), the power to be who you are based on your own value. The ultimate truth in life is thus to embrace the value of your own power. He often speaks positively of artists who engage in their expressive, empowered freedom in life (i.e., Wagner).


He states that "all organic functions [including sexuality] could be traced back to this Will to Power" (36)--this is his claim about reality/truth. There are thus two reading of Nietzsche--the amoral, harsh, cynical, heartlessness, and the one that some of us would like to believe: that his thoughts just haven't been developed clearly and that he is more artistic in his nature (and that Santa Claus and Heaven are not in jeopardy). It is not hard to see why his ideas became usable for Hitler's regime. We can thank subsequent philosophers who salvaged his genius out of his darkness.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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  • brennan
  • 25-11-2011

Awsome

Great read, great narrator, interesting, thought provoking, and surprisingly funny at times. If you have never read any Nietzsche this is a good one to start with.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Versh
  • 18-03-2016

Great Read, Inconsistent Material

The narration was by far the best part! To be sure, Nietzsche is dynamic and insightful writer, it's just overall imbalance in chapter quality. Like he'd have a deep understanding of social pressures and corrupted morality followed with how "inadequate" women are. Or how logical positivism cancels itself followed by a vague chapter on the German spirit. The aphorisms section was by far the most tedious.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • R. Reese
  • 10-10-2018

To change your eyes

Some books hot you and hit you hard. This book is not intended for the faint of heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nash
  • 17-06-2019

Not recommended for Audio

It's not about the performance... that is good.
But it's not the kind of books you would like to listen to, while driving !

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-06-2019

excellent performance

the narrator was very good. Nietzsche is difficult to read. Reading him aloud must be near impossible.

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  • Cale Castro
  • 02-06-2019

not a story book

For those who appreciate lavish prose, a fine read. Provocative and emasculating at times. 21st-century readers, mind the doses of misogynism. 🌈

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  • Compass
  • 24-01-2019

Reader made the whole book sound pedantic

This is essential reading, and some moments are absolutely profound. A lot of it is rambling or self-important. But the good parts are worth the read. I only wish the reader had been someone else! This guy distorted the tone of the book.

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  • G. Mahoney
  • 22-01-2018

Not for the uninitiated!

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I came into this book as a complete philosophical novice, and I must say I've had an awful lot of difficulty grappling with the verbosity and name dropping of Nietzsche.

I've had some moments of lucidity where I think I've benefited from listening to Beyond Good and Evil, but mostly it has been impenetrable.

So if you're looking to dip your toe into western philosophy, I'd recommend looking for something more gentle to start with!

Has Beyond Good and Evil put you off other books in this genre?

Certainly not. But I'll be looking for a more broad introduction to the genre next.

What about Alex Jennings and Roy McMillan ’s performance did you like?

The narrator's sharp, snide intonations of Nietzsche's put downs and humiliations of other philosophies really help bring things to life.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean Brennan
  • 21-03-2019

Knocks down better than it builds up

The analytical, deconstructing aspect of this book is outstanding. Incredible to think WHEN this was written given it's deep insights which are relevant even today. This is where Nietzsche's intellect shines. Though his motivations lie deeper than he lets on, there is a real anger he holds towards society. He is compelled to reduce our known values into a kind of anarcho-relativistic nothingness, and he does this so well.

Though in attempting to build a picture of how the world should operate after this fact, the "beyond" of the story, he doesn't do so well. The "will to power" seems like a new angle on the popular French philosophy of his time and actually detracts from the picture he so brilliantly painted just prior. What lies behind this story is a man whose ultimate frustration likely arises from his lack of success with women, and a resulting bitterness towards society and its associated rules. Ironically, his ideas of a will to power are a projection of his own sense of power that he achieves through this process; a sublimated sexual satisfaction from undermining the very thing which undermined him. The will to power was therefore a way foreword for him, beyond society's "good and evil", though doesn't really hold the universality that should be expected from a theory about how to live one's life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • saman
  • 27-02-2019

Beyond single reading material

This is deep this is a philosophy for already philosophers it's. big its bigger than you can think you have to read it more than twice two understand you trying to say. (the poem in the end is really emotional)

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  • Mike GMT
  • 04-01-2019

A must read

Alex Jennings reading is a facilitator for Nietzsche's words. It might be the case that Nietzsche's language was intended for a small crowd as he himself says: "one fear the philosopher has is to be understood", but I would say that it's not that hard to grasp.

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  • H. P.
  • 15-12-2018

beyond essential, if that were possible

Simply put, no one can make any claim to rounded intellectual rigour without a familiarity with this book.