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The Examined Life

Narrated by: Peter Marinker
Length: 5 hrs and 20 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (101 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

We are all storytellers - through stories, we make sense of our lives. But it is not enough to tell tales. There must be someone to listen. In his work as a psychoanalyst, Stephen Grosz has spent the last 25 years uncovering the hidden feelings behind our most baffling behaviour.

The Examined Life distils over 50,000 hours of conversation into pure psychological insight, without the jargon. This extraordinary book is about one ordinary process: talking, listening, and understanding. Its aphoristic and elegant stories teach us a new kind of attentiveness. They also unveil a delicate self-portrait of the analyst at work, and show how lessons learned in the consulting room can reveal as much to him as to the patient. These are stories about our everyday lives: about the people we love and the lies that we tell; the changes we bear, and the grief. Ultimately, they show us not only how we lose ourselves but how we might find ourselves, too.

©2013 Stephen Grosz (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"I couldn't put this down-I read about other people, but learned about myself at the same time. Real stories can be so much more fascinating than fictional ones, especially with Stephen Grosz. No preaching, no clichés-just wisdom." (Victoria Hislop )

"Grosz's vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare illuminating fiction... It is this combination of tenacious detective work, remarkable compassion and sheer, unending curiosity for the oddities of the human heart that makes these stories utterly captivating."

( Sunday Times)

"Excellent. this book arrives like a box of chocolates. Thirty-one elegantly presented chapters which, when you bite into them, each reveals something sweet, rich or crunchy. Every one of these case histories bears repeating. All offer worthwhile insights." (Susanna Rustin The Guardian)

"Brilliant.. Grosz is a superb writer, yes, but it is the stories his patients tell him that really make you marvel. An elegant, jargon-free expedition into the secret business of our minds written with such wisdom and kindness. 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 Times)

"A fine and moving book... The tact, patience and understatement, which are particular components of Grosz's wisdom, remind the reader that this writer's insights and empathy result from thousands of hours with patients. This book is not polemical literature. nor is it an academic work or a popular self-help book. It is a true literary work and a very modern one." (Jewish Chronicle)

What listeners say about The Examined Life

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An OK listen

It got a bit boring at times, but interesting enough. Good insight into a lot of psychological phenomena and it shows the author's deep care for his patients.

1 person found this helpful

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Psychoanalysis meets simple narratives

This book is a collection of short stories, collected from the author's work as a psychotherapist.

None of them are too long, and a lot of them are quite engaging.

The psychotherapist's approach generally consists of understanding clients' behaviours and emotions by interpreting them in light of their symbolic significance, and often with reference to childhood and familial relationships. Thus you might say it comes under a Freudian approach, and some Freudian concepts are explicitly described.

All in all, it's an easy listen with relatable characters and refreshing depth into the human psyche.

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Insightful

Grosz is a psychoanalyst who shares the evolution and his interpretations of past patients. There are many presentations of people getting 'stuck' in life, and in this book they often related to the patient's early life experiences, previous emotional trauma, unmet needs and grief. The deep, complex interpretations were very insightful. I'd recommend it for deep thinkers.

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great narrator, Peter Marinker.

Very interesting insight into life as a psychoanalyst. Some fascinating client stories. I especially enjoyed the dream analysis parts. I recently had a dream and feel that the meaning is more important after hearing some of the ways to interpret it.

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A groundbreaking piece on how people think

I loved this book. it was fascinating. a wonderful insight into how people think, and why. great advice for life in here too. 5 stars.

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Insightful

An interesting narrative journey very easy to listen to. I loved his insights into psychotherapy.

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wonderful book

What did you like most about The Examined Life?

the stories are so so interesting and it is touching to have such a personal insight into the life of a psychoanalyst and his clients.

What about Peter Marinker’s performance did you like?

love his voice and accent, perfect for a psychoanalyst type character. he told the story so convincingly that i felt it was Stephen Grosz himself telling it.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

it made me smile, think, laugh, cry, analyse, meditate, say uhuh, and oh wow i never knew that could be so, and made me so thankful that Stephen Grosz wrote this wonderful book and shared his stories with us.

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  • SAHIL
  • 30-07-2019

This would help you to be more accepting

Pros:
Sometimes it's important to look into other people miseries to understand our own. Why are my parents like that? Why doesn't he ever understand? (not my words )
You will not find an answer to all the problems bothering you, but you'll see that acceptance would become easier.
Finished the audio book mostly during my journeys in New York subway, and boy, I never felt bored. It kept my attention throughout.
cons:
In some chapters I felt that the story ended abruptly - you are with the doctor/author, trying to understand the patient, and as soon as you feel that you have hit onto something significant, the story ends. I would have wished those chapters to continue on for a few more minutes. Would have given me a better sense of finality to the story.

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  • Anonymous123
  • 05-01-2019

Memorable stories and explanations

The author tells stories that come from his experience as a psycho-analyst. He then explains the conclusions he reached about why the people did what they did, from a psychoanalytic point of view.

I found the book extremely interesting, and it kept me engaged throughout the book.The narration was also good. Some of these stories were also very memorable, and things that happened after I read the book reminded me about the stories in this book.

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  • Francisco
  • 20-11-2017

loved it

me encantó porque es interesante, tiene lecciones de vida muy útiles y lo mejor que que te atrapa.
lo termine en un día hahaha.

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  • Koe
  • 29-03-2016

If it is possible to give 100 stars, I would

I don't read many books so it's probably sound shallow to say this is the best I have read. What matters is that I truly enjoy listening to the deep and assuring voice, narrating such a well told story. Stories of real life experiences, on how we lose and find ourselves. Thank you Stephen. Thank you Peter. Thank you Audible :)

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  • Thomas
  • 25-02-2016

Fascinating insights into peoples lives

Loved the narration and the stories. The book gives a great insight into the issues people struggle with and how a skilled analyst can help them.