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Like a Thief in Broad Daylight

Power in the Era of Post-Humanity
Narrated by: Jamie East
Length: 8 hrs and 5 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Philosophy
5 out of 5 stars (21 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook of Like a Thief in Broad Daylight by Slavoj Žižek, read by Jamie East.  

In recent years, techno-scientific progress has started to utterly transform our world - changing it almost beyond recognition. In this extraordinary new audiobook, renowned philosopher Slavoj Zizek turns to look at the brave new world of Big Tech, revealing how, with each new wave of innovation, we find ourselves moving closer and closer to a bizarrely literal realisation of Marx's prediction that 'all that is solid melts into air'. With the automation of work, the virtualisation of money, the dissipation of class communities and the rise of immaterial, intellectual labour, the global capitalist edifice is beginning to crumble, more quickly than ever before - and it is now on the verge of vanishing entirely. 

But what will come next? Against a backdrop of constant sociotechnological upheaval, how could any kind of authentic change take place? In such a context, Zizek argues, there can be no great social triumph - because lasting revolution has already come into the scene, like a thief in broad daylight, stealing into sight right before our very eyes. What we must do now is wake up and see it.   

Urgent as ever, Like a Thief in Broad Daylight illuminates the new dangers as well as the radical possibilities thrown up by today's technological and scientific advances and their electrifying implications for us all.    

©2018 Slavoj Žižek (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Zižek is a thinker who regards nothing as outside his field: the result is deeply interesting and provocative." (Guardian

"Žižek leaves no social or cultural phenomenon untheorized, and is master of the counterintuitive observation." (New Yorker) 

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    4 out of 5 stars

Convoluted but important insights

This was a difficult listen and required a number of rewinds. The sentances were convoluted and often made use of terms that currently have contested definitions.

I experienced important insights listening to this, although I'm not sure they were the insights the author intended the listener to have.

Familiarity with the referenced material may help.

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Densely packed and with dynamite.

A difficult task for the narrator but it was well performed.

Zizek takes quite a bit of reading for the average Jo so it's a relief to finally have an audible version to listen to whilst performing other duties.

This book is ecouraging and provocative.

The final chapter is well worth looping a few times.

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  • Thomas
  • 03-12-2018

Way past time Zizek’s books start being available in audio format

Like a Thief in Broad Daylight is one of Zizek’s shorter and so therefore more accessible meditations—its comparable to Trouble in Paradise or ‘First as Tragedy, Then as Farce’ vs doorstoppers like Absolute Recoil or Less Than Nothing. Warning: It gets off to a very jargon-heavy, indigestible start but starts to level out in the first chapter. Most of the book is eminently listenable. I particularly enjoy the chapter on Lenin.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-11-2018

very insighful

liked the Book in a lacanian hegalian sense and so on and so on sniffle sniffle

14 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 19-12-2018

relatively typical zizek

We have Žižek's normal views and methods on display here, albeit applied to new things (including detailed analyses of Black Panther and Blade Runner 2049, the latter of which I disagree with). a
As usual, I find a lot in Žižek that I agree with and a decent bit that I don't. For example, he takes a stance against nominalism in this that I think misses the point of nominalism to a degree. But that's neither here nor there.

The narrator does a fairly good job most of the time, but what drags it down is how he mispronounced several names and words from other languages. Not really his fault, but someone should have caught it. Things like Jaroslav Hasek (pronounced Jar-Oh-Slav Hah-Seck rather than Yaroslaf Hashek as it is roughly supposed to be) are forgivable, but pronouncing Žižek's first name Slavoj as though the j is like the ZH in Zhivago (rather than like an i or a y) is not forgivable. Worse still, he gets the Ž correct, which IS pronounced like the ZH, so he pronounces it Slavož Žižek. Someone really should have checked that they were pronouncing the author's name correctly. Somewhere in between these two extremes you have irritating but relatively minor issues like the German word *Sittlichkeit* being pronounced with an English rather than a German CH.

I know that seems nitpicky, but it is incredibly distracting to anyone who is familiar with this material going in. And I'm sorry, but this book is not written for people unfamiliar with continental philosophy.

Which I guess is a point in itself. Don't try this book and expect to understand it thoroughly if you aren't well versed in the who is who of continental philosophy. You don't need intimate familiarity with them by a long shot, but at least know who Hegel, Marx, Lenin, Freud, Lacan, and Badiou are known for first. The issues are contemporary and relevant, so it is worth the bit of plato.stanford.edu reading first, but it needs it.

I don't expect the work will age very well since it is VERY present focused. Ironically, since he spends so much time talking about Lenin's prolific writing leading people to be able to pull defense of almost any view from his vast corpus, Žižek may suffer the same fate.

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  • Armand Jarri
  • 15-10-2019

The same communist jargon

Zizek is not offering anything new with this book. The same ideas. The same communist jargon. Yhe book is boring and leaves you with nothing except the jargon pf course.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 16-11-2018

Marx and Hegel without the resentment

Zizek shares the wisdom that can be gleaned from a desire for world beyond our current system and does so in a truly sympathetic way with brilliant use of iconic movie and story references. A true critic of both the left and the right who doesn't make any apology for the ideologies of the past. He takes his time through this book to convince the reader that referring to all hope for radical change should be shunned as authoritarian utopianism proves to be itself another ideology.

Zizek is in a truly unique position as a true friend of Julian Assange and so does not rely on the stupid Russia meddling narrative to make his criticisms of Trump. No one escapes his level headed and entertaining social criticisms in this book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-09-2018

Short and lacking content

I didn't feel like this book contained much, and the narrator speaks in a non-standard accent which makes it harder to understand though you do get used to it over time. Not completely uninteresting though.

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  • Guy Debord
  • 03-02-2019

Zizek should stop writing and get treatment

There are very few interesting philosophical insights at the level of his past, this book is all over the place and is the least coherent piece I have read from him. It’s sad to see the gradual degradation of a still beautiful mind. Writing is hurting him, it would be better for him to stop for a while until hopefully he has a better mental state.

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  • G Douglas Whistler
  • 14-02-2019

Excellent text, sub-par performance

An excellent, complex, thought-provoking, universalising book which I'd recommend to anyone willing to concentrate to what's being said. - This performance of it was not good, though: The reader, although having a pleasant enough voice, struggled with pronunciation of all the non-English words & names, & mis-spoke a number of the English words too. In addition, he spoke very quickly, often even stumbling towards the end of a sentence, & with no change in tone between quoted passages & the author's own writings, unnecessarily confusing the interpretation of it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-2019

Just about to dive back in...

...for a second listen immediately.

This just blew me away. Loved it, he’s amazing.

Well performed too

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  • David X Reiver
  • 09-05-2019

Rushed read?

I think I heard seven different pronunciations of the phrase "a priori" while listening to this. The writing has plenty to offer, but it felt like a rushed rehearsal.

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  • Daren Messenger Samard Chisti
  • 09-04-2019

zizek is stimulating read

excellent last chapter illuminates impotence of political correctness and offeree great insights into how the right will seize popular dissafection with the combination of globalist capitalism combined with a fickle liberal humanism. I'm not too interested, though, in Leninist histories, 1930's cinema etc and Leninist solutions so this takes away from the great philosophical insight that Zizek is capable of offering. I'm still inclined to the Heideggerian take on technology and the question of Being

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  • Milan Topalov
  • 19-03-2019

Lots of interesting ideas, but too hyperactive

Filled with digression after digression, this book seems like it's been written by a person inflicted with attention deficit disorder. It contains some interesting ideas and perspectives, but boy it gets tiring after a while. Slavoj should perhaps try painting, because his writing sucks big time.