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The Examined Life: How We Lose and Find Ourselves Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (May 28, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393079546
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393079548
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

The Examined Life…. shares the best literary qualities of Freud’s most persuasive work. It is… an insightful and beautifully written book… a series of slim, piercing chapters that read like a combination of Chekhov and Oliver Sacks. [A] deeply affecting book.” (Michiko Kakutani - New York Times)

“Impossible to put down… it will leave you wiser about humanity than you were when you picked it up.” (Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree)

“By turns edifying and moving. Grosz offers astute insights into the perplexities of everyday life.” (Trisha Andres - Financial Times)

“Grosz’s vignettes are so brilliantly put together that they read like pieces of bare, illuminating fiction… utterly captivating.” (Robert Collins - Sunday Times)

“Engaging, frank,and with many penetrating insights. His short, succinct chapters have both the tension and the satisfaction of miniature detective or mystery stories.” (Michael Holroyd - The Spectator)

“Marvellous. 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 (UK))

About the Author

Stephen Grosz is a practicing psychoanalyst—he has worked with patients for more than twenty-five years. Born in America, educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Oxford University, he lives in London. A Sunday Times bestseller, The Examined Life is his first book.

More About the Author

Stephen Grosz is a practicing psychoanalyst--he has worked with patients for more than twenty-five years. Born in America, educated at the University of California, Berkeley, and at Oxford University, he lives in London. A Sunday Times bestseller, The Examined Life is his first book.

For more information please visit www.stephengrosz.com

Customer Reviews

This is a very interesting a well written book.
Dra Clara Pracana
I enjoyed the book very much and would recommend it to anyone interested in psychology or philosophy.
Frances
As a psychiatrist I am deeply moved by Stephen Grosz's stories of patients.
C. Flannery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Freelancer Frank on January 13, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a book about the relationships between psychoanalysis and language. The central relationship concerns that which is not said - the silences in between propositions. Grosz's genius is to match form with function and relate his stories in a completely non-didactic manner, but so compellingly that the conclusion strikes the reader as sudden insight. This phenomenon is exactly the core event in the psychoanalytical process, and the main event of a good narrative tale. Grosz demonstrates both, repeatedly, and shows how psychoanalysis can affect the patient, the analyst and the reader (and by extension, the world). Individually, the stories are unique, moving and trans-formative.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a wonderful series of stories about the way people deal with emotional and psychological difficulties. It does more than expain how and why people behave, it also opens up important philospophical questions that need to be discussed and examined in order for us to reach a state of self awareness, genuineness and honesty. Stephen Grosz writes with great humility and love of learning. A great read for anyone who is psyhcologically minded and likes to ask "why?"
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Mary F on April 26, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I cried and laughed, felt sad and happy as I read this book. I identified to some extent with nearly all the patients and with the author. Human behaviour is complicated but there is always a reason and it is very easy to get stuck in a pattern. If you are interested in psychoanalysis you will enjoy this book. It's probably too late for me now to start but if I was going to I would like an analyst like Mr. Gross.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Maeve on March 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An easy book to read with short, digestible chapters, each with a different lesson, drawing on examples from different patients in psychoanalysis and the author's personal experiences.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lilith Island on September 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
These essays are appropriately enigmatic. I read the book quickly and might even return to the book at some future time. Yes, he could have elaborated more but seemed to capture whatever was essential. The chapter, "How Anger Can Keep Us From Sadness", was amazing. There seems to be no limit to compassion nor limits to how much love may be extended. Dr. Grosz seems to be a true humanitarian, first and foremost, a quality that may be more healing than any other. Perhaps his years of intimate contact with others have enriched him as much as his patients have been helped, and he is sharing bits of that enrichment, a fulfillment of the book's epigraph: "We receive and we lose, and we must try to achieve gratitude to embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses." Would love to read more books of this sort.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brendastarshine on November 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A couple reviews seemed to feel that the cases should have been 'wrapped up' with followup on how the patients fared later......which, in my mind, is irrelevant. This is a small book with short chapters/synopses of a variety of patients, and the diagnoses/insights about each. I loved that (in most, for me) there are defined passages of flashes of "aha! so THAT'S why/how" that I want to remember.........behavioral or personality traits that I can (suddenly) see and understand in situations and people in my own realm. Those who just go with the flow and have no interest in understanding how or why they --or others ----- act or react to life will probably not care for this book, but I flagged a dozen pages with the intent to pull it out and re-read them many times to refresh myself until I get those concepts drilled into my memory. While each was simple, coming across so many "aha's!" in one read was a bit of overload for me...my mind whirls with each one as I bump it against people and situations I encounter. Anyhow- anyone looking for complete case studies, from first visit to "cure/happy ending" :) should move on, this is not it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mary Enid on July 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grosz is a psychoanalyst who distills conversations that occurred over years into pithy tales that give insight into the common human experience. Very engrossing. Great bedtime reading.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin J. Gliserman on October 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Grosz' work is clinically focused--not a theoretical text but rooted in psychoanalytic theory. I'm using it in a course called Literature and Psychology and finding it a wonderful adjunct to reading novels and short stories. He's a good writer and a good clinician; his work recalls Adam Phillips' ON KISSING, TICKLING AND BEING BORED. Each chapter tackles a single issue in a larger case--so Grosz zooms in on a lost wallet, or a long string of disasters, or a long forgotten memory. And out of these small matters we learn about how we hide things from ourselves. Grosz engages us in matters of sexuality, death, anxiety, success, failure, bed wetting and being boring. Grosz gets the reader, as he gets his patients, to feel and think, without being intrusive or overbearing. In all, I found the book unique in its ability to be subtly psychoanalytic.
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