The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness: A True Story and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $12.95
  • Save: $1.29 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Beggar King and the S... has been added to your Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This item is used and has some wear. Qualifies for free shipping and prime programs.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness: A True Story Paperback – September 2, 2005


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.66
$3.99 $0.01
Multimedia CD
"Please retry"
$336.09


Frequently Bought Together

The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness: A True Story + Patricia va a California (Spanish Edition)
Price for both: $17.30

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Choose Your Own Autobiography
Step right into Neil Patrick Harris's shoes in an exciting, interactive autobiography that places the reader squarely in the driver's seat. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books; First Edition edition (September 2, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565125126
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565125124
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #307,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Joel ben Izzy has a peaceful, almost mesmerizing voice-a fine storyteller's voice-altered only when he becomes the characters in his tales. He does a perfect Yiddish accent, but he doesn't spoil other stories by struggling for genuine accents. Parables have morals: as he narrates the agonizing loss of his voice and ultimate recovery, he seeks lessons from his misery. One of his Chinese tales reminds us: What seems like a blessing may be a curse, and what seems like a curse may be a blessing. Izzy begins each chapter with a fairy tale from some corner of the globe, then relates it to a segment of his life. The book is a blend of fiction and nonfiction genres much in fashion now: memoir, the journey toward healing, the spiritual awakening, the search for wisdom and meaning through pain and loss. Izzy's book will find a happy home next to those of Paulo Coelho, Mitch Albom, Sue Monk Kidd, Alice Seabold et al., and will be particularly popular in audio format. An Algonquin paperback (Reviews, July 28, 2003). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

In his debut effort, professional storyteller Ben Izzy shares personal experiences that have caused him to search for life's true meaning in the stories he has spent two decades telling. The book starts with the fable of the beggar king, in which King Solomon loses his kingdom and is left to wander the land as a beggar, and from there Ben Izzy's own tale unfolds. A renowned storyteller, the author was at the top of his game when throat cancer robbed him of his voice. As a consequence, he lost his livelihood and became severely depressed until he met up with his old mentor Lenny, a cantankerous and often drunk old storyteller who helped him to stop dwelling on his misery and to see his fate in terms of life's bigger picture. The book ends with the conclusion of the story of the beggar king, in which King Solomon's journey is realized as an illusion, and with Ben Izzy making sense of the cards fate has dealt him. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

I've started reading it again this week and it's just as fun the second time around.
J. Clark
I totally love the book, the stories are wonderful and the author personal story is told so well, it all blends in.
Amazon Customer
The author weaves wisdom stories from a multitude of cultures and applies them to his life story.
J. M. Hannam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
EXTRAORDINARY, A ONE-IN-A-MILLION EXCEPTIONAL BOOK, A MUST READ, PACKED WITH WISDOM. You will not want to put this book down. Joel Ben Izzy is a professional storyteller who, because of a mindboggling twist of fate, loses his voice and is no longer able to perform. Months and months pass and there is no sign that his voice will return. How does a person let go and redefine one's hopes and dreams? Ben Izzy utilizes the tales he was once able to tell and applies their lessons to his own life. But perhaps the greatest benefactors of his experience are the readers who take to heart what he learned about the "secret of happiness."
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Clark on September 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book as a gift. I sat down in my favorite chair on a warm afternoon and started reading and reading and reading. This thing is so damn addictive I couldn't stop! I ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting and it felt like I was only reading for an hour. That was a couple of months ago. I've started reading it again this week and it's just as fun the second time around. There are many little life lessons weaved throughout that made me ponder my own existence but with a great sense of humor about it all. This is LAUGH OUT LOUD funny. What a great little gem of a book. I've bought copies for several of my friends and they've all had the same experience I did. I couldn't give it a higher rating. This is a MUST READ for anyone who thinks about life and who loves to laugh about life's little twists.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 27, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I've read this book over and over, and each reading reveals deeper meaning, more humor, more sadness, and more wisdom. Joel ben Izzy's stories (which I've enjoyed for many years) are a wonder, but the way he weaves the stories he tells with the story of his life is unique and powerful. This is, by far, the best book I've read in years. I will give it for holiday gifts to friends and family, to my corporate clients, and to just about everyone else I can think of. Most important, I will keep reading it. This is the sort of book to treasure every time life throws you a curve, every time something goes wrong, and every time something goes right.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I started reading "The Beggar King" on a flight from San Diego to San Francisco. When the pilot announce that we were about to land, I found myself reading faster and faster. I just didn't want to put this book down! Ben Izzy is a masterful storyteller and the way he weaves ancient tales from around the world into his own personal (and authentic) story is fascinating. I found myself going from laughing out loud to getting choked up and teary-eyed, and then back to laughing out loud again. For me, that's one of the best gifts from a book like this -- bringing out our emotions and leaving us on a high. I know what I'm giving to my clients as holiday gifts this year! Definitely a great read with powerful lessons that I'll reflect upon for a long, long time.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
THE BEGGAR KING AND THE SECRET OF HAPPINESS was by far one of the best books I have read in the last five years. Always on the search for that perfect novel that takes the reader through a wide range of real emotions and teaches something wise and profound with out being 'preachy,' Joel ben Izzy's book fit that criteria and so much more. I laughed, cried, sniffled, giggled and smiled my way from opening to final sentence. This would be an excellent gift book this holiday season and a welcome addition to your own personal bookshelf. I know you'll love it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Sultanik on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover
...this is a good place to start. Joel draws you in with his engaging storytelling, insight, humble nature. I found myself trying to slow down and read just a little every night because I didn't want it to end so soon. But I could just have easily read the book in one sitting. Don't miss this one.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jill Amack on December 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This unassuming little book is packed with bits of wisdom. I loved quotes like: "The Talmud asks, 'Who is rich?' and answers, 'The man who can appreciate what he has'" and "Sometimes you must follow your dreams very far to find that which is closest to your heart."
The story is also funny and heartwrenching and uplifting. Ben Izzy's profound experience is told in a very real, personal way, and as he struggled to understand the loss of everything he valued, I struggled with him.
Do not miss this book...it is a treasure.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Reading about the author on the back flap of the book before starting the book itself nearly spoiled my attraction to Mr. Izzy's narrative because it gave me an idea of the conclusion. It is a non-fiction that is supposed to be uncomplicated; at least, that was my first thought. Fortunately, I was wrong. Little did I envision myself on the edge of the seat trying to figure out what would happen next! There was no mystery for me to solve but Mr. Izzy was such an enigmatic story teller, even on paper, that I was hooked. I have never listened to him in person or on tape, but I can imagine how adept he is in his trade. Each chapter starts with a tale from a part of the world where some have a clear moral value but a few of them require the reader to have a second look in order to reflect the significance. Mr. Izzy's great sense of humor brightens the grueling experiences and I'm sure that is one of the characteristics of a successful story teller or even a strong personality. The book is a well written and creatively formed idea that results in a fast and interesting read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?